The first year of the First Year Studies Program

By: Joshua Zermeno

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind was the first book in UTC’s brand new First Year Reading Experience program.

The FYRE was created encourage more active reading and community among first year students.  It is the student’s responsibility read and be ready to participate.  Class projects, events on campus and group discussion will go alone with the book.

The book is the inspirational story of William Kimkwamba, from when he was a child living in Malawi, Africa.  He was able to build a windmill at the age of 14 with materials he found.

The book was not made intentionally for first year students, but it is not restricted to them.  All of campus could participate and come to events and discussions.

Freshman Blake Waldron says what he thinks were the pros and cons of the FYRE’s decisions.

“I think it’s a good idea, but I don’t think it should have been as highly pushed to read it,” Blake Waldron, freshman, said.

Assistant for Student Retention and Success Dr. Fran Bender says what the first year of the program looked like.

“Getting people together like that was a very good idea, the downside of it was that not many students read the book,” Dr. Fran Bender, Assistant for Student Retention and Success, said.

Click here to listen to Dr. Fran Bender talk about future plans of the FYRE

Kamkwamba came to campus August 30-31 to hold lectures and a Q&A.



Kidnapper killed after victim retaliates

By:  Joshua Zermeno

ABERDEEN, Miss. (UTC/TheLoop) — An autopsy shows that complications from a gunshot wound to the abdomen is the cause of death of a Tennessee man whose body was found in Monroe County on Friday.

County Coroner Alan Gurley tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal ( ) that Stephen Cronk likely would have survived had he sought medical treatment.

Mt. Juliet, Tenn., police, say an 18-year-old woman was abducted at gunpoint by Cronk. Cronk then drove to Aberdeen, where he rented a hotel room and forced the victim to perform sexual acts.

The victim grabbed Cronk’s handgun when he became distracted. She fired once, striking Cronk in the stomach. He fled and the victim barricaded herself in the room and called 911.

Cronk was found dead inside his vehicle at a gas station in Hamilton, Miss.


Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal,


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.