The Little War That Could

By: Meaghan Dant
Chattanooga, TN– The war in Afghanistan has been the center of our nation’s focus since October 7, 2001.  what initially was meant to be a capture and leave mission turned into a long over due stay, resulting in people’s lives being lost and billions of dollars to be paid in reparations.

As recently as 2006, CNN stated a staggering 60% of Americans opposed the war.  This number may have chances of increasing when more troops are deployed.  According to the Washington Post, Obama announced in March that he was pulling out 14,000 tro0ps but deploying 21,000 which totals the troops number in Afghanistan to 68,000.

Currently there are approximately 60,000 troops serving in Afghanistan.  One of them is a man named Mike Fallon.  Mike serves as an Air Traffic Controller and has been working as an approach controller, terminal environment for the past five years.

Mike has been deployed for five plus years, but this trip to Afghanistan is his first.  Mike also has a son serving in Afghanistan with him and another in Iraq.

Mike does his job overseas on a day-to-day basis.  “My deployment can end with no notice from either myself or my employer, as this is the contract I am under.”

While Mike faces many hardships in Afghanistan, he said the greatest personal hardship is being separated from his family.  “My family lives in Pace, Florida, but I am able to stay in contact with them daily by either phone or e-mail.”

Along with personal hardships, Mike said there are things that make his job tougher professionally.  “The terrain is very mountainous which limits the ability of the equipment I work with.”

Although a large percent of the U.S. population does not agree with the war, Mike said the general population in Afghanistan appreciates the work of the U.S.   “I think it’s unfortunate a lot of the world hasn’t matured at the same rate (as the U.S.). The U.S. involvement was necessary and still is.”

UTC Professor’s Mission: To Save Lives

By: Meaghan Dant
Chattanooga, TN (UTC)–Due to Americans poor choice of lifestyle, the U.S. has recently been deemed the “obese nation”. Obesity seems to have become more the norm and has grown to a widespread epidemic.

The problem is due in large part to lack of education and no incentive to get and obtain a healthy lifestyle.

One man who spent more than three decades to research on prevention and consequences of obesity is Dr. Greg Heath.
Dr. Heath, head of Health and Human Performance Department, became a visionary in this field more than 35 years ago.

His journey began in college as a student-athlete. “I gravitated towards the study of exercise because of my background as an intercollegiate cross country and distance runner,” Heath said.

From there, he decided to do graduate training in epidemiology and public health, and chose to study chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes mellitus, and their preventative treatment.

From his studies and research, Dr. Heath became most interested in the health behaviors of diet nutrition and physical activity. “I was intrigued by the role that lifestyle played in the cause of these diseases, where a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, health eating, non-smoking, moderate alcohol intake, and weight management were all associated with lower risks of developing these disease.”

Now Dr. Heath has taken his findings and put them into effect in Chattanooga.  “All of my research is carried out within and among community groups and is intended to be translated to community practice.”

Heath hopes that through his research people gain insights to how their lives could be.

Dr. Heath believes a shift to a health lifestyle needs to start from our behaviors reflected from our current overfed, consumerist, and self-centered culture to a culture that values active living and good nutrition.

UTC: Where Success Starts

By: Meaghan Dant

Chattanooga, TN (UTC)–  In today’s society, it is imperative for young people to receive a college degree.  With our country facing a recession and the economy in a downward spiral, the key behind success is attending a great university.

In 2005 I graduated from a private high school in Chattanooga and after being accepted to numerous colleges across the state, I decided to be one of the many new faces on the campus of The University of Tennessee.

Going from a class of around 150 students to immersing myself into an unknown world was an unforgettable experience.  I was among over 20,000 students wandering the infamous campus in the 2005-2006 academic year.

After a rather difficult freshman year, I left the massive university on a quest to find a school where I fit in.  For personal reasons, I attended Dalton College from 2006-2007 with high expectations.

utc picThough I did will while attending the small Northwest Georgia school, I did not feel quite at home.  After spending a year at Dalton State I went on yet another search to find the perfect school for me.

I came to UTC as a confused junior with no definite major and did not know where my future would take me.  I found UTC to be excessively helpful with the entire enrollment process with everything from transcripts to financial aid.

The university’s decision to add a regional discount was the ultimate reason why I chose UTC being that I live in the state of Georgia.

The regional tuition discount offers a lowered tuition rate to students who live outside the state of Tennessee, but 50 miles from the UTC campus.

When compared to its counterparts, UTC is a rather small size but it has so much more to offer.  Small class sizes are an amazing feature UTC has, along with insurmountable resources at students’ disposal.

UTC has many facilities on campus to help students with any academic problem.  Free and available to all students, the student success center and the counseling center offer tutoring in numerous subjects.

The faculty and staff at UTC take amazing measures to ensure your success by doing anything they can to help you and answering any questions you may have.

I have been at UTC for two and a half years and am preparing to graduate in December.  There has never been a doubt in my mind that UTC has helped me on the path to graduation.

With our nation’s staggering statistic that only 33% of all high school graduates go to college, I knew that not achieving the status of a college graduate was not an option.  According to the Council for Aid to Education and the National Governors Association, only 42% of college students graduate and go on to make more than 40% when compared to college grads.

I utilized many resources offered at UTC to find a program I truly excelled in.  I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, and there is no doubt in my mind that UTC has played a pivotal role in my success as a student and my soon to be success as a communication professional.

H1N1: A Cause For Concern, Or Is It?

By: Meaghan Dant

Chattanooga, TN (UTC, CDC, UpToDate)– While flu season approaches, people prepare themselves for the worst. Students and faculty at UTC are gearing up for possible H1N1 outbreaks in hopes that this unwelcomed and sporadic illness will not heavily impact campus.

H1N1 Background:

H1N1, or Swine Flu as it is also known as, is a different strand of influenza that made its way to the United States in April of this year. While H1N1 and regular seasonal flu have some similarities, the World Health Organization declared that a pandemic of Swine Flu was underway which caused a panic all across the U.S.

Businesses and schools everywhere are taking the necessary precautions in order to make their facilities as “flu free” as possible. UTC has followed the steps that many universities are taking by giving students and faculty information to protect themselves from this new disease.

“What people have to understand is how the two flu’s are different,” Dr. Christine Smith, Coordinator of Nurse Practitioner Concentration in UTC’s Nursing Program, said. “The Swine Flu is affecting much younger people than the seasonal flu is. The young people under the age of 25 is who the CDC has targeted to be more affected by the flu compared to others.”

According to the CDC the symptoms of Swine Flu can include cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, chills, fatigue, body aches, headaches, and in some sever cases diarrhea and vomiting. While the two flu’s have different symptoms, they are both highly contagious and are spread the same way.

Both types of influenza are airborne and transmitted from one person to another via sneezing or coughing. In addition to that, H1N1 may also be transmitted by touch. “If someone infected with H1N1 coughed into their hand, touched a surface, then another person came behind them and touched the same surface, the disease free person would no longer be,” Dr. Smith said.

How UTC is Responding:

Though H1N1’s popularity seems to grow by the minute, it is really a cause for panic? Some UTC officials say no. Jocelyn Sanders, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs sees no reason to panic. “Students need to calm down and think logically about the situation and have a rational response to what is going on.”

Sanders said there recently was a meeting which included the deans from the university regarding H1N1. “We decided that we would go along with classes and schedules as normal, and saw, so far, no reason to panic,” Sanders said.

What Students Should Do:

Now, the question on every student’s mind seems to be: what if I contract Swine Flu? “I am extremely worried about getting H1N1,” senior Ashley McKoy said. “I don’t think everyone is taking this seriously and because of that are not taking the necessary precautions.”

UTC has sent out numerous mass e-mails giving students updates and resources on what to do about Swine Flu. “I think UTC has done a decent job warning students about Swine Flu,” junior Stacie Calhoun said. “It’s not like the school is trying to keep it under wraps. Between the e-mails, and posters all over campus, I think the message is clear.”

While UTC is notifying students and faculty on health issues, another card comes into play. How should students and faculty react to students who have come down with Swine Flu.

“The CDC recommends that anyone diagnosed with H1N1 stay in doors away from others,” Dr. Smith said. “Even if this means missing classes or school events.”

Change in Class Policies:

Recently, Dr. Phil Oldham, Provost of Academic Affairs, released an e-mail to all UTC faculty. In the e-mail Dr. Oldham requested that all faculty reevaluate their attendance policies so to not encourage sick students to come to class. In addition, he asked the teachers to eliminate the requirement that student’s bring in a doctor’s note if they have fallen ill.

While recommendations are made, the school cannot force teachers to change attendance and make-up work policy, Sanders said. “We can hope that teachers will work around sick student’s conditions because no one wants an ill student wandering around campus, but the faculty does things on their own terms.”

Who is at Risk:

While all students are at risk, students in such groups as athletics, fraternities, and sororities are at an even higher risk, according to Dr. Smith. “The main thing to do to prevent this is stay away from large crowds, and those groups seem to be surrounded by large crowds more than others.”

What To Do:

With only 22 cases of confirmed H1N1 on campus, the cause for concern is low. If students wish to avoid H1N1 at all costs all they need do is take the necessary precautions. “Washing your hands with warm soap and water, having anti-bacterial products handy, and consulting a doctor immediately if you feel ill are simple things you can do to protect yourselves and others,” Dr. Smith said.

The H1N1 vaccine will be available to all students for no charge in mid-October at the campus health center. Until then, everyone is encouraged to stay alert and stay healthy.

Budget Cuts: Whose Turn is it Now?

By: Catherine Daniels-Smith

Chattanooga, TN (UTC)–  In the upcoming academic year, UTC is planning on making significant budget cuts to any area the institution deems necessary.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission produced a list of academic programs that have produced the lowest amount of graduates in the past ten years.  Parts of UTC’s language department fell into these categories along with humanities.

“From that list people began to say we were dropping those programs, but that’s never been the case,” Chuck Cantrell, University Relations spokesman said.

UTC will be reviewing the academic programs again at which time they will look at many criteria, not just the number of graduates from a program.

“We do not anticipate cutting any academic programs,” Cantrell said.  “We did out best to protect all of the academic departments especially the faculty.”

The athletic department has faced the brunt of the budget cuts.  The department is staffed only by a few people and have unfortunately had their budget cut again.  According to the department’s spokesman, if the issues at hand go continually unnoticed, the department will be heavily impacted.

According to the budget, the university was planning on hiring more full time faculty to facilitate the need for more teachers caused by larger student populations.  The university however, plans to use more part time faculty to teach classes which is expected to save the school around $200,000.

“We need more teachers,” Emily Cloud, a junior from Cleveland said.  “Students are already having a hard enough time finding classes, and it will only get worse.”

UTC recently learned the school will receive money from the economic bailout, which should help displace some of the budget cuts.

Back to School Blues

By: Meaghan Dant

Chattanooga, TN (UTC)– Though the oppresive heat of summer is still blazing, summer vacation is officially over, and the 2009-2010 school year is in full effect.

August 17, a day many students have been dreading, is upon education seekers at UTC.  The campus has the hustle and bustle of a new and perhaps hectic school year present on every sidewalk and inside every building.

The first day of school is different than the rest, according to senior Ashley McKoy.  “You can tell that the first day of school is in full swing.  There’s no parking anywhere, and the campus police are already writing unlucky students tickets.”

See a report from WRCB Channel-3 Eyewitness News on the first day of class at UTC.


Looking around campus, it is easy to spot the lost freshman meandering around with a map, and it’s interesting to note how different their reaction to school seems to be when compared to their upperclassman counter-parts.

The first day of fall classes at UTC brings record enrollment

Upperclassman seem to have a different agenda than the young freshman class.  “My priorities my last semester have completely changed when compared to my first semester,” McKoy said.  “My first day four years ago was all about finding my class, and catching up with friends.  This time, I’m here to go to class, and leave.  I only have nine hours left and that’s all that matters.”

Kayla McFall, a freshman from Knoxville, TN., admits that her nerves from being away from home are present as she starts her career as a college student.  “I have mixed feelings about my first day; I’m both scared and excited.”

Though Kayla has expected first day jitters, campus committees and activity groups, set up their tables and booths all around campus, offering students information and refreshments.

Kayla is one of nearly 2,300 freshman attending UTC this semester according to Chuck Cantrell, Assistant Vice Chancellor of University Relations.  “Not only freshman enrollment has increased since last year, our overall enrollment has improved by leaps and bounds.”

As of the first day, UTC has well over 10,000 students walking the campus, but Cantrell believes that number will dwindle after a couple of weeks.  “I expect to have around 10,200 students as the final count after the 14 day settling down period.  Once students are done changing their schedules, or perhaps decide to leave, campus will calm down quite a bit.”

While campus will come to a settling point by the end of the month, right now students should expect long lines, and arrive to campus in plenty of time to find a decent parking spot.

Dining Services Branches Out

By Jouy Thomas

Chattanooga, TN (UTC)– UTC’s food services is opting for a new communication avenue to better communicate and reach out to students.

Retisa Redmond, a member of the food services committee, said that because it is difficult for food services to reach out to students the committee will design a Facebook page to keep students aware of what is happening.

The committee’s purpose behind creating the Facebook page is to keep students perspectives and reactions involved in department changes.

The page will include information about changes in hours, new menu options, and upgrades to current facilities, according to Remond.

Although the student body may want another dining facility on campus, budget concerns make it impossible to construct a new facility at the present time.

Dining services is considering replacing the current burger company, Grill Works, according to Redmond, however no plans are final.  “If there are any new facilities, it will be mentioned on the Facebook page,” Redmond said.

Dining services is currently making changes to better serve students, according to Remond.  Hours of operation for the UC food court will change on holidays such as Martin Luther King Day and Labor Day, allowing students to visit the food court, when before the facility was closed.  “These changes will take place this fall,” Remond said.

Recently, dining services began opeing Subway station in Campus Crossroads to bring more revenue.  Redmond said the extra funds will be able to ease the pain of budget cuts that everyone is feeling.

Geraldin Cosper, an Aramark employee said that one more eating facility on campus would be helpful.  Aramark is the company that is contracted by the university to manage dining services.

“The food services committee works hard to accommodate students,” Redmond said.  “However food services has a budget that they have to stick to.”

Facebook: A Communication Breakthrough

By: Katherine Harden

Chattanooga, TN (UTC)– Reconsider Facebook’s prevalence on college campuses before you deny its friend request.  Facebook, a social networking Website, is changing the way college students communicate.

Raley Parker, a freshman seminar professor, requires that students in his class have a Facebook profile.  “It’s a great way to stay connected and a good avenue for introducing students to the university,” Parker said.

He posts the class syllabus, assignments, and any information about upcoming class events all on Facebook.

Parker said it is a nice change from the widely used Blackboard, and he believes his students enjoy it.  Parker uses Facebook to posts events and create groups for his classes.

Unlike Blackboard, Facebook allowed more convenience for his students.  “It also made me more available than just posted office times,” Parker said.

He recalled his college years when he didn’t have a cell phone and said that Facebook has changed the way college students interact.

“Many college students today would be kidding themselves if they said they’re not on Facebook more than once a day,” Morgan Loftin, Clarksville, Tenn., junior, said.

Loftin said she uses Facebook mostly for social networking and keeping in touch with old friends.  She also said she receives invitations and important messages about her sorority through Facebook.

Loftin said most people have a Facebook account because it connects you to people instantly.  She said she believes Facebook has changed the way college students communicate and that it could make class communication easier.

“Facebook will continue to be an influential part of college life in the future,” she said. 


















Rafting: A Trip of a Lifetime

By: Meaghan Dant

Chattanooga, TN–  Though summer time is in full effect, not everyone gets time off.  However, a day trip to Polk County is just what someone needs to get their mind off of work.

Even though Polk County doesn’t resonate with most people’s sense of adventure, a closer glance at the main attraction is a different story.

Rafting down the class IV Ocoee River will get your heart pumping and leave a smile on your face.  If some think this river too modest, a head on collision with a class IV rapid should change their mind.  There are over 20 class III and IV rapids on the Middle Ocoee, and never a dull moment.

Cherokee Rafting is one of nearly 30 companies in the Polk County area waiting to take visitors down the river.  Experienced guides lead rafting trips down the river to have a journey like no other.

Guides at Cherokee Rafting are trained for three months or longer.  “We start training in March and do not allow the trainees on the river until we are 100% sure they can handle anything that comes their way,” guide of 15 years Blake McPherson said.”

Blake also said that every guide is trained in first aid and CPR, and many have higher levels of medical training.  Before each trip, all rafters are instructed to put on a helmet, life jacket, and are given an oar to assist the guide in getting through the rapids and down the river. 

Before venturing onto the river, a guide leader informs everyone of how to properly use their equipment and what to do in an emergency.  After the brief discussion, everyone piles onto a school bus and heads toward the starting point of the rafting journey.

Rafting the Middle Ocoee is great for beginners and the experienced.  The trip takes approximately two hours while you travel down five miles of river.

First time rafter Brittney Preston admitted she was a little timid about rafting the class IV river.  “Before I went rafting I was a little nervous, but after we got the boat in the water I was having a good time.”

Even though people raft for different reasons, McPherson believes the nature aspect draws intrigued guests to the river year after year. 

The wide array of majestic scenery along with breath taking views leaves visitors to the Ocoee in awe.  ” Everyone goes rafting for a different reason, but I have never had a disappointed guest,” McPherson said.

McPherson also feels that the incessant amount of team work is another reason people journey to the river.  “The camaraderie aspect is huge,” Blake said.  “Everyone works together while rafting.  If you take your boss out on the river, they will do as much work as anyone else.”

Rafting is not all fun and games, however.  With the sun beating down on your back to paddling through class III and IV rapids, you will be tired by the end of the trip.

The combination of a great guide, the water, and the excitement of doing something new equals a fun-filled day exploring the Ocoee.

Preston said she would definitely recommend rafting to a friend.  “I absolutely had a blast and would recommend it to anyone; my experience on the Ocoee was one of a kind.”

Though you’re tired and soaked by the end of the trip, the exhilarating adrenaline rush one gets by rafting the Ocoee is something everyone should experience.

To find out more about rafting and other outdoor adventures, please visit the Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association.

Looking Back: The Mocs’ 15 Minutes of Fame

By: Amanda Reno

Chattanooga, TN (UTC)–  Even though the UTC Mocs men’s basketball team lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament, fans and a well known comedian applauded the team’s hard work and dedication.

The Mocs got their 15 minutes of stardom after late night host Jimmy Fallon adopted the team as his own after learning that the 16th seeded Mocs were playing UConn in the first round of the tournament.

After an upsetting loss, the Mocs were unsure of how Fallon would react to the less than surprising upset.  However, Head Coach John Shulman said he was grateful for the way that the late night host treated the team after the loss to number one seeded Connecticut.

“It is unbelievable,” Shulman said.  “We played the worst basketball game we could possibly play against future NBA guys, and I was concerned about what they were going to do that night.”  However, Shulman said Fallon handled it with class.

Coach John Shulman

Coach John Shulman

Shulman and captain Zach Ferrel said they appreciated Fallon’s national support and exposure and think it will do great things for recruiting. 

Shulman lamented that he was initially reluctant to be on the show because he wanted to protect his players, and he also wanted to avoid any further embarrassment.  However, since Fallon assured Coach Shulman that his intentions are good, Shulman said he hopes Fallon will continue to support the Mocs in the future.

The late night host invited Shulman and his six seniors to “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” the night after the big loss to UConn, March 20.  “They were all super excited for us to be there and just supportive,” Ferrel said.  “I didn’t feel like they were trying to make fun or anything at all.”

When Shulman and the seniors were recognized, Jimmy Fallon said that he wanted to get together after the show.  Shulman said he came over and spoke with them for 30 minutes and was very genuine.  Shulman said he thanked Fallon and the writers because they could have “buried” them, but instead were supportive.

After their meeting, Shulman let Fallon know that the Mocs will make it to the Big Dance next year, and this would not be the last time they would be seeing each other.

Shulman has been in contact with Fallon since the show, and is hoping Fallon will make a Chattanooga appearance and help kick off the 2009 basketball season.

To view a video clip of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon featuring the Mocs, click the link below.

Video clip