The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga closes out the last stop on its fall 2023 Power C Tour on Wednesday, Nov. 8, celebrating what UTC has to offer from the heart of campus.
After traveling to Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville for October Power C Tour stops, Director of New Student and Family Programs Carrie Sherbesman, along with countless other staff, faculty and students participating in the annual recruitment circuit, are preparing for one big event—and quickly following it up with the Blue and Gold Preview Day Saturday, Nov. 11.
Both events will take place at the University Center.
“It’s really funny to watch people come in because they’re always impressed with the amount of people that are there,” Sherbesman said. “I think that speaks to like everybody has the same goal and mission.”
Bringing UTC to other cities across Tennessee, Sherbesman worked to ensure everyone had transportation and a place to stay while touring, taking busy schedules into consideration when planning the event.
“It’s hard to wrangle 50 or 60 staff members to go to Memphis for one night,” Sherbesman said. “Especially when you get into professors coming in and the Chancellor’s schedule, it’s very hard to get everyone to do it together, but everyone’s made it a priority.”
Instead of prospective students traveling across the state to visit campus, UTC brought campus to them, hoping to excite them with the possibility of living in UTC’s Scenic City home.
“The goal of the Power C Tour, I’d say, is to go to the city but entice them to want to come to campus,” Sherbesman said.
Erica Holmes-Trujillo is the director of the Hub, the student success center for the College of Arts and Sciences. She said the Hub represents the diverse academic options within the college and works to support each academic department best when traveling from city to city.
“The College of Arts and Sciences is incredibly large and incredibly diverse,” Holmes-Trujillo said. “I definitely feel a weight when I go out to these recruiting events to make sure that I do right by all of our academic departments.”
In Holmes-Trujillo’s presence on the Power C Tour, she enjoyed connecting one-on-one with students and parents.
“It is a really great opportunity to talk to both students and parents about what’s so great about UTC, to really showcase our selling points,” Holmes-Trujillo said. “Even in our largest major in the college, you are getting access to things as an undergraduate that at a larger institution, usually Knoxville or something like that, you wouldn’t get as an undergraduate.”
After being unable to participate in every stop on the tour last year, Holmes-Trujillo lit up when recollecting the fun she had getting to be a part of the entire experience this fall.
“I’m excited about having made one-on-one personal connections this year and hopefully be able to see those students at a future orientation,” Holmes-Trujillo said.
A native of Nashville, Holmes-Trujillo said she was delighted to share her personal experiences— moving to Colorado for college and ending up back in Tennessee to work at UTC.
“I was in college. I went away to school. I worked for a while and then I’ve kind of come back. This is like home to me,” Holmes-Trujillo said. “Being able to tell families that are not from the greater Chattanooga area, ‘Your child, your students are going to be in good hands when they come here.’”
Recognizing the struggles parents and students face when preparing to step away from the comfort of home to come to college, Holmes-Trujillo assures them that the UTC family takes care of each other.
“Our staff here know who their students are,” Holmes-Trujillo said. “They know what their interest is. They know what the challenges are this semester.”
Now preparing for the Power C Tour’s last stop and the bi-annual Blue and Gold Preview Day, Holmes-Trujillo hopes to see the familiar faces of families she has met along the way while also looking forward to the more in-depth view of UTC that preview day offers.
“A number of students who come to the Power C Tours then also come to Blue and Gold Preview Day,” Holmes-Trujillo said. “The Blue and Gold Preview Day is just kind of a deeper dive into the UTC community.”