Category: Music

One Immigrant: The Story of Celeste Varagona

One Immigrant: The Story of Celeste Varagona tells the life story of Italian immigrant, Celeste Varagona. Ms. Varagona teaches piano and lives in Oak Ridge, TN. She regularly  travels to Chattanooga for piano competitions.

About the Storyteller

Rachel McIntyre Smith.
Rachel McIntyre Smith

One Immigrant: The Story of Celeste Varagona was created by Rachel McIntyre Smith. This multi-media piece was made in COMM 4750, Photojournalism 2, during the Fall 2017 semester.

Rachel McIntyre Smith is a junior Communications and Spanish major at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She is a member of the Brock Scholars program and serves as the student trustee on the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career in songwriting.

Copyright 2017, Rachel McIntyre Smith, all rights reserved.

UTC TAPS Project

Begun in 2016, the TAPS Project is an annual event honoring Veterans of the armed forces. Trumpet players from greater Chattanooga gather on the campus of the University of Tennessee (UTC) to play TAPS. Players spread out across campus and the song is played as a contagion, with TAPS begun by one player and other players joining in as the song progresses.

This film documents the first TAPS Project, performed on November 11, 2016. In 2017 the TAPS Project will be performed on November 10, beginning at 9:45 am.

About the Storytellers

The UTC Taps Project film was created by Mitchell George and Justan Li for Mocs News, a UTC Student Media outlet. The story won Best Feature in the TN College AP Awards. Mitchell George and Justan Li graduated with degrees in Communication in 2017.


Justan Li.
Justan Li

Justan Li is a videographer/photographer who currently works part-time at the UTC TV Studio. He received his B.A in Communication in 2017 at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In those four years, Justan has won multiple awards, such as Best Shot at Capture Chattanooga, a Community Filmmaking project in 2014 and Best Videographer for the TN College AP Awards in 2016. His passion for video work actually happened on a whim when he decided to take a film and video class at Arlington High School his sophomore year. He also works closely with a good friend when it comes to filming weddings and creating short films. Justan currently lives in Chattanooga and is willing to film anything he can get his hands on. He can be contacted at

Copyright 2016, Mitchell George and Justan Li, all rights reserved.