Category: UTC

Why We Walk

Christian Watson participates in the UTC ROTC’s 11 Hours of Remembrance around Chamberlain field. The memorial went from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., making sure that the American flag never stopped circling the field. Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 (Photo by Allie Schrenker)

Captain Kevin Beavers walked onto Chamberlain field with one goal in mind–to remember the impact of 9/11.

“We’re just having conversations,” Beavers said. “The biggest thing with us, in the military, is that we never forget. Someone is truly never forgotten as long as you speak their name.”

From 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Captain Beavers encouraged people to show up, be patriotic, and tell their stories. And for 11 hours, the American flag never stopped circulating the field, passing from one pair of hands to another.

Both UTC students and members of the public were encouraged to show their support by walking or running laps around Chamberlain field.

UTC students Rhonda Watts, Brooke Burns, Morgan Hill, nd Pare Penne carry lags around Chamberlain Field in memory of 9/11, on Tuesday September 11, 2018. (Photo by Elian Richter)

Candy Johnson, a community member and apart of the Chancellor’s Multicultural task force, participated in the event. Johnson was in college when she heard about 9/11. “I thought the world was ending,” Johnson said, “I thought we were going to have another world war.”

Johnson said her participation in this event was out of reverence than respect and that she was “honoring the military for continuing the mission that was established that day.”

Stephen Zurlo carries an America flag around Chamberlain Field as part of a memorial service for 9/11 on Tuesday, September 11, 2018. (Photo by Elian Richter) Zurlo said that he was in New York, at the age of four, during the time of the attack in 2001 and feels that he has a personal connection to the event.

However, some participants were too young to really recall much of the events of 9/11. Mason Beebe, a senior and member of UTC’s ROTC program, said, “I remember seeing it on TV and that it was a really big deal. It took a couple years to sink in.”

Eventually the impact did sink in. “It was an affirmation for me,” he said, referring to the events of 9/11, “This is why I want to serve.”

Christian Watson (left) and Bailey Ferguson (right) march around Chamberlain field to show their respects for the victims of 9/11 during UTC ROTC’s 11 Hours of Remembrance. Tuesday, September 11, 2018. (photo by Allie Schrenker)

Many different groups came out and showed their support during UTC ROTC’s event, “11 Hours of Remembrance.” Members of fraternities, sororities, and athletic teams walked laps around the field, holding the American flag high. Many veterans and current servicemen also paid their respects.

Avery Hurst, a member of the community and surgeon for the armed forces, also participated in the event. Like Mason Beebe, Hurst used the tragic event to fuel her own inner fire, inspiring her to become a surgeon and join the military. Hurst dedicated her walk to both her “strong roots in service” and the heroism of the first responders.

Army Recruiter Justin Jones participates in UTC ROTC’s event, 11 Hours of Remembrance on Tuesday, September 11, 2018. (photo by Allie Schrenker)

Captain Beavers wanted Chattanooga to remember the victims of 9/11 and the impact it’s had in this country. He set out to connect the past, present, and future of those who experienced it first hand and those who have only heard about it through history books. And through this event, “11 Hours of Remembrance,” he did exactly that.






Meet the Storytellers

Picture4 copy

Allie Schrenker

Allie Schrenker is a committed athlete studying Communications and Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with plans to graduate in May 2019. She is one of the editors for UTC’s literary journal and is currently pursuing a career in photojournalism.


Tiffany Closson

Tiffany Closson is a senior marketing major at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She studied luxury fashion in Paris and has spent time in photojournalism working with local stories. As a marketing intern she has knowledge in website analytics and social media management.



Brianna (Charlye) White

Brianna (Charlye) White is in her senior year at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, majoring in Communications. She is the Community Outreach Assistant for the Bethlehem Center, and a Writer and News Anchor for her school news media, Mocs News. Visit to view her work and email her at to learn more.

Jackson Hollis

Jackson Hollis has been a photojournalist for the UTC Echo for almost a year. He has shot many events for the paper including including parades, rally’s, sports events, and more. Jackson has lived in Chattanooga for over 3 years and loves sports and the outdoors. Jackson can be contacted either by cell (615) 479-5115 or by email


Elian Richter

Elian Richter is an climbing instructor and action photographer. Elian works at High Point Climbing gym as a certified instructor and as a backup photographer. He now combines the skills learned from climbing with the skills he’s acquired in photography to do photo shoots for climbers and outdoors enthusiasts.



Copyright 2018, Rising Rock Media, all rights reserved.

Appreciating women veterans of Chattanooga

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs , the United States has around 21 million veterans. A little more than 2 million of these veterans are women.

While Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11 honors all veterans, Women in the Military Appreciation Day, on Nov. 7, specifically celebrates the women who have served or are currently serving in the military.

To pay homage to both Veteran’s Day and Women in the Military Appreciation Day, The University Echo interviewed three female veterans, who have ties to Chattanooga, about their service.

Continue reading “Appreciating women veterans of Chattanooga”

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.

A New Source for Storytelling


Rising Rock is a new storytelling project featuring non-fiction stories about greater Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Contributors to Rising Rock are students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). The site is a combined effort of UTC’s Department of Communication and UTC’s student publications, including The Echo (student newspaper), The Perch (student digital radio station), and MocsNews (student video news program).

Follow Rising Rock at: