Tag: Chattanooga

Get These Darn Kids Outside!

Julie Novak carries a bag of litter through the forest of Prentice Cooper State Park
Julie Novak carries a bag of litter through the forest of Prentice Cooper State Park. This was part of a TenneSEA sponsored student trash clean up on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. (Photo by: Benjamin Wilt)

In today’s age of increasing dissonance related to environmental issues, it can be hard to advocate for widespread policy and lifestyle changes. Julie Novak, who works for a clean water advocate group called TenneSEA, has noticed this disparity and is doing her part to influence the future by getting kids from local public schools excited about keeping the environment clean, and getting them involved.

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The Steward

The Steward tells the story of cavers working to preserve the Steward Spring cave following incidents of vandalism.

About the Storyteller

The Steward was created by Chris Halleen. This video was made in COMM 4800, Directed Project, during the Spring 2017 semester.

Chris Hallen received a BA in Communication from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in summer 2017.

Copyright 2017, Chris Halleen, all rights reserved.

New Life as a Single Mother

Alek Ferguson holding her baby daughter, Aurora Ferguson, in their home.
Alek Ferguson holding her baby daughter, Aurora Ferguson, in their home. (Photo by Rachel Garcia)

Alek Ferguson is a first-time single parent living in a small apartment in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Earlier this year, Alek and her husband found out they were pregnant, and within the first three months, her husband decided he was not ready for the responsibilities of having a child, so he moved out leaving Alek to go through the pregnancy alone.

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Invitation Only: Black Girl in a White World

JJ Dunigan is a senior at GPS.
JJ Dunigan is a senior at GPS. (Photo by Erica Roberts)

Girls Preparatory School, also known as GPS, is an all-girls private school in Chattanooga Tennessee. Since GPS is a private school, students must pay a tuition in order to enroll in the school. GPS girls are typically stereotyped using two characteristics: caucasian and wealthy. What does it look like to go to a school where you do not fit those stereotypes?

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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.

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.

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Hit Squad: A unique story of brotherhood

King of Hill - TroyStolt (3)
Joseph “2 Fast” Francisco follows through on an uppercut in the fourth round of his lightweight fight against Donte Bryant at Camp Jordan Arena on October 7, 2017. Francisco would go on to win a unanimous decision after six rounds (Photo by Troy Stolt).

The relationship between Roger “The Hitman” Hilley and Joseph “2 Fast” Francisco expands much farther than just any ordinary brotherhood. Their brotherhood feeds off the adrenaline and constant hard work that goes into the sport of boxing.

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Living with Mental Illness

Stacey Hurst, a 26-year-old living with paranoid schizophrenia, tells her story.

About the Storyteller

Jacob Babb

Living with Mental Illness was created by Jacob Babb. This multi-media piece was made in COMM 4750, Photojournalism 2, during the Spring 2017 semester. Jacob Babb is a communication major at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. According to Babb, his “main focus in the field, and passion, is photography and videography, with the goal to have my photos and films known the world over one day.”

Copyright 2017, Jacob Babb, 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 li.justan@gmail.com

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