Brittney’s whirlwind to success

Written by Taylor Moore

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has various stand out college programs, especially within the College of Communication and Information. Many students have gone on to get jobs at the world’s largest publications and television media. One southern girl, Brittney Bryant, proves you can make the most of UT’s communication program and land a pretty amazing job.

UT alumna, Brittney Bryant, is a meteorologist at the Mid-South’s leading multi-media company at WMC Action News 5 in Memphis, Tennessee. Nevertheless, this goal-driven young woman didn’t get where she is without putting in the work.

Bryant graduated from Ridgeway High School in 2007 in east Memphis. Her college selection process in her senior year didn’t exactly go as planned.

“I had all these different schools I applied to. Most of them were out of state; I think UT was the only school I applied to that was in state,” Bryant said. “When it really came down to it, I started looking into costs versus gain.”

With hopes to attend an out-of-state college, Bryant realized that a degree from an out of state college wouldn’t be as valuable as a degree from UT in “one of the finest journalism programs in the U.S,” as stated by Bryant. She visited the campus and fell head over Tennessee hills.

“The broadcasting program was fantastic,” Bryant said. “For someone that lives in Tennessee, you cannot beat the value and the gain that you get from going to the University of Tennessee.”

Bryant honed her skills in broadcasting, writing and reporting during her time at UT.

“As far as learning to be a better broadcaster, Dr. Swan was really great at showing us what needed to be done in order for you to be better; be more creative, do more stand-ups, do more things, etcetera.”

Dr. Swan, director of internationalization and outreach, is still a vital part of the communication program many students come in contact with during their time here. Bryant took two classes from Dr. Swan: TV news reporting and producing. He said Bryant worked hard in school to get where she is.

“She was very personable, excellent on-camera skills and a great student.  She took advantage of all opportunities including a special trip to New York to tour the networks.”

Bryant realized that she didn’t have to stay in the broadcast bubble when it came to joining media outlets. She wrote for the Tennessee Journalist and was on WUTK 90.3 The Rock.

“Benny Smith at WUTK is one of the best people,” Bryant said. “He literally just pushes you to be better. He welcomed me into that station. He eventually promoted me to music director there to pick different music and talk to different promoters from record labels. And he made it to where I even got a paycheck eventually. It also really helped me work on my broadcast voice.”

Benny Smith is the general manager and program director for Volunteer Radio 90.3 The Rock. He shared a lot about “Brittney B,” the name she became known as on the air and around the station.

“Brittney was part of a very successful music department group while here, and she did a fantastic job for us.  She learned how to juggle many responsibilities, and it was a rare occasion that I ever had to remind her of what was needing done as far as her respective tasks,” Smith said.  “ I admired her even-headed approach to her tasks, and her determination to make sure a job that she started was also completed, and in the way we needed it to be done. She did an amazing job while here, and we miss her.”

By the time she was a junior, Bryant knew she wanted to be a meteorologist.

“I suggested a master’s degree offered by Mississippi State,” Swan said. “And that’s what she did.”

Bryant graduated in 2011 with her bachelor’s degree in Communications and Information with a focus in broadcast news and went to Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi for meteorology.

It was a tough four years for Bryant. Physics, math and other complex things went into her major, but by the end of the program, she knew those subjects had made an impact on her as a broadcast meteorologist.

“Thankfully from UT, I already knew how to do the broadcast side of things. I already had my broadcast voice and look.”

While at MSU, Bryant was an instructor for the beginning TV production class and enrolled in a storm chasing class where she was taught how to follow tornadoes while out in the field.

Bryant got a job in South Carolina straight out of school in 2014 at WMBF-TV where she did traffic on the weekdays and weather on the weekend. Although it was enough pay to cover living expenses, there wasn’t much money left for anything outside of that. Because of this, she had to nanny on the side.

She later transferred to her current job and was later promoted.

Bryant credits her inspiration for becoming a meteorologist to her stepfather Brian Teigland, who was also a Memphis meteorologist.

“I got to grow up having someone who could answer my questions about the weather. He really sparked my interest in weather,” she said. “I was really scared to go on with this path and follow in his footsteps, but he was always super encouraging and with him being in this business, I had a lot of allies at UT and at Mississippi State.”

Bryant advises students to network and meet people who can help you get to the pinnacle of success. She found out about a lot of different jobs and opportunities through people she went to school with or people she had met at internships.

“Find someone that can mentor you and already has that job you want,” Bryant said. “Chances are, that person would love to help you.”

In addition to being a meteorologist, Bryant also has a fashion blog that she started in college. She got into it at MTSU so she could tell people what they want to know, which is what to wear based on the weather.

“It’s nice to have something that’s just yours. It’s likely going to be something that makes you happy.”

Bryant advises those wanting to achieve their dreams to hustle. She worked endlessly to know everything about the business front and back. The more you know, the more successful you’re going to be and the more people are going to respect you.

“If you want to be on top, every single day you have to be working to be better,” Bryant said. “No one is going to work as hard for you as you work for yourself. It’s not easy, and it can be stressful, but there’s a lot of reward in this business.”

Featured image courtesy of Taylor Moore

Edited by Taylor Owens

VOLT bids farewell to seniors, spring semester

On the final Monday evening before exams, a cappella group VOLT hosted its spring concert in Alumni Memorial Building.

The co-ed a cappella group debuted in 2015. Though relatively new to UT, the group does not shy away from any challenge, performing a wide variety of songs. “Mi Gente” originally performed by J Balvin and Willy William became an early crowd favorite.

Spencer Morrell, a current VOLT member, weighed in on his favorite piece from the evening.

“I’d have to say my favorite song that we performed at this concert was ‘Moonlight’ by Ariana Grande which we mashed up with ‘Moonlight Sonata’ by Ludwig van Beethoven,” Morrell said. “The song has beautiful jazz beats and the sonata meshes incredibly well with the pop song. It’s fun to perform and our soloist, Allison, does an incredible job.”

Morell sings bass in the group. However, joining VOLT never occurred to him until a previous member on Pedestrian Walkway asked him about his singing background. “The rest is history” he said.

Morrell, a history major, represents the diverse backgrounds of VOLT. The group, coming from various academic departments, looks to be active across campus. Recently, the Imagine campaign for SGA invited them to perform in Presidential Court.

Like the singers’ backgrounds, their sound encompasses a mix of sounds and genres. While the concert proved lively, bittersweet feelings permeated the end as the members bid farewell to graduating seniors. In the final song, VOLT alumni joined members on stage to perform their swan song, “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.”

VOLT plans to keep growing and will return in the fall.

Written by Lauren Claxton

Featured Image courtesy of VOLT on Facebook

Design by Sarah Smith

 

 

Vols drop weekend series at No. 20 Georgia

In a three-game weekend series, the Tennessee Volunteers baseball team (25-21, 8-13 SEC) traveled to Athens to take on the No. 20 ranked Georgia Bulldogs (30-14, 12-9 SEC). The Bulldogs got the best of the Vols in the first two games of the series, but Tennessee took home a win in the series finale on Sunday.

Game one of the series, Sean Hunley got the nod for the Volunteers on the mound. In 3.2 innings of work, Hunley gave up three runs on five hits while striking out two batters. Hot bats from the Bulldogs ultimately ended Hunley’s day early. Andrew Shultz, Redmond Walsh and Donovan Benoit replaced Hunley on the mound for the remainder of the game. Shultz ultimately picked up the loss for Tennessee, as Georgia went on to win game one 8-6.

Saturday’s game held the same outcome for the Vols, with Georgia taking game two and the series with a 12-4 thumping of the orange-and-white. Garrett Stallings got the start in game two for Tennessee, after he pitched four innings and allowing eight runs on 10 hits. Stallings also struck out one batter in his performance.

Much like game one, hot bats for the Bulldogs were too much for the Volunteers to overcome. With 14 hits in the game and scoring four runs in the second and fourth innings, Georgia put the game too far out of reach for Tennessee to overcome. The Vols would get their revenge in game three at Foley Field.

In Sunday’s extra inning classic, Tennessee went on to defeat the Bulldogs 6-5. Junior Will Neely would get the start on Sunday for the Vols, as he pitched 5.2 innings while allowing three runs on six hits. Freshman Garrett Crochet would replace Neely and pick up the win for Tennessee. Crochet pitched 4.1 innings and retired four batters in the win against the Bulldogs.

The Volunteers dominated the first four innings of game three, as they scored five runs in the first four innings. However, Georgia came back and tied it up in the bottom of the ninth inning at 5-5 and sent the game into extra innings. A Justin Ammons single to right field would bring home Jay Charleston to give Tennessee a 6-5 lead and ultimately win the matchup with the Bulldogs.

“Standard procedure for Will (Neely). We just got done telling the team that he’s a warrior,” said Volunteers head coach Vitello about Neely. “You wouldn’t know it if you weren’t watching the game, but he’s a competitor and that’s the type of effort you get from him every time.”

The next test for Tennessee will be at home on May 1 against the Morehead State Eagles. First pitch for Tuesday’s game is set for 6:30 p.m. ET inside Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville.

Written by Cole McCormick 

Edited by Seth Raborn

Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

Vols come up short against Tennessee Tech

Tennessee welcomed the No. 21 Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles for a midweek matchup inside Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The game, originally scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, took place Wednesday following inclement weather.

Even with an extra day to prepare, the Volunteers fell short to the Golden Eagles 7-6. Tennessee Tech won 26 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation.

Sophomore left-hander Will Heflin got the start for Tennessee. He pitched four innings and allowed three runs on five hits. Heflin also struck out two batters in his performance in a tough outing.

The orange-and-white fell early in the game after allowing three runs through the first four innings. Freshman outfielder Zach Daniels and senior catcher Benito Santiago scored in the bottom of the fourth inning to spark the Vols comeback and near win.

An Evan Russell RBI double in the fifth inning brought home Pete Derkay, which cut the lead to 6-3. Russell eventually scored on an errant throw from the Tennessee Tech shortstop. Daniels hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, cutting the lead to 7-6. However, Tennessee’s efforts fell short as the Golden Eagles quieted Tennessee’s bats for the final two innings.

Though his outing ended in a loss, right-hander Zach Linginfelter pitched four innings and only allowed one run on four hits. He struck out eight batters for the Vols. His eight strikeouts tied a career best.

“It’s tough but I thought we fought the whole time,” Linginfelter said about his team’s performance. “They’re a good team. We’re going to have to beat teams like that.”

Tennessee Head Coach Tony Vitello expressed irritation following the loss.

“The whole day was frustrating. It was frustrating that we didn’t get to play yesterday,” Vitello said. “You have goofy stuff going on with calls and you have a potent offense over there. Call it strange, call it frustrating, call it weird, it’s all a loss.”

The Vols travel to Athens, Georgia next to take on the Bulldogs in a three-game weekend series. Game one of the series is set for 7 p.m. ET on Friday night.

Written by Cole McCormick

Edited by Seth Raborn

Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics 

Student talent, art reveals passions

UPerk, the coffee shop located at the UKirk House, showcased a wide range of student artwork April 24. As students toured the full room, UT student Alayna Cameron took the stage with a ukulele in hand.

Cameron’s setlist included a personal touch. She played songs of Tennessee natives as attendees toured the gallery.

UkeUperk

Students Caleb Pittenger, Caroline Rowcliffe, Maggie Stroud and Emma Vieser presented some of their favorite pieces as Cameron played. Their artwork represented different mediums – from wood to photography.

At the end of the evening, some of the artists walked away with fewer pieces than they brought, selling several pieces of art. Maggie Stroud, one of the contributing artists, elaborated on one of her favorite works.

ArtworkUPerk
“This was just a simple line drawing I did, but it’s very much based on my hometown of San Antonio, Texas and the aesthetic that is so unique to Tejano culture,” Stroud said. “In the springtime, we celebrate Fiesta, and everywhere you look there are dancers with ‘halo’ flower crowns and traditional Mexican dresses. It’s so gorgeous and it reminds me of home.”

Stroud is not new to the art scene. Although she majors in English Literature, art has always had a place in her heart. Her upbringing keeps her interested in creating.

“I’ve always been drawing obsessively. My family is very creative, and my mom is an artist herself, so I grew up watching her,” she said. “But, I think more than anything, it was my love of stories. Illustration is just visual storytelling, and even before I could read, that was something I understood.”

Caleb Pittenger told his stories through spoken word. He recited poetry recently featured in UT’s Phoenix magazine.

CalebUPerk

Through different creative mediums, students displayed their passions and character.

 

Written by Lauren Claxton

Photos by Lauren Claxton

 

Lady Vols drop contest versus Alabama

After sweeping No. 17 Alabama over weekend on the road, seventh-ranked Tennessee (40-9, 10-8 SEC) fell by a score of 4-0 on Monday. Crimson Tide pitcher Alexis Osorio again  pitched well against the Lady Vols with seven strikeouts in the seven-inning shutout.

Tennessee sophomore Cailan Hannon’s got one hit to avoid an Osorio no-hitter. After seemingly solving their offensive issues, the Lady Vols faced a shutout for the first time since their weekend series with Auburn earlier in April.

Alabama took no time getting on the board at Rhoads Stadium, as Caroline Hardy drove in a run off a single to center field. The third inning ultimately finished Tennessee, as the Crimson Tide tallied two runs on tosses from Vols pitcher Matty Moss. Merris Booker and Sydney Booker both drove in runs for Alabama with a pair of hits.

Tennessee took Moss out of the contest after the inning following three earned runs and no strikeouts in her two innings pitched. Caylan Arnold finished out the game for the Lady Vols, but she faced adversity as well.

Poor fielding once again bit Tennessee, as an error in the sixth inning brought around Booker to give the Crimson Tide a 4-0 lead. Arnold finished the game with three walks, four strikeouts and one earned run allowed.

The shutout marked Alabama’s 12th this year, as the heart of the Crimson Tide’s lineup gave them all four of their runs on Monday. All six of Alabama’s hits came from different players in the win.

After the loss, the Lady Vols tied Texas A&M for fourth place in the SEC standings. Tennessee needs wins in two important series before the SEC Tournament in Columbia, Missouri in just over two weeks.

Up next, the orange-and-white face Kentucky for a weekend series in Knoxville at Sherri Lee Parker Stadium. The Volunteers finish up their season on the road in Starkville against Mississippi State before the SEC Tournament. First pitch of Tennessee’s series with the Wildcats is set for 6 p.m. ET on SEC Network+.

Written by Seth Raborn

Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics