Job Fair educates on proper interview skills

Vols always help Vols, and that does not change after you graduate. Katie Gillman, a UT graduate who has been a recruiter from Enterprise holdings for 9 years, held a workshop designed to teach students how to interact with employees in a career fair setting on Thursday in preparation for the upcoming job fair next week.

Gillman covered how to dress, how to speak, what to bring, and how to separate yourself from the competition by following up with employers, increasing face to face time, and learning how to sell yourself as an asset to a company.

Arguably the most important thing you can do to set yourself apart is to have a good “elevator speech.” This in essence means your initial introduction to a possible employer which should include your name, major, year of graduation, and why you are interested in this company. Wes McNeillie, a junior majoring in Business Finance, is attending the job fair next week and found out he had something to work on. “I didn’t know about the ‘elevator speech,’ that’s new to me. I also didn’t know speaking firmly made such an impression on them.” In fact according to Katie Gillman, that first impression is everything. “I look at their handshake” she said, “I look at how firm it is and how they speak to me.” You truly could employ yourself in the minds of the recruiters depending on how well your introduction is.

Juniors and Seniors will be looking to blow the recruiters away this week at the fair and hopefully be on their way to a good full-time career. Katie Gillman provided all the students present with great tips on how to be successful in the upcoming interviews they will have with recruiters and hopefully the companies are impressed with what the University of Tennessee has to offer to today’s job market.


Edited by: Zach Dennis

U.S. News ranks University of Tennessee 47th among all public universities

Neyland Stadium overlooks the 47th ranked campus nationally.

The U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 rankings of national and public universities has officially been released and the University of Tennessee was ranked 101st among all national universities- the same result as previous rankings. UT was also ranked 47th among all public universities, which is down one spot from previous rankings.

In addition to the university’s results as a whole- the undergraduate business program was ranked 27th among all public universities, and 47th nationally. The undergraduate engineering program was ranked 37th among all public universities, and 65th nationally.

The rankings are determined from a variety of several factors. Some of the factors that UT showed improvement on this year included a higher six-year graduation rate, more classes with less than 20 students, faculty resources, alumni giving, and a better assessment from high school counselors. The specific key to success in the rankings is a higher graduation rate. Assistant Director of Media Relations, Amy Blakely, provided some insights on the progression that is being made towards this goal. “Improving our graduation rate is important for students and the university; it is a big part of our Top 25 journey. We’ve made significant gains over the past few years- our six-year graduation rate is now 66 percent, up from 60 percent three years ago- and we’re working hard to continue that improvement.”

“This fall, we implemented our new ‘Take 15, Graduate in 4’ tuition model for all full-time freshman and transfer students. It requires students to pay for fifteen hours regardless of how many hours they take, because you must take fifteen hours per semester if you are going to graduate in four years,” said Blakely. In addition to this plan she shared that, “We’ve also hired additional instructors for high-demand courses to ease bottlenecks, and we’ve implemented uTrack, a schedule monitoring system that will help students stay on track to an on-time graduation.”

As we all know, the goal for UT is to become a top 25 public research university. UT has created a three part vision that assists in striving towards this standard of excellence- value creation, original ideas, and leadership. With visions such as these being demonstrated- we are most certainly well on our way to achieving our goal.

Edited by Zach Dennis

Technology Fair returns to University Center

Students survey the headphones on display
The event, although slower than recent years, attracted steady crowds.

Tuesday morning saw the start of the VolTech technology fair, an annual event which showcases the Technology Center’s latest offerings. The fair was hosted at the Carolyn Brown Lounge in the University Center, and featured products from some of the top names in computing.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., vendors such as Apple, Adobe, Skullcandy, Speck and others showed off their new and upcoming product lines. Each brand was chosen to fill a specific niche of student life, a strategy which VolTech plans to expand upon in the new Technology Center. This is part of an ongoing effort to provide a shopping experience tailored to UT students.

Apple, Dell, and PCS represented the computer offerings available at the Technology Fair
Apple, Dell, and PCS represented the computer offerings available at the Technology Fair

A representative from Adobe was also present, offering information on the university’s push to provide up-to-date versions of popular Adobe software to students. The service was said to be available through all campus computer labs soon, but no specific date was given.

Door prize drawings were also held, and most vendors offered free stuff. Although traffic was slower than recent years, Yurbuds still managed to gather a big enough group for the “yurbuds challenge”, where students would attempt to shake the earbuds from their ears. Everyone who participated received a free pair, even though nobody was able to complete the challenge.

The fair was organized by Laura Lindell and Angie Stout, with the help of the rest of the VolTech employees. This year’s event marked the 20th anniversary of the Technology Fair.


Edited by Nichole Stevens

Celebrated scholar speaks on religious tolerance, political fear

Internationally acclaimed philosopher and political theorist Martha Nussbaum spoke at the University Center ballroom on Monday afternoon to deliver a lecture entitled, “The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear.”

Her lecture was the first installation of the new Humanities Center’s four-part series, “The Sacred and the Secular: Conflict and the Creation of a Moral World.”

Screen shot 2013-09-17 at 1.58.42 PMNussbaum focused primarily on the de facto “climate of fear and suspicion” towards those who are seen as different from the majority – particularly seen in today’s intolerance of Muslim culture.

Standing before an overflowing auditorium of onlookers, Nussbaum declared, “We need curious and mobile imaginations so that we become increasingly able through our educations to look at different people as not just shapes but as fellow citizens.

Nussbaum’s lecture centered around the headdress that Muslim women wear – the burka – and its banishment in numerous European countries.

“I think talking to someone with the burka is just as difficult as talking to someone who is blind, but unfortunately we still feel the fault is with the woman wearing the burka,” Nussbaum said.

Jed Longeway, a freshman at UT, believes that the benefits of having such a prestigious speaker on campus are twofold.

“I think that hopefully the people listening learned to be more accepting and less judgmental of people that don’t look like them or believe what they do,” said Longeway. “It also really helps UT to have such a famous scholar on campus.”

Martha Nussbaum has taught at Brown, Harvard, and currently is a Law and Ethics professor at the University of Chicago. She has written over 20 books (and over four-hundred essays) and her newest, Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice, will be published sometime this fall. She has over 45 honorary degrees from universities worldwide. Most recently, she was awarded the Prince of Austurias Award in Spain for her exceptional achievements in Social Sciences.

Edited by: Jessica Carr

Curiosity’s first year on Mars


A Self-portrait of Curiosity taken when first arriving on Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
A Self-portrait of Curiosity taken when first arriving on Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems


The Mars Rover Curiosity launched Nov. 26, 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission of Curiosity is to explore Mount Sharp. Jeffery Moersch, Ph.D., a professor of  geoscience in the UT Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, spoke on Friday about the results from Curiosity’s first year on Mars.

Moersch said the purpose of this mission is beyond looking for water. Curiosity is looking for signs of sustained life on Mars. In order to complete this mission, Curiosity needed more tools, and this is why Curiosity is the size of a car.

Moersch works on a special part of the rover called DAN. DAN is a part of the rover that was developed by the Russians. DAN’s purpose is to look at neutrons that are present in the soil of Mars and to look for signs of life.

Curiosity spent time exploring areas of Mars that were near its landing site for several months and is now making its way to Mount Sharp.

During the first year of its mission, Curiosity explored an area called Glenelg. While exploring this area, Curiosity discovered underlying bedrock that was rounded. High radiation was also detected at this area. Curiosity also explored an area called Yellowknife Bay where it found a diversity of rock types.

Two months ago, Curiosity began its long trek to its destination, and along the way, DAN is looking at the neutrons in the soil. Moersch said that DAN has made a big discovery along the way and that the results of their findings will be available soon.

For more information, you can follow along at Curiosity’s website.


Edited by Nichole Stevens 


MBA students put on hard hats for charity

Ryan McGill
Wanda Hines cheers as she commences the construction of her new Habitat House.

With hammers in hand and hard hats on, a group of enthusiastic volunteers walked towards a blank foundation that is soon to become a home. The Tennessee Organization of Master Business Administration students (TOMBA), in partnership with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity began construction of it’s eleventh home on Saturday.

Wanda Hines, who was accepted by Habitat for Humanity as the recipient of the house, was very thankful and excited to be there. “I sat there with my mouth open first. Then I asked if it was a joke because of my age,” said Hines. Hines, along with her adopted daughter, son and grand-son will be living in the new, four bedroom home. “This is going to help my family because my kids can go outside and play without me just being there continuously,” she said, “and I hope they keep the house after I’m gone. I’m praying that it will stay here.”

Ryan McGill
Hines working hard on a trestle that will hold the roof to her new home.

“Little rest because of all the noise and police,” said Hines on her previous home. “Now I can get up in the morning, rested, not complaining because I was up all night. So it will effect my job and work ethic because I won’t be tired.”

Habitat for Humanity has been constructing homes in Knox County since 1985. Bringing nearly 400 affordable homes for over 25 years to the Knoxville community and it’s citizens. They partner with several groups, and have joined forces with TOMBA for this build. “I’ve built close to 30 homes with Habitat for Humanity and been with them for about 3 years,” said Cliff Shadwell, the site’s foreman.

The volunteers weren’t just grad students and Habitat for Humanity employees, the Dean of the Business School at The University of Tennessee, Steve Mangum joined in. “I think it’s really important when you’ve been blessed in your life to be able to give back to to her in a variety of ways,” said Magnum. “This is an occasion to get together with people you work with on a regular basis and do something good for someone else,” said Mangum. Mangum has built homes with family before, but this is the first time he has been involved in building a house for someone else.

Habitat for Humanity doesn’t just throw four walls up and hand the keys over, they go out of their way to educate the recipients on home ownership through a series of classes based on budgeting and money management. “The classes you need to complete,” Hines said. “The only way I would be able to afford this is the classes. I am not a budgeter.”

The Tennessee Organization of Master Business Administrations is encouraged to organize philanthropic projects. With TOMBA entering its seventh year as a Covenant Partner with its primary charity, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, TOMBA has been giving back to the community in profound ways. The president of TOMBA welcomed everyone with a smile and open arms. While pounding nails alongside everyone else.

Daniel Conrad is a first year MBA student. This is his third event volunteering, being with TOMBA for five years. When asked if he has made any friendships with the recipients while volunteering replied, “Never personal, but I’ve seen some of them around and said hi.”

Ryan McGill
The first wall being erected by TOMBA and Habitat for Humanity volunteers.

Hines counted to three as a line of volunteers raised the first wall around 9:45am to cheers and smiles. The house is expected to be finished in seven to nine weeks. Mrs. Hines was greatly appreciative as the wall was erected and being nailed in place, walking past the line of people to thank each of them.

The construction is to last most of the day with hopes for the major pieces to be set in place before the team goes home. With hours of work behind them and more ahead, volunteers were still heard saying how excited and happy they were to be there.

With the work Habitat for Humanity and TOMBA have conducted, many citizens of Knox County have been given homes and a place to raise a family for over two decades with no end in sight.

Edited by Zach Dennis