The “Where in the World is Smokey?” challenge debuted two years ago as a way to draw attention to UT’s Ready for the World international and intercultural initiative. Smokey has visited all seven continents, 55 countries and now, after stopping in Mississippi, all 50 states.
Students, faculty, staff and alumni were offered free T-shirts to wear as they traveled. Participants then submitted photos of their adventures to UT. Hundreds of photos have been posted on the Ready for the World Web site and can be viewed at http://whereintheworldissmokey.blogspot.com/.
“‘Where in the World is Smokey?’ has been a huge hit with our university family and really helped us spread the word about Ready for the World,” said Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Sarah Gardial. “Smokey has traveled the globe and given our university family a chance to share stories about their adventures — and also talk to people around the world about the great things going on here at UT Knoxville.”
“Where in the World is Smokey?” concluded his global adventure this summer when Smokey finally visited his 50th state — Mississippi. (Submissions must be received by the end of this week to be posted on the Web site.)
The first person to submit a photo from Mississippi was Marshall Ramsey, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss. Ramsey is a 1991 graduate of UT’s College of Business Administration and worked as a cartoonist for The Daily Beacon. His Beacon work earned him the John Locher Memorial Award, the top prize awarded to college editorial cartoonists.
After learning that his photo from Vicksburg — home of the Vicksburg National Battlefield — completed Smokey’s worldwide trek, Ramsey created a special cartoon for “Where in the World is Smokey?”
“With ‘Where in the World is Smokey?’ wrapping up, now we’re ready to take the Smokey program a step further,” Gardial said. “In the next few days, we’ll introduce a new challenge that capitalizes UT’s volunteer spirit and also underscores this year’s Ready for the World theme of ‘Our World in Need,’ with a special focus on the issue of poverty.”
The goal of Ready for the World is to support the culture of diversity on campus that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century. The initiative involves increasing the diversity among students, faculty and staff; infusing the curriculum with international and intercultural perspectives; encouraging faculty to incorporate international and intercultural aspects in all of their courses; expanding study-abroad and work-study opportunities; and encouraging students to make these opportunities a key part of their UT experience.