Big Orange Big Ideas News

Big Idea: Facebook Page Spreads Compliments


Vol Compliments, a Facebook sensation sweeping across the campus, is a big idea that’s making the Internet a friendlier place for UT students. Vol Compliments is a Facebook page that posts nice and encouraging notes about students and others in the UT community. Here is how it works: Anyone can send his or her compliments in a message to the page administrators, who then post it anonymously to the page’s timeline, tagging the person complimented.

What’s Your Big Idea?—Alyssa Schroder and Jacob Arbital

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that make a difference in their world. Alyssa Schroder, a senior in sustainability, and Jacob Arbital, a senior in environmental studies, have the big idea of getting UT involved in a national competition called Small Steps, Big Wins, where undergraduates on campus compete against their peers from other schools to complete social and environmental actions. UT is vying for the top spot.

Big Idea: Rejuvenating Phi Beta Kappa Chapter

Chemistry Professor Jeffrey Kovac is working on a big idea—reactivating UT’s chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest and best-known honor society. It was founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776, during the American Revolution. UT established its Phi Beta Kappa chapter in 1965.

What’s Your Big Idea?—Emma MacMillan

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that make a difference in their world. Emma MacMillan, an alumna with a degree in journalism and electronic media, has the big idea of using compelling writing to get the public interested in science.

Big Idea: Psychology GTA Helps Students Bond


Christi Culpepper, a graduate teaching associate in psychology, has a big idea that will make her class a little friendlier. Culpepper teaches Psychology 110, a class of mostly freshmen, and noticed that many of her students did not know anyone else in the class. This semester, she’s putting her students into groups and designing discussion areas on Blackboard so they can talk and get to know each other.

What’s Your Big Idea?—Nate Buchanan

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that make a difference in their world. MBA student Nate Buchanan has the idea for an online platform that helps students build good credit scores. Credit Virgin provides students with the tools necessary to make good credit decisions and manage their credit scores.

Big Idea: Wilson to Use ‘Flipped Classroom’ in Sports Classes

Hal Wilson

Hal Wilson, a graduate teaching associate in recreation and sport management, had a big idea that will make his classes more interactive. He’s won a GTA@OIT grant to implement his “flipped classroom” approach this spring. Wilson, who teaches a class that deals with cultural ideologies and social issues, will supplement assigned readings with online videos and presentations and incorporate some online assignments.

Big Idea: Student Group Works to Make World Better

A UT student organization puts big ideas to work to make the world a better place. Taking Action for Social Conscience, founded in summer 2011, tries to raise awareness about global issues and also work to improve the Knoxville community. It chooses one global issue to focus on each year, called its “TASC Mission.”