Big Orange Big Ideas News

Big Idea: Student Thanks Holocaust Survivors

Ryan Johnson

After writing a psychology class paper about the photos and stories of Tennessee’s Holocaust survivors from the “Living On” website, student Ryan Johnson decided to take the project a step further, and shared his paper with the Tennessee Holocaust Commission. When the commission’s executive director read it, she asked Johnson to present it at Annual Day of Remembrance, held in April in Nashville.

What’s Your Big Idea?—Kenton Yeager

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that are making a difference in their world and the world around them. Associate professor Kenton Yeager runs UT’s master’s program in theatrical lighting design. He designed and built a one-to-six-scale working theater laboratory to provide students with a safe, accessible way to learn lighting, scenery, sound design, stage management, and more.

What’s Your Big Idea?—Lynne Miller

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that are making a difference in their world and the world around them. College of Nursing instructor Lynne Miller started the Precious Prints Project, a program that partners with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to provide parents who have lost children a tangible remembrance of their child.

What’s Your Big Idea?—Jim Boyle

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that are making a difference in their world and the world around them. Jim Boyle, director of the Student Health Center, had the idea of bringing key student services under one roof. The new Student Health Building houses the Student Health Center; the Counseling Center; and the Safety, Environment, and Education Center.

What’s Your Big Idea?—John Utley

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that are making a difference in their world and the world around them. UT senior John Utley is studying mechanical engineering. He’s on the EcoCAR 2 team, working to improve fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions through advance vehicle technologies.

Big Idea: UT Students Open Dialogue on Race and Religion

Big Idea: Dialogue

Seniors Jayanni Webster, Abbey Schaplowsky, and Corie Fine were working together on a class project when they realized how diverse their own lives were—and how the campus as a whole is full of thousands of individuals, each with their own differences. From this idea came “Dialogue: A Conversation on Race and Religion at UT,” a film screening and panel discussion devised as a way to create a safe, inclusive way for students to talk about different social issues.

What’s Your Big Idea?—Rupy Sawhney

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that are making a difference in their world and the world around them. Professor Rupy Sawhney, head of the Department of Industrial and Information Engineering, wants to see departments at UT become more involved in their respective communities through their actions.

Big Idea: Professor Brings e-Bikes to Campus

Chris Cherry

Chris Cherry has made UT home to an automated electric bicycle (e-bike) sharing system. The civil and environmental engineering assistant professor started the pilot program as a subject of an ongoing research study. He got the idea after arriving in Kunming, China, on a research grant in 2005 and noticing the city was buzzing with e-bikes.

What’s Your Big Idea?—Andy Rogers

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that are making a difference in their world and the world around them. Andy Rogers, a 2011 graduate who majored in biochemistry and minored in theater, has found a way to combine these areas by creating a musical called “Andy and the Beats,” which focuses on type I diabetes.

Big Idea: UT Staff Member Works for Safer Toys

Cat Wilt wants to make toys healthier, safer, and more environmentally-friendly. The director of the Center for Clean Products, Wilt was instrumental in developing North America’s first and only third-party environmental toy standard, UL 172. Manufacturers can demonstrate environmental leadership and a commitment to safeguarding children’s health by pursuing the voluntary certification.