November 2017 Around Town 1

UT Interior Architecture Student Earns International Research Award

Rachel Hunt, a fourth-year interior architecture student in the College of Architecture and Design, was recently named Highly Commended in the International 2017 Undergraduate Awards.

The Undergraduate Awards, sometimes called the “junior Nobel Prize,” is the world’s largest international academic awards program that recognizes exceptional research, creative activity and original work of college students in the sciences, humanities, business and creative arts.

Hunt’s work focused on bioluminescent organisms and the way in which they produce light to set a schedule and react to their environment. Her portfolio submission, Herbaria, applied lighting techniques pulled from her research to help employees tune to the natural circadian rhythm to improve productivity at work.

“I looked at behaviors, reactions to environmental conditions, migration, scheduling and how light played a role in all of these,” Hunt says. When the time came to design, she used the context and analysis of her research to inform the design of the space.

As a Highly Commended winner, Hunt will travel to Dublin, Ireland, in November to attend The Undergraduate Awards Global Summit and accept her award from Michael Higgins, president of Ireland.

While in Ireland, she will present her work to other students as well as the professional jury, including Derek McGarry, National College of Art and Design; Marc O’Riain, Cork Institute of Technology; and professor Lloyd Scott, Dublin Institute of Technology. Hunt also will attend lectures, workshops and debates and collaborate with students from across cultures and disciplines.

Market Square Named One of 
’Great Public Spaces’ in America

The American Planning Association recently named Knoxville’s Market Square as one of five Great Public Spaces on the organization’s annual Great Places in America list. Market Square formally received its national designation from the American Planning Association on Friday, October 6.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, APA’s Great Places in America recognizes streets, neighborhoods and public spaces in the United States demonstrating exceptional character, quality and planning—attributes that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth and inspire others around the country. The Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets and Great Public Spaces of 2017 are places that are unique and exemplary in their amenities and infrastructure, cultural identity and use of sustainable and innovative practices.

Located in the heart of downtown Knoxville, Market Square is a testament to the effectiveness of community-driven planning and how a diversity of uses and historic preservation can work together to revitalize an area. The Square is deeply rooted in the history of Knoxville and, despite a devastating fire and multiple economic downturns, continues to flourish today. The mix of these distinctive buildings with the activity taking place in the Square truly makes it Knoxville’s front yard.

To date, APA has designated 275 Great Places around the country. Knoxville’s Gay Street was also recognized as one of the Great Places in America by the American Planning Association. The downtown avenue was named to its top 10 America’s Great Streets in 2012. To learn more about this year’s Great Places and previous designees, visit

UT Homecoming Celebration 
Marks 100th Anniversary

One hundred years ago, UT held its first homecoming celebration. Three hundred alumni attended.

This year, thousands of Volunteers are expected to participate in homecoming activities which began Sunday, October 30, and culminate with the UT vs. Tennessee Tech football game on Saturday, November 4, and several events, including a free Saturday-night concert on Market Square.

This year’s theme is “Journey Through 100 Years of Volunteers.” Alumni returning to campus will participate in longstanding traditions and also enjoy a few new events.

A full schedule of activities can be found at Events are open to all; competition events require registration. Members of the Knoxville and surrounding communities are encouraged to participate. Events include:

  • The annual Homecoming parade will begin at 4 p.m. Friday, November 4. The parade will start at Fiji Island beside Fraternity Park. The parade route map is available on the Homecoming website. The grand marshal will be John D. Tickle, UT alumnus and benefactor. The parade showcases student organization floats and includes the seventh annual Little Vol Walk, featuring children ages 10 and younger riding on decorated wagons, strollers or tricycles.
  • On Saturday, November 5, homecoming’s signature event, Party in the Park, will begin in Circle Park three hours before the Vols take on the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. Game tickets are available on the Party in the Park features live entertainment, performances by the pep band and cheerleaders, door prizes, face painting, balloon art and a Kids’ Corner with games. There is no admission fee; however, the cost to eat is $12 per person or $8 per child (10 and under) for a barbecue meal.
  • The Downtown Knoxville Central Business Improvement District and Visit Knoxville are partnering with the university to pair local downtown businesses with teams of UT students during Paint the Town Orange. The teams will paint the windows of their assigned business based on the homecoming theme. The community can view the final displays after 5:30 p.m. Thursday, November 4, when competition judging begins. A self-guided walking tour map will be available on the homecoming website.
  • The community can enjoy a free concert from 2003 UT alumnus Drew Holcomb and his band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors with special guest Cereus Bright. The homecoming concert begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 5, on the Market Square Stage.

For more information on homecoming, visit