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2021 Volunteer First Impressions Winners Announced

The 2021 Volunteer First Impressions Contest was a great success in spite of the challenges presented by COVID-19. For the 3rd annual contest, we received 48 total submissions from students, faculty, staff and visitors to the university. Submitted projects included landscaping, graphics, painting, carpet, cleaning and more.

Entries were judged on their overall impact to the campus community, ease of delivery, and scope is within the limit of $10,000 or less to complete. Winning entries were for public spaces; private areas or offices were not considered. Entries also needed to demonstrate how they impact student, faculty, staff, or visitor first impressions at UT Knoxville.

We are excited to announce that 12 public spaces submitted have been selected as winners of the 2021 VFI Contest and are projected to be completed for the start of the 2021-2022 school year in August! Just in time for the return of a students to a full campus.

An overview of each project and before pictures can be seen below:

White Avenue Improvements –

Submitted by Nancy Lessig, UT College of Arts & Sciences

Nancy submitted White Avenue near the Vol Hall Garage as the place where visitors, prospective students and their parents develop their first impression of campus. Nancy has suggested more cohesive branding to better unify this area with the rest of campus, spruced up bike racks and flower boxes, and a few extra trash cans to keep the place tidy.

Presidential Court Corridor –

Submitted by Landscape Services, Facilities Services

This proposal for a paved walkway for students in the Presidential Court corridor will replace the worn goat path with a better first impression while creating a safer route for students.

HPER Student Study Area –

Submitted by Danielle Johnson, Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sports Studies

The vision for this upgrade is to utilize the space more efficiently by students while providing a comfortable space to sit, collaborate or rest between classes falls perfectly in line with what we aim to accomplish through these improvement projects.

Third Creek Building Patio –

Submitted by Dr. Lori Cole, UT College of Vet Med

The goal here is to make this space across from the Third Creek Building a little more inviting for staff and students who wish to get outdoors on their lunch break.

Mossman Lab Animal Hallway –

Submitted by Dr. Lori Cole, UT College of Vet Med

This project seeks to bring a little color and creativity to this hallway outside of the lab animal space in Mossman.

Goodfriend Tennis Rain Garden

Submitted by Adrienne Weber, Grad Student – Landscape Architecture

Due to soil erosion, this area near the Goodfriend Tennis Center is in need of a little TLC. We plan to repair the erosion and work toward a rain garden installation that will beautify this space and help inhibit future erosion.

Melrose Hall Green Space –

Submitted by Amy Gregory, Center for Global Engagement

This green space outside of Melrose Hall could use an upgrade to landscaping. With the amount of foot traffic that passes by Melrose each day, it’s important that this space reflects the beauty of the spaces around it.

Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature at Claxton Education –

Submitted by Arianna Banack, Graduate Research Assistant

The Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature is an often visited campus space in desperate need of improved signage. We plan to make the space more comfortable with updated lighting and better furniture in an effort to give this center and its visitors what they need to succeed.

2nd Floor Reception Areas – Bailey Education

Submitted by Heather Davis, UT Theory and Practice in Teacher Education

The 2nd floor reception areas at Bailey Education are a bit drab for a building that’s largely responsible for education our future teachers! We plan to update these spaces with new furniture and a splash of color that reflects the creativity and passion of those who plan to lead the next generation of students.

Blount Hall Patio and Lobby –

Submitted by Diana Moyer, UT Research & Engagement

With many visitors parking in the garage at Vol Hall, the exterior of Blount Hall is sure to make a first impression. Our goal with this upgrade is to add a little more color to the patio and possibly a more engaging lobby display. We want everyone who sees this side of Blount Hall to understand that UT is a place of collaboration and innovation.

UT Drive Building A-

Submitter by Tom Berg, College of Nursing

As the College of Nursing has grown, they have expanded outside of their own building to conduct labs, host classes, etc. wherever they can find space. Thankfully, space was available in UT Drive Building A, but the entryway could use some love. We can’t wait to make this a more welcoming point of entry!

HSS Outside of the Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center –

Submitted by Dr. Kirsten Benson, Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center

This space is a blank canvas in need of a better first impression. We want to turn this into a welcoming space for students to gather, collaborate, and innovate on new furniture.