The UT Smart Communities Initiative has been honored by its partner, the Southeast Tennessee Development District. SCI began in the 2014-15 academic year, connecting faculty and students with Tennessee cities, counties, special districts, and other governmental organizations to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at improving the region’s economy, environment, and social fabric. The SCI program was chosen to receive the Flame Award – an award given to outstanding local projects that inspire bigger things.
Chuck Hammonds, assistant executive director of the Southeast Tennessee Development District, explained their reasoning: “We are recognizing the SCI program because of the university’s commitment to engage the community to solve real-world problems and to ignite the imagination of our future leaders.”
The award was presented at the annual district board of directors meeting, and accepted by Kelly Ellenburg, director of UT’s Office of Service-Learning (which oversees SCI). She was joined by Brad Collett, Jennifer Rutherford, and Deb Schmerler.