Innovation Labs for
2016-17 Academic Year

Innovation Lab topics will change from year to year; the labs below will run in 2016–2017. 
Because Innovation Labs are dynamic, problem-solving projects rather than typical content-driven classes, we offer here descriptions of the issues and work undertaken by the instructors — their obsessions, really — rather than conventional course descriptions. Students and instructors will work together to define the courses and chart a path for the academic year. 

All Innovation Labs are two-semester sequences; students must complete both semesters (IL1 and IL2) to receive credit.


UHON 2850 (47378) – Innovation Lab I
Dr. Drew Bailey
TH 2:00–4:30

Drew Bailey is UC Foundation Assistant Professor of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism and has been at UTC since 2012. He has worked in the field of adventure/environmental education for over 20 years, with more than a dozen organizations. He’s excited to now live in one of the best outdoor towns in the country and truly believes that the natural resources surrounding the Chattanooga area can and should benefit everyone. Drew has conducted research into the economic impacts of outdoor-based tourism to Chattanooga (e.g. Ironman), priorities for park and green-space development in the county, and the physical and psycho-social benefits associated with time spent outdoors. He views the poor state of physical and mental health in the region as one of the most pressing issues. A perfect storm of sedentary lifestyles, systemic barriers (e.g. car-dependent culture, lack of physical education in schools), and unequal access to resources have contributed to rampant chronic illness. It is perplexing that “America’s best outdoor town” (Outside Magazine, 2015) should also be one of the least healthy. To remedy this, Dr. Bailey would like to explore the idea of equal access to outdoor activities, increasing diversity in outdoor environments, and lay the foundation for replacing prescription medications with outdoor prescriptions (c.f.

Drew’s priorities will likely lead to collaboration with established partners in the City and County government, family health providers, and a variety of outdoor organizations (e.g. Rock Creek, Roots Rated, Wild Trails, etc.).


UHON 2850 (47274) – Innovation Lab I
Drs. Courtney Crittenden and Christina Policastro
W 2:00–4:30

Courtney Crittenden is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and has been at UTC since August 2015. She has worked primarily in the area of gender and criminal justice in which she has published/presented on the topics of intimate partner violence, patriarchy in communities, attitudes toward sexual harassment, and programming for men and women in prisons across the U.S. As of today, the issues that concern her the most include victimization on college campuses, attitudes toward consensual sexual relationships between faculty and students, and how intersections of race and gender affect criminal justice studies and treatment within prisons. In Crittenden’s words, “if I was to isolate what I thought was the single most pressing criminal justice issue facing the region and universities, I would say it would be how we respond to victimization across our campuses, particularly intimate and sexual victimizations. Another major pressing issue for our nation is how to best utilize prison resources to respond properly to the needs of inmates within them, considering most inmates will be released back into the general population. 

Christina Policastro is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and has been at UTC since August of 2015. She has worked primarily in the area of victimology in which she has primarily published/presented on the topic of family violence, specifically intimate partner violence (IPV) and elder abuse. As of today, the issues that concern her the most include the overlap of different forms of victimization, namely child abuse, IPV, and elder abuse, as well as formal and informal responses to victims of crime. In Policastro’s words, “if I was to isolate what I thought was the single most pressing criminal justice issue facing the region and universities across the nation, I would say it was how to best serve crime victims, especially victims of sexual and intimate partner violence, while also attempting to prevent and reduce these forms of victimization.”

Crittenden and Policastro believe the community partners they would most like to work with include the UTC Women’s Center, The Partnership for Family for Families, Children, and Adults, and The Hamilton County/Chattanooga Family Justice Center.


UHON 2850 (47275) – Innovation Lab I
Ann Yoachim, M.P.H.
TR 3:05–4:20

Ann Yoachim is a Clinical Professor and Director of Community Partnerships and has been at UTC since July 2015.   She has 15 years of research, policy and program development experience on built, natural and socially constructed environments that impact health in rural and urban settings across the globe. Ann’s work often uses design thinking and other collaborative approaches to address complex social and environmental challenges.  She is fascinated by the role identity and connection to place play in shaping individual and societal decisions on topics ranging from educational attainment to climate change adaptation.  Ann is particularly interested in the perceived dichotomy between rural and urban spaces—and she views the changing landscape and challenges of rural America as one of the most pressing issues facing us today.  

Ann expects the community partners will go beyond established partnerships within the borders of Hamilton County and may include non-profit organizations, businesses, government agencies and policymakers, universities and UTC alumni from throughout the region. 

Innovation Labs for
2015-16 Academic Year

Innovation Lab topics will change from year to year – the labs below ran in the 2015–16 academic year.

All Innovation Labs are two-semester sequences; students must complete both semesters (IL1 and IL2) to receive credit.


UHON 2850 (47274) – Innovation Lab I

Integrating Biological Field Stations, Environmental Planning & STEM Education: Getting The Drift

F 1:00–3:30
Dr. Thomas Wilson

This course will familiarize students with issues in designing, implementing, programming, and running a Biological Field Station. We will use amphibians, reptiles and other species to integrate experiential learning, conservation, education, and sustainability. We will examine various local, regional, and national models and visit other Biological Field Stations to better understand their operations. However, this is not a majors course in natural resources or environmental planning, nor is it a course in learning how to identify organisms. Our aim is to expose students to a variety of critical thinking and forward thinking processes, blending lecture, discussion, designer labs, and field experiences. To achieve these goals, students will engage in the design, implementation and execution of a Biological Field Station plan that promotes conservation of natural resources and education. The plan should also encourage smart growth and sustainability, and link with community partners. By the end of the class students will understand many of the issues that impact natural resources and will have contributed to building infrastructure for the future of UTC’s Biological Field Stations. In the final capstone experience students will present their BFS plan to community partners and UTC.


UHON 2850 (47275) – Innovation Lab I

Alternative and Active Transportation

TR 1:40-2:55
Dr. Charlene Simmons

We live in a car dependent society. The automobile provides us with the freedom and flexibility to go where we want, when we want. But at what expense? Greenhouse gasses, a quarter of which are produced through transportation, are changing our climate. 78.6 million adult Americans – more than one-third of the adult population – are obese. While climate change and the obesity epidemic are complex issues with many causes, one cause they share is the automobile.

What if Americans were not so car dependent? What if we choose alternative and active transportation options like walking, riding a bike, and taking the bus? The City of Chattanooga is exploring and adopting alternative and active transportation  options. CARTA offers bus service around the city, Bike Chattanooga provides a bike share program, city planners have adopted a complete streets plan that will encourage more sidewalks and bike lanes, and an effort is underway to bring an electric powered car share to town. Yet most Chattanoogans still opt to drive a car, even if its just a few blocks down the roads to grab lunch.

How do we change our car dependent culture? How do we get Chattanoogans to use alternative and active transportation options?


UHON 2850 (47378) – Innovation Lab I

Project Green | Light

MW 3:25–4:40
Lisa Darger

This course provides a unique opportunity to assess the feasibility of sustainable certification on college campuses, using UTC as a model.   The certification model, green l light, was recently launched by green l spaces, a local not-for-profit that promotes sustainable living, working and building in the Chattanooga region.   Encompassing specific topics relative to multiple disciplines, such as Business, Communications,  Engineering, Environmental Science, Health and Human Performance, Public Policy, Sociology, and others, the experience will also foster core organizational skills necessary to any discipline.   Students will research and develop feasibility assessments, policy recommendations, data analysis, and/or educational components for a broad spectrum of topics, including reviews of myriad sustainable best practices, including Environmental Literacy; Waste Management; Utility Management and Energy Efficiency; Purchasing Practices; Landscaping; Green Cleaning; and Transportation.  At the end of the first semester, UTC will have in hand, hopefully, a comprehensive set of policies, recommendations, and documented sustainable practices.  This course immerses participants in a real-world project that will directly impact the environmental footprint of the UTC campus. In the second semester, students will build on the Fall experience to develop recommendations to green l spaces to adapt the program to other educational environments, as well as craft a marketing plan for area businesses and schools to reduce their environmental impact and maximize their use of shared natural resources.