We want to hear from you!

If you're interested in joining the club, want to know about a project, wish to talk to us about a plan, or needing help with an event then let us know! We're here to grow and enrich the community and hearing your voice is the start!





  Ellie SmoakElizabeth-Smoak@mocs.utc.edu

Ellie Smoak is a native Chattanoogan and has been involved in local arts since she was young. Since starting at UTC in 2014, Ellie has had the opportunity to act, manage, and create with the UTC Theatre Company as well as travel to conferences. She was nominated for an Irene Ryan acting award by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in 2015 and 2016. She served as treasurer for Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society and secretary for SAIL in 2016-2017, and is currently president of both organizations. Ellie joined the SCEA team in January 2017 as the Theatre Education Assistant. She will graduate in May of 2018 as a licensed K-12 educator. 



 Rachel Loeffler HeadshotRachel Loeffler, Rachel-Loeffler@mocs.utc.edu

Rachel is originally from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and began her student career at UTC in the Fall of 2015. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education, and plans to get certified to teach visual art to grades K-12. She has worked in multiple medias, and most enjoys working with oil pastels, colored pencils, collaging, and black and white media. During her time with the UTC Art Department, her work in oil pastels was selected to be shown in the Juried Student Art Exhibition of 2016. Rachel has also judged art in the Knoxville area at the 2017 Chalk Walk DogWood Arts Festival of Tennessee, and has participated with her own work in different events of the Festival in the years of 2011 and 2015. She began working at SCEA in July 2017, and plans to graduate from UTC in 2019.




LaurieLaurie Melnik, SAIL Adviser/Executive Director of SCEA, Laurie-Melnik@utc.edu

 Laurie Melnik is the Executive Director for the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts (SCEA) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she also oversees theatre education programming for the center. At SCEA, Laurie cultivates multi-organizational collaborations around strengthening arts teaching and learning across diverse populations and interdisciplinary contexts.  Culturally responsive pedagogy and asset-based community development maintain a strong presence in Laurie’s work as she works across sectors to help communities realize and maximize their creative potential when solving critical problems.  She is a member of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education where she served as a Professional Development Co-Chair and was recently elected to their Board of Directors. She has an M.F.A in Theatre with a concentration in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida, an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and is a 2013 Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute alum.