|Every time I speak to groups about what is happening on our campus, I take along a 3D-printed prosthetic hand with an orange Power T on the back. I take it to meetings with donors, alumni, and community leaders. It sits on my desk and is often in the backseat of my car. If you watch this video, then you’ll know why it has come to represent all that is so good about the University of Tennessee. You can’t help being impressed with Riley Toll, a first-year engineering student who worked with two upperclassmen to design and create her own prosthetic.
When I visited the Tickle College of Engineering at the beginning of the semester, I met Riley and her classmates in the Maker’s Club, where they showed off their work and gifted me an early prototype. It has become the ideal visual aid when I tell stories of our students’ ingenuity, talent, and persistence.
It’s the perfect example of what we do here at UT. We create. We innovate. We solve problems. Faculty, students, and staff use their skills, talents, education, and research to make things better—to help make their communities better, the state better, and the world better.