Asia West, of Chattanooga, is a part of Team UT, a group of graduate and undergraduate students that undergoes an annual, rigorous selection process in hopes of attending the years upcoming Super Bowl. Recently, M Group Scenic Studios, the company that invites UT students to work the Super Bowl, extended the opportunity to work another mega event, the Kentucky Derby.
This year’s group of students will work directly with the M Group Scenic Studios Committee in assisting with hospitality and continuing to build on the brand equity and experiential learning aspects of Team UT. This will be the first trip of its kind. Team UT has been a part of Super Bowls XLI (Miami), XLII (Arizona), XLIII (Tampa), XLIV (Miami), XLV (Texas), and XLVI (Indiana). The concept is the brainchild of Dr. Fritz G. Polite. Dr. Fritz G. Polite is a clinical professor of Sport Management, at The University of Tennessee. He also is the Director and founder of The Institute for Leadership, Ethics & Diversity (I-LEAD) as well as the Director for community outreach and global engagement in The College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. He has over 30 years of experience in sports, management, coaching, teaching and business to include 19 years of International experience. Polite earned his Ph.D. in Sport Management from The Florida State University. He received his masters of Public Administration degree from Troy State University (Alabama) and bachelor's degree in Management from Simpson College (Iowa) gaining valuable insight into the workings of a world-class mega event like the Super Bowl.
Sean Hensley a recent member of Team UT states, “Being a member of TEAM UT is such a unique opportunity in that it takes students out of the classroom and gives them the opportunity to experience the sports industry on a gigantic scale. The Super Bowl is one of the most famous events in the world and TEAM UT allows students from the University of Tennessee to work at an event that is a once in a lifetime opportunity. TEAM UT will now take on the Kentucky Derby, another opportunity to expand the brand and display the talents of a UT student. What I have found most beneficial about being a member of TEAM UT, is that you are able to take the theories that you have learned in the classroom and immediately apply them in the real world. Now, as I transition from being a team member to a team mentor, I look forward to networking with these students, shedding some light on the various opportunities that I have had and also learning from them.
The students were selected through a rigorous application process. Each student submitted an essay describing their five and ten year goal plans, and how being a part of TEAM UT may assist him or her in accomplishing their career goals. Students were required to submit a professional portfolio including business cards and résumés. Finally, the top students were selected through an intensive interview process. The new TEAM UT members for the Kentucky Derby are Kiel Castle, Sarah Frazier, Tyler French, Candice Greene, Kristen Petway, Danielle Polk, and Asia West.
Kiel Castle, of Adams, N.Y., is a senior studying Sport Management currently living in Charlotte, N.C.. Ultimately, he aspires to work directly with player development in the front office of an NBA, NFL, or MLB franchise.
Sarah Frazier, of Cleveland, Ohio, is a junior in the Recreation and Sport Management program. She hopes to pursue a career with a professional sport organization. She is currently a coordinator of volunteer activities for Sport and Recreation Outreach through TeamVOLS and serves as a mentor for incoming freshmen through her role as a Welcome Leader.
Tyler French, of Hendersonville, Tn., is a senior majoring in Sport Management. He worked as a trainer at WVU Student Rec center and as an English teacher in Spain. He currently works as a facilities manager at UT RecSports.
Candice Greene, of Knoxville, Tn., is a senior majoring in Recreation Administration. She currently works with the Town of Farragut assisting with softball and volleyball recreation leagues. She hopes to be hired with a recreation organization and establish a unique community outreach program in the near future.
Kristen Petway, of Nashville, is a sophomore in Sport Management with a minor in Business Administration and Spanish. Kristen has studied abroad in multiple cities in Spain and has interned for D1 Sports Training at the corporate marketing office. Kristen is serving as co-director for the Kentucky Derby after being a part of TEAM UT's experience in Indianapolis, IN.
Danielle Polk, of Fishers, In., is a freshman, with a major in Marketing and a concentration in American Sign Language. She is the second freshman selected to be on Team UT. Danielle is currently working with The University of Tennessee's athletic department in the Marketing office. She is now a co-director for Team UT after being a part of the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, IN
Asia West, of Chattanooga, is a freshman majoring in Accounting. She plans to become a Certified Public Accountant working in sports. She has been involved in Partners in Sports, National Association of Black Accountants, and the Volunteer Team.
Follow TEAM UT on Facebook for information on upcoming fundraisers and special events. You can also follow their Twitter account at Team_UT. To donate to TEAM UT, please send checks to the following address: Mr. Randy Atkins, 339 Claxton Complex, 1122 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996. Make checks payable to the University of Tennessee, with TEAM UT in the memo line. All donations are tax deductible. For information regarding sponsorship or development, please contact Randy Atkins by phone at 865 974-2365 or by email at email@example.com. For any other information regarding TEAM UT, please contact Kristen Petway by phone at 615 720-4268 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.