Soddy Daisy Family Hosts Exchange Student From China

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Kobet family from Soddy Daisy had never thought about hosting an exchange student until the 4th of July when they received a call from STS foundation local coordinator, Mika McCoy. Their son, Jack, is in the marching band at Soddy Daisy High School, and they were matched with “Tom” from China who has been playing trombone for 6 years. Because of his history with the trombone, he was suggested to the Kobets.   Now both of the Kobet “boys” are gearing up to play in Soddy Daisy’s marching band this year. Tom arrived in Chattanooga on Friday, the 19th, and on Monday he was on the field in band camp.

Tom is from Wuxi, China, one of Chattanooga’s Sister Cities.  Sister Cities International was created at President Eisenhower’s 1956 White House conference on citizen diplomacy.  Eisenhower envisioned an organization that could be the hub of peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world.  Sister Cities International creates relationships based on cultural, educational, information and trade exchanges, creating lifelong friendships that provide prosperity and peace through person-to-person “citizen diplomacy.”

Jackie, his host mom, says it’s been “an exciting few days.”  Tom missed the first week of preparation for the band, so he had some catching up to do.  Jackie said, “it was difficult trying to overcome the language barrier.”  However, yesterday (Tuesday) was a much better day:  Tom was able to get some one-on-one tutoring from a former band student on the basics of marching---how to hold the instrument, how to place feet, etc.  Now, Jackie says the  band teacher  said “he looks better than some of the students who have been there for awhile.”

Tom’s English is very good, according to  Jackie, and he’s enjoying trying new foods.  He wants to cook  some of his homeland’s traditional foods for his host family soon.

 STS Foundation is currently seeking families like the Kobets, who will open their home to an international teenager.  Host families are asked to provide room and board – including 3 meals per day, reasonable transportation and a loving/nurturing environment for the students.  Students come with their own health insurance and  monies for clothing, incidentals, entertainment and travel. 

STS Foundation (Student, Travel, Study) is a not-for-profit organization that places international high-school-age students with host families.  For more information about how to become a host family, call the regional office at 866/425-4678.


Student Design Wins ‘Moc My Ride’ Contest

Be on the lookout on campus or in downtown Chattanooga for bikes wrapped with a design of UTC colors with the Chattanooga skyline. UTC student Mikey Clavin’s design was chosen in the first ‘Moc My Ride’ contest, a partnership between Bike Chattanooga and UTC Athletics. The ‘Moc My Ride’ contest was an open competition inviting UTC students to create a unique bike design to be ... (click for more)

UTC Computer Science, Electrical Engineering Students Participated In Maker Faire

Dr. Craig Tanis and a group of UTC computer science and electrical engineering students took the blue and gold to Maker Faire in Chattanooga, described as “the Greatest Show (and Tell) on earth.”  Families were invited to First Tennessee Pavilion where people showed what they have made and shared what they learned. Dr. Tanis, who teaches Video Game Development in the College ... (click for more)

Erlanger Refinancing To Provide Cash For New Children's/Women's Hospital, $50 Million Erlanger East Expansion, $8.5 Million Surgical Improvements

Erlanger Health System officials said an overhaul of the hospital's debt will include $70 million in new loans for several major hospital projects - including $11.5 million toward a new $30 million Children's/Women's Hospital. The overall cost of the latter facility is $30 million, but the hospital is seeking significant outside gifts and support. It will also pay for a $50 million ... (click for more)

Legendary Radio Broadcaster Luther Dies At 92 After Record 74 Years On The Air; Funeral Will Be Thursday At 2 PM At Engel Stadium

Legendary radio broadcaster Luther Masingill died early Monday morning at Memorial Hospital surrounded by family and friends. He was 92 and had been on the air for a record 74 years. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at Historic Engel Stadium, 1130 E 3rd St., at 2 p.m. with Pastor Todd McElyea officiating.   Honorary pallbearers will be the staff at ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet!

Just moments before Florida would seal a football 10-9 victory over Tennessee in early October, the student section in Neyland Stadium stooped to a new low when it vociferously chanted, “F*** you, Florida! F*** you, Florida!” It was shocking, a loud and vulgar display of all that sportsmanship isn’t, and served as a great embarrassment to Knoxville and the university. Jimmy Cheek, ... (click for more)