Best-Stocked Goodwills Within 5 Miles of UT’s Campus


Goodwill’s mission is to provide job training and job opportunities for struggling individuals across the country.

College is notorious for draining students of their money and leaving them with nothing to eat but Ramen noodles.  Tuition, housing, and textbooks are just some of the expenses college students face.  However, students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville do not have to sacrifice comfort or style just because they do not have a lot of money to spend.

There are 29 Goodwills within the Knoxville area, and the three best-stocked locations are located just five miles from UTK’s campus.  This gives students easy access to almost anything they might need, from clothes and books to furniture and dishes.  This article breaks down the unique aspects and benefits of these three stores to help guide students in their thrifting endeavors and save them money.


There are three excellent Goodwills located just five miles from UTK’s campus.

The three best-stocked Goodwills near UTK’s campus are the Bearden location, the Pleasant Ridge location, and the Cumberland Estates location.

Why Goodwill?

To some, buying anything secondhand may seem odd, or even unpleasant.  However, many Knoxville students completely embrace the idea of thrifty living.

Kim Mizell, a senior history major at UTK, has shopped at Goodwill for several years with great success.  “I shop at Goodwill because I like to shop for clothes.  However, I just don’t have the budget to shop at really nice stores.  If twenty dollars will only buy one shirt at a nice store, OR I can go to Goodwill and get four shirts in possibly the same brand for the same price, then I am going to chose Goodwill!”

Sara Griffis, a recent graduate of UTK, agrees.  “I shop at Goodwill because it’s fun to hunt for deals on…items that I couldn’t afford at retail price.  It’s like a game.”

As Mizell stated, it is often very simple to find expensive brands at Goodwill.  Mizell often finds pieces from brands such as J.Crew, Old Navy, and Banana Republic for a fraction of the price they would have been brand new.  Goodwill allows students (and anyone else on a budget) to get quality items for affordable prices.

Aside from saving money, shopping at Goodwill also supports a good cause.  Amanda Duggin, a Knoxville resident, says she not only shops at Goodwill but makes sure she donates regularly.  “I donate to Goodwill about once a year when I clean out my closets and look for ways to declutter,” she stated.  “I love that Goodwill provides job opportunities to people who may not have a good option otherwise.  It also gives people the opportunity to buy nice clothes for jobs and interviews who otherwise might not have been able to afford it.”

Saving money and providing jobs are two reasons why many college students have fully embraced the Goodwill lifestyle.  For those interested in joining this lifestyle, the remainder of this article outlines where, when, and how to thrift at three Knoxville Goodwills.

Choosing a Store

As stated previously, there are 29 Goodwill locations in the Knoxville area alone.  This can often overwhelm beginning thrifters.

Of these 29 stores, there are three located five miles from UTK’s campus that are particularly well-stocked: the Bearden location, the Pleasant Ridge location, and the Cumberland estates location.  However, even narrowing the list down to three can still cause some beginners hesitate.

It is helpful to determine beforehand what kind of items you are looking for, such as furniture, clothing, or housewares.  This can narrow down which Knoxville Goodwill you should go to in order to find what you are looking for.  The following flowchart shows which Goodwill location shoppers should go to depending on the items they are looking to buy.


Knowing what you are looking for can narrow down the locations you should visit.



Because each Goodwill devotes different amounts of space to different types of items, each store tends to have a better selection for different things.

The Kingston Pike Location (Bearden)


The Bearden Goodwill is the best-stocked Goodwill within five miles of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The Bearden Goodwill, located at 5307 Kingston Pike, is 4.4 miles west of campus. This Goodwill is the best-stocked and most organized location within five miles of campus.

Their clothing section is organized into several categories: men’s, women’s, children’s, and plus/maternity.  Clothes are then sorted into types (long sleeve, short sleeve, pants, etc.) and color.  It is very easy to find brand names like J. Crew, LOFT, or Eddie Bauer at this Goodwill.  Bearden is a fairly affluent community, so many of the donations to this store are higher quality.

The Bearden Goodwill devotes a lot of their salesfloor space to furniture.  Because they have so much space, it is common to find furniture of all types at this store, including couches, tables, shelves, and chairs.

Media is another item that takes up a lot of salesfloor space.  Shelves containing books, CDs, vinyls, and board games can be found throughout the store.

This location is a favorite among UT students.  According to Mizell: “My favorite goodwill in Knoxville is the one in Bearden because they always have a good and quirky items!”

Griffis also prefers the Bearden location.  “The one in Bearden is the best because there is a variety of items in a [wide array of tastes].  They have stuff that pertains to young adults but also to professionals and older adults.”

The Cumberland Estates Location (Western Ave.)


The Western Avenue location is very small but still offers a wide and interesting array of items.

The Western Avenue Goodwill, located at 5705 Western Ave., is 5 miles from UT’s campus.  This location, while small, often has some of the most unique and interesting items.

Even though this store is located in a less populated neighborhood, interesting items can still be found here.

Glassware and homegoods are one of the best-stocked items in this location.  Most of the shelves house cups and plates.  Vintage Pyrex, antique china, and other desirable pieces are common at this location.  There is also an abundance of unique art displayed on one of the walls.  This is notable because at most Goodwills, art and framed prints are stacked on shelves, making it difficult to shop,

Despite the small salesfloor, this location often has a good furniture selection.  For example, the piano in the photo above was one of three items of furniture on the entire salesfloor at the time this picture was taken.  Because there is so little room, furniture is generally priced low so it sells quickly and can make room for other pieces.

The Pleasant Ridge Location


The Pleasant Ridge Goodwill also offers a recycling center for various types of recyclables.

The Pleasant Ridge Goodwill, located at 5412 Pleasant Ridge Road, is located 5 miles from campus.  This location not only accepts donations, but also offers a recycling center for various types of recyclables.

Books are one of the best-stocked items at this location.  The shelves are often double-stacked and are even lined up in piles on the floor when the shelves are too full.

Accessories are another item this location devotes a lot of space to.  Scarves, hats, gloves, purses, and men’s ties are all well-displayed and easy to look through.  This location also has the largest shoe selection of the three Goodwills.

7 Tips for Better Thrifting

Knowing the best places to shop is one step toward becoming an experienced thrifter.  But location is not the only important factor in saving money.  Here are seven other tips and techniques to use while you shop.

1) Look through everything carefully.  Knowing how clothes are sorted can help you find more things.  All three of the Goodwills discussed in this article only sort their clothes by color.  However, if you live near a Goodwill that sorts by size and then color, look in every size.  Things get misplaced, sizes are not always the same from brand to brand, and vintage sizing is much different that today’s sizing (for example, a modern size two can sometimes be a six or eight in vintage sizes, according to eBay seller and Vintage clothing expert frocksandfrillsvintage).  Also, look in the men’s and children’s sections.  You never know where you will find something amazing.

2) Know the sales for each store. The three Goodwills discussed in this article all offer a 25% discount to seniors on Mondays.  The Bearden location offers a 10% discount to shoppers who “check in” on Facebook and show the cashier at checkout.  All Knoxville Goodwills have a color of the week, where each week a different color tag is 50% off.  Goodwill of Knoville continually updates their website when new sales and deals arise.

In general, it is always beneficial to ask an employee what kind of discounts they offer and on what day those discounts are applicable.  You never know what you might be missing!

3) Set yourself a budget.  Even though Goodwill’s prices are always very low, it is smart to set a budget.  With prices so low, overspending can be very easy.  Be sure you do not buy something you do not want or need just because it was so inexpensive.

4) Know when to walk away. A dress may be cute, but if it does not fit properly, you might not wear it.  Unless you can sew, it is smart to avoid buying things that do not fit. Ask yourself these questions: Is it stained? Is it chipped?  Does it have a hole?  If you answered yes to any of those questions, it is probably best to put the item down and walk away.

5) Frequency is key.  Going often means you have more chances to find cool things. According to Goodwill employees, the three locations in this article restock daily; other Goodwills have certain days they restock.  Ask an employee what days they put new stuff out so you can know what days are best for shopping.

6) Have an open mind.  While shopping, try to look for things that may need a makeover. Spray paint can be an easy fix for many items.  For example, a great piece of art in an ugly frame is just two coats of spray paint away from being perfect.  With clothes, try to think about how you could wear the item you are considering and how you could alter it to make it more fashionable.  Raising hemlines or removing shoulder pads are two easy fixes that can be done with little to no sewing skills.  Sometimes the most unassuming things turn out to be the best!

7) Donate.  Not only is this good for your own sanity, but it greatly benefits Goodwills as well.  Bringing in a few items to donate with each trip is an easy way to keep your home and closet from becoming too cluttered.  You are also supporting a great cause and continuing the thrift cycle.  Without donations, you would never be able to find amazing things at incredible prices.

Following these seven tips can help nearly anyone become an avid Goodwill shopper.

Final Thought

According to their website, Goodwill of Knoxville’s mission is “to provide vocational services and employment opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment.”  This mission can only be accomplished if Knoxville residents carry on the cycle of shopping and donating.  Students at the University of Tennessee are in the perfect position to do both, all while saving themselves money.  With an open mind, students can help themselves, their community, and their environment by taking part in the thrift cycle.

New Academic Journal Creates Opportunities for UT’s English Students

The “International Journal of Nuclear Security” is only nine months old, but it has already made significant changes to UT’s technical communications program, according to director Russel Hirst.

In July, UT’s English Department joined forces with the UT Institute for Nuclear Security and the Department of Nuclear Engineering to create a peer-reviewed journal titled the “International Journal of Nuclear Security” (IJNS).  IJNS was created to fill the need for an open, global, scholarly dialogue about nuclear security among scholars, scientists, and law enforcement agencies.  The journal, while interdisciplinary, is mostly managed by UT’s technical communications program.

Technical communications, one of the English department’s four concentrations, was established by Michael Keene in 1985.  The concentration was immediately successful, and within five years the department brought in Hirst to help continue the program’s growth.

Hirst, now the director of the program, is largely responsible for the journal’s creation.

“I met people from UT’s Department of Nuclear Engineering who…said to me, ‘Hey, we want to start up a journal about nuclear security.  Would you be interested in editing the journals?’  So I said, ‘Yeah, sounds fascinating!’”

The first issue came out five months ago.  “Already it has made a big change,” Hirst said.

One such change is the creation of internships and editorial positions for both undergraduate and graduate students.  The real-world experience gives these students opportunities not offered at most other universities.

Sarah Docktycz, a senior in technical communications, said her experience with IJNS impacted her education in several ways.  “This internship gave me invaluable experience…that I’m not sure I could have gotten anywhere else.  I’ve started to make connections in my field, and it’s helped me get a job post-graduation.”

Sumner Brown, a graduate student studying rhetoric and writing, agreed.  “[IJNS] has completely shaped my career.  It’s taken me from not knowing where I was going or what I was doing to ‘Wow, there’s this niche and I fit right into it.’  I have found that [rhetoric and nuclear security] come together in a perfect fit.”

IJNS has also helped shape course curriculum.  Hirst said he has learned enough from his new nuclear security connections to offer a new class.  “Next semester I’m offering a special topics course…called Global Communication in Science, Technology, and Policy,” he said.  The course will focus on the interconnectivity between rhetoric and writing in technical fields, such as nuclear security or public policy.

“IJNS is developing curriculum, it’s developing research and publication opportunities for me in collaboration with students, [and] it’s helping to fund INS and IJNS,” Hirst stated.  “All these connections are helping to bolster technical communications within the UT Department of English in a significant way.”

The journal is free and open to the public on their website.


Sex Offender Database Informs Communities, Raises Awareness


TN residents can enter their address to see how many registered sex offenders live within a set radius of their home.

Having access to a registered sex offender database makes the community feel like a safer place, according to Knoxville resident Sara Griffis.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) online map shows where every registered sex offender in the state of Tennessee currently lives.  The registry also includes the offenders’ photographs, dates of birth, addresses, and the dates and types of crime they committed.  A Tennessee resident can enter their address into the database and find out how many registered sex offenders live within a five-mile radius of their home.

“The registry seems to provide sufficient information…that is up to date,” Griffis noted after entering her address into the registry for the first time.  “I knew the registry existed, but I didn’t realize it went into that amount of detail.  [The map] said there were 27 offenders in the area…I don’t know what ‘a lot’ is, but [27] seems like a lot.”

There are two classifications of sex offenders: “sexual offenders” and “violent sexual offenders.” Tennessee law requires violent sexual offenders to remain registered in the database for life.  However, sexual offenders can file a request with TBI Headquarters ten years after their sentence ends to remove themselves from the registry.  Sexual offenders are required to report their addresses annually, while violent sexual offenders are required to report their addresses four times a year.

Because the database makes so much information about sex offenders available to the public, there is a potential risk to those registered.  The TBI website has a disclaimer that reads: “Members of the public are not allowed to use information from the registry to inflict retribution or additional punishment to offenders. Harassment, stalking, or threats against offenders or members of their families are prohibited and doing so may violate both Tennessee criminal and civil laws.”

But Griffis says she thinks the benefits to the community outweigh the risks to the individuals.  To her, the map helps makes the community a safer place.

“I think [it’s good that] the community knows, especially with there being schools nearby. I believe it keeps the community more aware.  I know that it doesn’t just relate to children, but I think parents would base their decisions, such as walking versus picking up their kids, based on how many [sex offenders] there are in the community.”

Citizens looking for more information about the database can call the Sex Offender Registry Hotline at 1 (888) 837-4170.

Digital Technologies Help Humanities Analyze Fluid Texts


John Bryant, a professor of English at Hofstra University, created a literary database of Herman Melville’s work to help other scholars analyze texts.

Digital technologies and electronic databases may have a profound impact on how we read and understand literature, according to Dr. John Bryant.

Bryant, a professor of English at Hofstra University, presented a lecture titled “Big Data | Close Reading: Melville and the Humanities as Fluid Texts” Thursday in the John C. Hodges Library.  In his lecture, he explained how a new software called TextLab allows scholars to analyze and interpret data gathered from studying what Bryant termed “fluid texts.”  Bryant specifically focused on how he uses TextLab to better understand the works of Herman Melville, an American writer best known for his novel, “Moby-Dick.”

“A fluid text,” Bryant stated, “is any written work that exists in multiple versions due to revisions made by authors who revise their own works, or editors and publishers who might censor parts [of the work].  [They] also encompasses adaptation…for music, or opera, or fine arts and translation.”

According to Bryant, “Moby-Dick” is an excellent example of a fluid text.  For example, due to the lack of international copyright, “Moby-Dick” was published as two novels in 1951 – as “The Whale” in Britain and as “Moby-Dick” in the Americas.  This meant each copy was edited and revised by different publishers.  Sometimes the differences between the two texts were drastic.  For example, the British version does not include the epilogue where Melville reveals the protagonist, Ishmael, does not die with his crewmates.

Modern adaptations are another way “Moby-Dick” is a fluid text.  There have been two film adaptations (1926 and 1956) as well as several stage adaptations and a musical.

“Taken in all of its versions, the textual, the visual, the musical…Moby-Dick is not one book, or two, or even a book at all – it’s a cultural phenomenon.  The main question is…how do we get all of these versions together in one place?”

Digital technologies are Bryant’s solution to this problem.  With several colleagues, Bryant created the Melville Electronic Library (MEL), an online archive for Melville studies.  MEL uses TextLab, a text transformation tool, to document manuscript revisions such as crossed-out words, added-in phrases, and notes in the margins.  These small edits to a manuscript can help modern readers grasp the author’s thought process while writing and give insight to a text that would be missed by simply reading a published copy.

Dr. Hilary Havens, an English professor at UT, attended the event and especially appreciated Bryant’s points on how authorial intention and revision can shape the way we interpret texts.  “I think in the printed version…a lot of things are made invisible.  The nice thing about digital technologies is often you can see the many stages of revision that a text goes through before it’s published.  I think these things can tell us, not just about author intentionality, but sort of larger questions about the creative process of composition during the period.”

Bryant’s lecture was part of UT’s annual AuthorFest, a festival that highlights the contributions of influential writers from around the world.  The next event, a staged reading of “Moby-Dick” at the Relix Variety Theatre, will be tomorrow at 7 p.m.



Egyptian Ambassador discusses cyber security, gender equality in Middle East


Ambassador Sameh Aboul-Enein is also an assistant professor at the American University in Cairo.

Strengthening regional security and improving education in the Middle East may solve many problems in the region, according to Egyptian Ambassador Sameh Aboul-Enein.

Aboul-Enein presented a lecture titled “Emerging Regional Challenges in the Middle East” Monday, Mar. 28 in the Howard Baker Center.  His lecture discussed the regional challenges currently faced by the Middle East and several long-term solutions for solving these challenges.

“We have witnessed an era of an Arab Spring in the Middle East and there have been several developments in the aftermath of that, some of them political, some of them economic, social, [and] security,” he stated.

Aboul-Enein identified seven challenges currently afflicting the Middle East, but the two he stressed the most were issues surrounding cyber security and gender equality.

“Cyber security is one of the most pressing challenges in the Middle East currently, and the political transition in the region has undoubtedly put a highlight on the role of cyber security,” he stated.  “Information technology [gives] wide access to average citizens.  Public opinion has played an increasingly dominant role.  A decade ago that was not the case.”

Despite this benefit, cyberspace presents multiple difficulties to the region.  People with malicious intent can operate from anywhere in the world, giving them a strong advantage over governments and regional organizations.  Also, many physical concepts are linked to cyberspace, such as control over electricity or building security.  Terrorists can access these things via the Internet.  Many governments lack the legal framework to build up cyber security on national and regional levels.

The Ambassador also discussed gender quality in the Middle East.  He stated that according to statistics, women in the Middle East are more socially and economically disadvantaged than women in other regions of the world.

“There has been a major program with the United Nations…to improve empowerment capabilities by providing better education [and] by providing equality in job opportunities.”

Sarah Doktycz, a senior studying technical communications, appreciated the Ambassador’s position on women’s empowerment and gender equality in the Middle East, especially since gender equality is still an issue the United States is facing.

“I believe that we’re all part of an international community…[and] we can certainly work together.  And if we improve over [here], that can only help people improve in the Middle East and places like Northern Africa and Latin America.”

Aboul-Enein suggested several approaches as long-term solutions to these challenges.  One was to better equip regional think tanks to develop a stronger security framework.  Another was to better educate all parties involved in order to strengthen conflict management.

“In addressing conflicts, you need the proper conflict management, and that is what has been missing,” he commented.  “You need proper scenarios…and you need a lot of mediation roles.  That is the culture of engagement that needs to be developed very carefully and needs the encouragement of the international community.”

Aboul-Enein’s lecture was part of the Howard Baker Center’s Global Security Program.  The next lecture, titled “To the Moon, Alice,” will be given by U.S. Senator Harrison Schmitt on Apr. 4 at 4 p.m. in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium.

International Conflict Mediator Shares Strategy for Countering Violent Extremism in Middle East

IMG_2010 (2)

Samar Ali concludes her lecture by listing key strategies for countering violent extremism.

Violence will not stop terrorist extremism in Syria, according to international conflict mediator and international law attorney Samar Ali.

Ali presented a lecture titled “Countering Violent Extremism in Syria and Beyond” Monday, Feb. 29 in the Howard Baker Center.  Her lecture discussed the Syrian conflict over the past decade and strategies for countering violent extremism in the Middle East.

Ali stated that there are now 13.5 million refugees as a result of the Syrian crisis.  As a result, 40 percent of youths in the Middle East are unemployed, which makes them targets for terrorist recruitment.

“[Terrorist groups] prey upon grievances, and they understand what those are,” she stated.  “The smart thing for us to do is to provide alternatives to those grievances.”

Ali stated that these “grievances” that make individuals or communities vulnerable to violent extremism recruitment are predominately conditions like physical insecurity or the inability to provide for oneself or one’s family.  But sometimes they are mental needs as well, such as feeling valued or having a “higher purpose.”

Ali’s solution is to implement strategies that improves living situations for at-risk populations.  Some strategies included promoting human rights, expanding economic and political opportunities, and avoiding harmful generalizations about entire groups of people.  She concluded by suggesting that there is a global responsibility surrounding these strategies that cannot be left to just the Middle East.

“The majority of Muslims want to live the same lifestyle that everyone in this room is living right now.  These people are people, just like anybody else, and they have had historical realities that have pushed them into a very unfortunate time period.  This is a global security matter where we all hold a certain level of responsibility, and if we rise up to the opportunity, we will conquer violent extremism.”

Grace Rotz, a senior studying technical communications who attended the lecture, appreciated the reminder that it is crucial to be well-informed before forming opinions about groups of people, especially during a time when the United States is seeing large numbers of Syrian immigrants enter the country.

“Public policy and international policy deals a lot more talking with the people and not just assuming political rhetoric is always correct,” Rotz stated.  “We can’t assume that Americans know everything about Syria or that Syrians know everything about America.  We need to know both sides of the story.”

Ali’s lecture was held by the Baker Center’s Global Security Program, which offers many related events year-round that are free and open to the public.


This article was featured on TNJN, the official news website for the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media.

UT’s Writer-in-Residence shares writing inspiration

William Wright

William Wright signs copies of his most recent book “Tree Heresies” which was published in 2015.

Inspiration for writing can come from anywhere, according to William Wright, the current UT Department of English Writer-in-Residence.

Wright read and discussed a number of his poems at a reading Monday, Feb. 22 in John C. Hodges Library.  The event was part of the University’s Writers in the Library series in which distinguished authors and poets from around the country come to read from their own work.

Wright’s poetry is unique because, unlike many more traditional Southern poets, he writes in an informal style.

“When I began writing seriously, I [wrote] formal poems.  Then I fell in love with Gerard Manley Hopkins, who hit me with sort of this pyrotechnic force.  What I did then is say, ‘How am I going to synthesize this formal tradition with Hopkins…to create a contemporary poetry worth reading?’”

Over time, Wright developed an innovative yet Southern style of free-verse poetry.

One of the biggest reasons why Wright’s poetry is categorized as Southern is that he draws a large amount of inspiration from the outdoors.  Hikes, animals, snowstorms and orchards were all topics addressed in the poems he read.

According to Art Smith, a poetry professor at the University, Wright “is a custodian of the land, of the southern earth itself…[and] a preserver and delighter of language [evidenced by the] lush and sometimes raucous sounds of words.”

Many of Wright’s poems were inspired by his sleep paralysis, a condition he has suffered from since he was 7 years old.

“What that means,” he stated, “is that I actually don’t go to sleep.  I see my dreams in my waking state.  So I see things, I hear things, I smell things, I even sometimes have tactile sensations.”  He says many of these episodes are terrifying.  “I try to make them art to help deal with the fact that I have this condition.”

Honor Lundt, a senior Linguistics major who attended the reading, appreciated the fact that Wright offered context to his poems by sharing the things that inspired his writing.

“A lot of times poetry represents an idea or an emotion, and [readers] kind of have to guess at the context,” she stated.  “It was interesting to hear him tell his stories and personal experiences that inspired the artwork.”

After the reading, Wright signed copies of his most recent book “Tree Heresies,” which was published in 2015.

The next reading will be held Mar. 7 in the Lindsay Young auditorium of John C. Hodges Library.


This article was featured on TNJN, the official news website for the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media.

Paleontologist, Author Discusses Link Between Humans and Fish


Dr. Shubin signs copies of his book “Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body” which was published in 2008.

Humans and fish have a lot more in common than most people know, according to fish paleontologist and author Dr. Neil Shubin.

Shubin’s lecture, part of the annual Darwin Day celebration at the University of Tennessee, was called “Your Inner Fish.”  Shubin explained how he began his search for the Tiktaalik, the fossil link between fish and land creatures, and then discussed why this discovery matters today.

“Often some of the best road maps to our own bodies lie in other creatures,” Shubin stated.  “Some of the best road maps to the bones of our arms lie in fish…Some of the basic road maps to understanding the complex tangle of nerves inside our heads lie in sharks.”

These similarities arise from what Shubin calls “a common history with the rest of life on earth.”  Scientists find these similarities when they study fossils, embryos, and DNA.

Shubin’s search for the Tiktaalik began when, as a second-year PhD student, his professor showed him a diagram of the change from fish to land creature.  “It captured my imagination,” he said, “that is, to find evidence how fish, and the descendants of fish, evolved to walk on land.  That became my quest in 1987 and it hasn’t changed since.”

Previous scientific research conducted by Ashton Embry in the 1960s led Shubin and an expedition team to the Arctic Islands.  In 2004, they uncovered what they called the Tiktaalik, a large, freshwater fish that has both land and water creature characteristics.

This discovery was monumental because the creature had the first neck in the fossil record, as well as similar wrist and neck structures to those of humans.  These similarities have led biologists to discover other similarities between fish and humans, including embryos, muscles, and nervous systems.

Such connections have greatly increased medical research to help prevent and cure diseases.  “The breakthroughs that will ultimately enrich and extend our lives will be based in some way, on worms, flies, and in some cases, even fish,” Shubin predicted.

These advances make today, what Shubin calls, “a very exciting time to be a biologist.”

Robert Jacobsen, sixth-year PhD graduate student in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department, agreed.  “It’s exciting to have people that have made great discoveries come and share those experiences…I feel that it’s important to expose myself to those people that are seeking truth.”

After his lecture, Shubin signed copies of his book “Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body,” which was published in 2008.

The next event is Darwin’s birthday party, which will be held Feb. 12 from 4-6 p.m. in the McClung Museum.



This story was featured on TNJN, the official news website for the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media.