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KNOXVILLE — Students from the University of Tennessee are spending their spring break helping with the post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding efforts along the Gulf Coast.

A group of 10 students and one faculty member traveled Monday to Biloxi, Miss., and plans to return to Knoxville on Saturday. They will be working with Habitat for Humanity.

The trip was organized by the new UT Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Diversity in Sport (I-LEAD), a program that provides cross-disciplinary training and research focused on the global sport and leisure industry. Community service projects offer students one way to learn how to become leaders and helps them link research, outreach and volunteerism.

I-LEAD is directed by Fritz Polite, assistant professor of exercise, sport and leisure studies in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. He is leading the group to Mississippi.

The students raised money for the trip by selling foam hockey pucks to fans to participate in the “Chuck a Puck” contest at a Knoxville Ice Bears hockey game.

I-LEAD is a collaboration between the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences and the College of Business Administration with support from the College of Communication and Information and UT Athletics.


Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,

Fritz Polite, (407) 758-0811

Stephanie Hill, doctoral student on trip, (301) 728-8795