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KNOXVILLE – Mara Naylor, who composed a poem about her life and interests, is the winner of the “What’s Your Story?” video contest.

“What’s Your Story?” is part of Ready for the World, the campus’ international and intercultural initiative. The goal of “What’s Your Story?” is to celebrate the diversity of UT Knoxville’s faculty, staff and students by collecting as many of their stories as possible.

Naylor is a junior in public relations from Chattanooga; runners-up in the contest were Cameron Lofink and Dinara Aprymova. Lofink, a junior in logistics from Memphis, talked about moving from the Pacific Northwest to the South and reminisced about being rescued from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Aprymova, a senior in journalism, is from Kazakhstan, and talked about how she and her brother have been exchange students in the United States.

Last month, the “What’s Your Story?” video team stopped at several places on campus to collect as many one-minute video stories as possible from UT faculty, staff and students. The effort yielded 171 videos.

A panel of judges composed of faculty and students watched all of the videos and selected 20 finalists. The finalists videos are posted on the “What’s Your Story?” Web site and, for four days last week, the public was able to view and rate them.

The winner and runners-up were chosen through a combination of public ratings and judges’ comments.

As the winner, Naylor will receive $200 on a preloaded credit card; Lofink and Aprymova will receive cards worth $100 each. A short video about “What’s Your Story?” — including Naylor’s video — was shown during pregame at Sunday’s men’s basketball game. That wrap-up video, along with all of the finalists’ videos, can be viewed on the “What’s Your Story?” Web site,


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,