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As a high school student, Elizabeth Cagle attended the Design Matters camp at UT to see if architecture would be a viable career option.

“It was confirmation that architecture was for me,” she said. “The camp exposed me to UT’s space and curriculum, so I felt comfortable here as a freshman.”

Cagle and nine other former campers graduated this weekend from the UT College of Architecture and Design. They are among the students who attended the very first Design Matters camp after it was established in 2008.

The week-long overnight summer camp gives high school students the opportunity to learn innovation and invention skills. It also gives them an understanding of how design impacts invention and human experience. They gain an in-depth look at life as a university student.

This year’s camp will be June 16 through 21.

Besides Cagle, other former campers and now newly minted UT alumni are Forrest Reynolds, a dual major in engineering and architecture, who was a central designer of the UT Haiti Project; Emily Barnett and Caroline McDonald of the Interior Design Program; Ashlynne Camuti, Leslie Hood, Brandon McCloy, Kirsten Reed, and Frannie Robinson of the School of Architecture; and Sarah Howell, a dual major in architecture and engineering.

“These students represent some of the best of our graduating class,” said Matt Hall, an associate professor of architecture and program director of Design Matters. “The camp encourages imagination, innovation, and collaboration to solve problems. It promotes students to transform their ideas into spaces and products that affect people’s everyday lives.”

Cagle, who plans to attend a two-year Bible college in California and then eventually work as an architect, noted that the students in her class were instrumental in her positive experience at UT.

“We supported one another through good times and bad,” she said. “The community we had here is unparalleled.”

To learn more about the Design Matters Camp, visit the College of Architecture and Design’s website.


C O N T A C T:

Kiki Roeder (865-974-6713,

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,