Hey Nashvillians, What should they develop on the site of the old thermal plant?

The following is a guest post. I never have guest posts, but I made an exception this time as the guest post is written by someone who has me wrapped around her little finger. She is part of a group of university students participating in Vanderbilt Owen School of Management’s Accelerator Summer Business Institute and is on a team that is making recommendations to a local architecture firm. She’d really appreciate your help. Also, if you share your opinion, it could prove to her that someone actually reads this blog:

I need some advice from Nashvillians who are concerned with the future development of downtown. I’m a part of a team of university students involved in a month-long business program at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management.

Currently, our team is involved in a project to consider viable alternatives for the 10-acre waterfront property between the new Gateway Bridge and the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge. You may know this piece of land as the site of the former thermal plant. And you probably know that it came close to being developed as a joint-use baseball stadium for the Sounds along with a retail, office and residential development before the financing package of the project fell through.

Our team is working on a project that asks (and we hope, answers), “Now what?” So I wanted to ask the best experts — Nashvillians — what your ideas are for what should become of this city-owned prime location? What’s missing from the downtown experience? As a Nashvillian, what are your thoughts, ideas or concerns for the future of the site?

Post your thoughts as a comment below (we will credit you in our recommendations) or email our Accelerator Program group if you prefer at annparker2008@gmail.com. Thank you for being a part of our “community focus group.”

Your ideas are greatly appreciated and I look forward to my dad the RexBlog updating you with our progress!

Ann ParkerThe 20-year-old & Team (Vanderbilt – Accelerator Summer Business Institute)

College journalists embracing new media

Sometimes, great things are going on in your own backyard and you don’t even know about it. Except now I do know about it. For the next couple of days, college student journalists, advisers and faculty members from around the country will be in Nashville to participate in a workshop on using new media tools: audio, video, advanced multimedia, advanced online storytelling. It is being hosted by the Center for Innovation in College Media that is headquartered on the campus of Vanderbilt.

I am very glad such a program has been created to support university journalism programs that are encouraging their students to view themselves as reporters, story-tellers, truth-sharers, analysts — who do not have to limit themselves to words and photos on paper and traditional broadcasting.

A bonus for me: The program is headquartered a few blocks from my office.

I’ll be dropping in and out of today and tomorrow’s workshops and will be posting notes, photos — perhaps some innovative new media — later today.

Later: First, let me send out some major props to Paul Conley, my friend and fellow business media blogger who has been hammering on the topic of j-schools and new media for years. Paul wasn’t actually here at the workshop, but I thought about him so much during the time I was there, that I felt the need to give him a shout-out — Paul, you would have been happy.

The best way I can describe what this workshop is — and a way some of you can replicate it regionally or locally — is to describe it as a Podcamp specifically for college journalists. However, it was highly structured and organized and a little more “officially run” than a true podcamp, the essence of what was covered and how the information flowed was podcamp-like. This workshop — and the incredible new facilities at Vanderbilt where it is being held — may be a little bit more formal than a podcamp, but the idea of using a college facility for a weekend podcamp for student journalists, is an idea that I’m sure someone else must be already doing — if not, why not?

While I’ve met lots of professors and educators through this blog and get a steady stream of email from college students, I haven’t really been on top of this specific topic — college journalism and new media. However, last fall I visiting the City University of New York’s journalism facilities in mid-town where Jeff Jarvis’ interactive journalism program is, and then, today sitting in a half-day with the students and faculty from 40 or so colleges attending this workshop, I can affirm that the evangelism of people like Jeff and Paul and several people I’m now learning about like Bryan Murley at Eastern Illinois University and Ralph Raseth at Ole Miss and an entire community of educators who are very aware of what is taking place — and are now wanting to lead, rather than follow (or worse, merely watch) the parade. I’ll be blogging on this topic more, I’m sure.

Vanderbilt Chancellor Gee returning to Ohio State

Tennessean: Press conference at 3:00 p.m.

Copy of email from Gee that was sent to Vanderbilt staff and others during the past hour:

Dear Colleagues,

Today, it is with mixed emotions that I have informed the Board of Trust and its Chairman, Mrs. Martha Ingram, of my intention to resign the Chancellorship of Vanderbilt on August 1 of this year. At that time, I will assume the Presidency of The Ohio State University. This was by far the most difficult professional decision that I have ever made. I want you to know that I am not leaving Vanderbilt. Rather, I am following my heart and returning to a place that I consider my home. My decision is that simple and that complex. Over the past several weeks, members of the University Board and the University family have done everything possible to make me feel valued and appreciated. I assure you that I do.

Vanderbilt is a magnificent university with a world-class faculty, remarkable students, devoted staff, and passionate alumni. It is blessed with an extraordinary group of senior leaders. Its future is boundless. It will continue its unprecedented trajectory to greatness. I assure you that I will give Vanderbilt my full measure of devotion until I assume my new duties. And, I will always take great pride in the achievements of the University and the friendships that I have made and will continue to cherish.

Gordon

For those who have never watched a race to update a Wikipedia entry, Gee’s entry is lighting up.

In addition to being president of Ohio State previously and chancellor of Vanderbilt, Gee has also been president of the University of Colorado, the University of West Virginia and Brown.