June 20, 2018 Four Scholars Spend Two Weeks Studying WWII in Europe

Four students from the College of Architecture and Design who were chosen as UT Normandy Scholars spent 13 days in May exploring the history of World War II in England, France and Germany.

Normandy Scholars 2018

Normandy Scholars is an interdisciplinary program designed to allow undergraduate students from across the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to study World War II in a wider context.

While abroad, students visited memorials, museums, galleries, parks and cemeteries.  To read more about these students’ travels, check out their blog at

Autumn Ragland, 2nd-year Architecture student, explained that the study abroad experience was an amazing opportunity to see history in architecture at a personal level.

View from inside the Pompidou Center

“From the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Pompidou Center to meticulously cared-for cemeteries and ‘temporary’ riverside shops, I was able to understand and feel the long-term effect and deep importance of the built environment,” explained Ragland.

Before embarking on their study abroad trip, students participated in a three-hour seminar. Sydney Bittinger, 3rd-year Architecture student, explained that her experience in the Normandy Scholars program helped shape the way she looks at design.

“It gave me an opportunity to share my passion [with other students] as well as understand how design and media can impact visitors,” stated Bittinger.

Patrick Keogh, 3rd-year Interior Architecture student, agreed with Bittinger. “Seeing monuments and museums that ultimately talk about the same event but take different approaches helps to see the small nuances in the designs, such as materials, lighting and spatial organization.

While participating in the program, students learned more about their chosen design professions, but also, they were able to reflect on the history behind the sites they visited. The students in the program focused on memory studies, which examine how societies react to and commemorate the past.

“This trip helped me realize that I am a revenant (a returner) for the next generation to these places of memory,” stated Jonathan Winfiele, a 3rd-year Architecture student. “We have the responsibility to craft the narrative for others to understand and to preserve its integrity.”


Want to learn more? Visit us!

The best way to learn more about this and other amazing opportunities for our students is to visit us.  Schedule a visit today!  Or e-mail us for more information.


And check out these great stories:

Normandy Scholars are Named

Study Abroad Opportunities


Learn about students exploring abroad:

Dillon Dunn

Cullen Sayegh

Students in Haiti

Students Visit Iceland