Katie Hamilton, has been a part of the making of history. The recent University of Tennessee at Martin graduate was one of the first interns to work for Discovery Park of America, the large educational and entertainment complex presently being constructed in Union City.
Hamilton, a native of Fayetteville and former communications (public relations sequence) major, had a broad skill set that made her a good fit for the internship at the park that is scheduled to open in 2013 and is still deep in planning phases.
“I started in late November, early December,” Hamilton said, explaining that she wasn’t intended to be brought on board until January 2012 but wanted to start working early. “I liked the project so much and I was so interested in it that I wanted to jump into it. I didn’t want to wait until January to get started.”
Hamilton was able to use her communications skills on a large scale by managing and developing the Discovery Park Facebook page and interacted with other Facebook users to spread news about the park and its progress.
“With social media, obviously we’re reaching out to Facebook fans in the Union City/Martin area but we’re also hoping to expand to the region because this park is going to be a big tourist attraction.”
Discovery Park is financed by the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation, and upon its scheduled opening will feature an expansive array of historical exhibits and numerous educational galleries including a 60-foot replica of a human body and a 20,000 gallon aquarium.
“With my Facebook updates I try to provide sneak peaks of some of the things that are going to be in galleries, let people know where construction is right now so that people will build faith in the park, they know where it’s at and they actually feel like they’re growing with the park,” Hamilton said.
Another project of Hamilton’s internship was obtaining and compiling content for a photographic timeline of construction that will be displayed in an exhibit when the complex opens.
“It’s been really unique in that, when wearing all of the appropriate safety gear, I get to walk out on the construction site and take pictures of what’s going up. The architecture is fabulous, so it’s really neat to see that,” she said.
Hamilton plans to eventually attend law school and added that Discovery Park and UT Martin are working together to provide many educational and internship opportunities for UT Martin students.
“There are a lot more internships available. There are history interns; I believe they’re also going to have educational interns and there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for UTM students to utilize,” she said.