Go back

"Bridge Across College St." explores relationship between APSU, Clarksville

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Students at Austin Peay State University are putting the final touches on a project that explores the relationship between the University and the city in which it calls home.

Titled “Bridge Across College St.,” the project will feature artwork from APSU students exploring the University’s relationship with the city of Clarksville through interviews with members of both communities. From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, members of APSU’s President’s Emerging Leaders Program (PELP) will be displaying their work on College Street near the APSU campus.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Students at Austin Peay State University are putting the final touches on a project that explores the relationship between the University and the city in which it calls home.

Titled “Bridge Across College St.,” the project will feature artwork from APSU students exploring the University’s relationship with the city of Clarksville through interviews with members of both communities. From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, members of APSU’s President’s Emerging Leaders Program (PELP) will be displaying their work on College Street near the APSU campus.

Teaching his first PELP course, APSU associate professor of art Barry Jones was tasked with encouraging some of APSUs brightest minds to explore different ways of communicating a message.

Of his 24 students, just one was an art major. The class itself, Jones said, became an experiment in the many “tools” of leadership available to young people.

“This is probably the first time (many of the students) have done anything like this project,” Jones said. “We spent a great deal of time discussing ideas for artwork that would have some benefit to the community, and it was important to me that the students themselves generated the project.”

Each student in Jones’ class interviewed four people, dividing their time equally between members of the APSU and Clarksville communities. During the interview process, Jones said students discovered there is a wedge and also explored possible solutions for bringing the two communities closer together.

“There was a sense of ‘town and gown’ separation in the interviews,” Jones said, of the differences between community and University members. “But there were also a lot of great ideas about how to fix the problem.

“It was very easy for me to see why these (PELP) students have been identified as future leaders, because this was a project outside of their experience, but they jumped in with excitement, enthusiasm and hard work.”

PELP students exemplify the vision and values of Austin Peay and the program itself through academic excellence and service above self.  PELP students receive an annual scholarship of $3,000, which is renewable over a four-year period.  PELP students must maintain a cumulative collegiate GPA of at least 3.50, and they must enroll in at least 12 credit hours per semester.  They must also take required PELP courses and fulfill other program requirements as outlined by the PELP director.