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SIS Students, Staff Step Up and Embody the Volunteer Spirit

SIS Student & Staff Member Hillary Tune (featured at 0:29) sews face masks for Knox Makes Masks

During this time, people are coming together (while staying apart), and doing what they can to support and inspire their community. The members of the SIS community are no different; alumni, faculty, students, and staff are already stepping up and embodying the Volunteer Spirit during this difficult time.

Hillary Tune, communications specialist for SIS, and also a grad student taking SIS classes, has started pitching in with a local group to sew face masks for various members of the community, including healthcare workers, patients, veterinarian workers, food handlers, and more. Demand for the masks keeps pouring in, and until a better solution is found, the volunteers will keep cutting, sewing, and distributing the masks. She and her fellow volunteers have been featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

“Sewing has been a great distraction, it’s almost meditative. I was invited to do it by a friend I sew with, and who started Knox Makes Masks. I’m so glad she gave me the push I needed to get involved, I’m enjoying having something to do that can be helpful,” she said.

Dan Greene

Dan Greene, SIS technology coordinator, alum, and lecturer

Another SIS staff member, Dan Greene, is helping out in a completely different way. Greene – who is also an SIS alum and lecturer, is lending his expertise to his daughter’s school with tech support for Zoom as they began to conduct class online.

“My daughter’s school is utilizing a variety of online tools for at home learning and several teachers are using Zoom. Since I have extensive experience with Zoom as part of my job at SIS, I’ve volunteered to help out. Offering a few bits of knowledge has helped them avoid a lot of trial and error,” Greene said.

Cards created by MSIS student Kristina Mullinex for members of a local assisted living facility.

MSIS student Kristina Mullinex said she wanted to help out, and needed something to do, so she scrounged up some watercolor paper and began drawing and painting on it to create cards for the 38 residents at a local assisted living facility.

“Kindness begets kindness, and in times like this, we all need to spread those seeds more than any other time. I can’t sew masks, it’s too hot to knit, and so this just ended up being something I could do,” she said.

Share Your Stories

If you’re an SIS alum or student, we want to hear what you’re doing to embody the Volunteer Spirit. Please email with your inspirational stories, big and small.