Join the Journey Highlights Exceptional Stories of Volunteer Spirit

The university’s $1.1 billion Join the Journey campaign launched Friday, September 22. More than $814 million has been raised since the campaign began its silent phase in January 2012.

As part of this historic milestone celebration, UT featured three stories of exceptional Vols, whose commitment to their endeavors illustrate the Volunteer Spirit—working on difficult tasks in dedication to a greater goal.

Learn more about the people featured in the video, in order of appearance:

Kate Grzywacz-Jones, associate professor of physics, uses nuclear reactions to study the structure of nuclei to help understand what happens in the cosmos.

Several years ago she received a prestigious Outstanding Junior Investigator Award from the US Department of Energy, an honor that recognizes exceptional scientists early in their career and provides them with $300,000 in research support.

Jones is part of a dynamic duo in the physics department. Her husband, Professor Robert Grzywacz helped discover Tennessine, an element added to the periodic table last year.

Christian Coleman, who won many awards as a Vol sprinter, is on track to be the fastest man in the world.

Although UT made a video of Coleman running early this summer, he wanted to wait until he competed in the World Championships to film him running up the steps in Neyland Stadium.

And it was certainly worth the wait.

On August 5, Christian beat Gold Medalist Usain Bolt in the 100-meter final at the World Championships in London.

Now a professional runner, we are proud to call him a Vol.

Sushmitha Kumar, doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Genome Science and Technology, won funding from last spring’s Vol Court competition run by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business.

She launched µRNA Technologies, a company developing diagnostic kits for simple, rapid detection of pathogens causing diseases.

She was awarded $500 and a yearlong subscription to a suite of tools to help her build her business.

Vol Court is hosted twice a year by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business.