Returns on his research

CBS undergraduate Jason Jones sees a strong correlation between his experience doing directed research and future graduate school success.

Scientific discovery has always intrigued Jason Jones. As a teenager, he spent time using a microscope to find organisms from creek water near his house. He’d even draw pictures of what he found to give to his science teacher. While planning to eventually work in the sciences, Jones’ journey has included a few twists and turns along the way

“When I was a kid, I always wanted to do science, and then life happened, things got difficult and I moved out early,” says Jones.

Jones, a biochemistry major, left home when he was 15 years old, joined the military after graduating high school and served in Iraq. After completing duty, Jones started out at a community college before transferring to the College of Biological Sciences. This summer, he participated in the McNair Scholars, a program that aims to increase graduate and doctoral program applicants and degree completion for underrepresented and first-generation undergraduates students. Because of the program, he was able to continue working in Dr. Georgianna Mays’ lab studying fungal endophytes.

“Participating in the program gave me more experience with writing and presenting my research,” says Jones. “In graduate school, I will be doing a lot of writing, so that really helped prepare me.”

Ultimately, Jones hopes to become a faculty member in biochemistry or molecular biology at a research university.

“Getting my Ph.D. will allow me to become a mentor to someone who may be going through similar struggles,” says Jones. “It will give me the chance to let them know that they can do these things, too. That would bring joy to my heart.”

– Lance Janssen