In celebration of Black History Month, East Georgia State College is highlighting the contributions made to the college by many influential people. One of those people who has served EGSC for over 10 years is Karen Jones.
Jones began her career at EGSC in 2007 as the first African American Director of Admissions. During Jones’ four-year reign as Director of Admissions, enrollment increased from 1980 students to the highest enrollment achieved at the college to 3433 students. She later became the first African American female to hold the position of Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and her current role, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.
“I am sincerely honored to be a forerunner for black females,” said Jones. “This accomplishment gives other women who look like me and have met similar challenges the ability to dream and see that their goals are achievable. There are different challenges that we face as the first; however, the battle scars are certainly worth it when it makes it easier for the ones that follow.”
Jones is also an alumnus of East Georgia State College. She received her Associate of Arts in Psychology and her Associate of Science in Computer Information Systems from EGSC. She continued her education at Troy University obtaining her Bachelor of Science in psychology and her Master’s in organizational management from Ashford University.
Jones said she enjoys working at EGSC because it gives her the ability to assist students in obtaining a post-secondary education which will give them more opportunities in their future.
“As an institution that serves a large number of first-generation students, we are changing lives for generations to come. I take pride in knowing that I am a part of that change, part of that opportunity for so many students,” said Jones. “Donald Avery a white, male Vice President reached across the blurred lines and gave me an opportunity to do what came natural to me, help students. This opportunity has not come without its trials. There have been many occasions that I have been the only one of my color in the room and have had to take a stand for equality, in which I have no regrets. Change is not easily embraced or easily understood but it is the mechanism of life that keeps us relevant.”
Jones has been named a Star Employee of the Year, an Executive Leadership Institute Scholar, and an Accelerated Leadership Academy Scholar. She is a member of Trinity Revival Worship Center where she serves as a Minister of the Gospel. Her husband of 30 years, Mr. Reginald Jones, has been her support through all the ups, down, and challenges that she has faced.
“His support and insistence that “I Stand” fueled my desire to run on and see what the end is going to be,” Jones said. “There are yet barriers to break and hills still left to be climbed. I truly believe that with God, all things are possible. Dreams are your inner conscience being stimulated to let you know what you can accomplish. Never give up on your dreams because you have what it takes to accomplish them on the inside of you.”