As part of our ongoing alumni feature series, we spoke with 2014 graduate, Jordawn Jones, who majored in Exercise Science with a minor in Human Biology. Jones is now working as the Head Athletic Trainer and adjunct faculty at Sierra Nevada University.
Why did you choose WOU?
I planned to attend WOU to play basketball and finish my degree in Exercise Science. It was close to home without being home.
Do you have any meaningful anecdotes about professors or experiences you had at WOU?
The professors in the Exercise Science program really helped shape my career path. From spending extra time talking to me about their experiences to helping me pick the best classes to guide me along my way, the professors during my time at WOU provided me with the tools I needed to be successful. In particular, Dr. Armstrong has been a huge contributor to my success. He sparked my passion, has continued to be a source of information, and has been a reference for me whenever I needed it.
How has your WOU degree shaped your career path?
WOU and the Exercise Science program gave me the foundation to start my career. The classes I took at WOU helped me get into my graduate program and started my passion. Before entering WOU, I struggled to stay committed to my studies. Entering the Exercise Science program helped me find my spark and stay dedicated to meeting my goals. Because of the program, I found that my true passion was athletic training and strength and conditioning. Being able to be involved in internships helped me weed out the career paths that didn’t fit my interests. I was able to truly shape my career path from my experiences and education at WOU.
What do you wish you knew before you graduated?
I wish I knew how important the professors can be towards future experiences. I have been lucky to develop relationships with professors, but it wasn’t until after graduating that I realized how much influence these relationships can have.
What was your experience like as a student athlete?
By the time I got to WOU, I had three knee surgeries. I was hoping to continue my athletic career. However, after a few short months, I realized I needed to focus on school. My previous years as an athlete was very structured. From class scheduled to work outs to practices, most of my days were laid out for me. The family that is created with teammates and coaches is one of a kind. I always hoped to finish my college career as an athlete. But being forced to end early shaped my way to becoming an athletic trainer in hopes to keep other athletes from meeting an early end like I did.
How have you stayed connected to WOU, post-graduation?
I follow WOU on social media and check in on the website regularly. It is important to me to know what is happening with the school, programs and athletics.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years? 10 years?
I am currently working on my Ph.D. I hope to finish the program and secure a position with a bigger university teaching and working as an athletic trainer. I would really like to focus my efforts on football or basketball. But I hope to help teach and hopefully spark a passion for this field like I was able to find at WOU.