Name and Title:
Melanie Jones, Academic Advisor for Department of Agricultural Sciences
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in southeastern North Carolina, and made my way west when my parents moved to Montana. I ventured even further west to Oregon with my husband almost twelve years ago, so Oregon is “home base” now.
Where did you attend college?
I received my bachelor’s degree from The University of Montana in Missoula, Montana…one of the prettiest places around. I have a master’s degree in education from Oregon State.
What is your favorite college memory?
I have so many fun memories from my undergrad days, in particular. What a fun time in life (enjoy it while you can!). One memory in particular was on a fairly frigid, though spring day in Missoula. There was a very large home-made, slightly controversial “peace sign” at the top of one of the in-town mountains with a hiking trail leading to it. I hiked a fair amount around Missoula, but this was my first visit to the “peace sign” (often on first year students’ must do list). Once we made it to the top, we sat and took in the views and budding spring flowers around us. It was a really amazing view; you could see five valleys converging into Missoula from that spot, and the sun was setting. Just a great way to spend time with friends! The sign got removed after I graduated: http://www.missoulapeacesign.com/
What do you like most about OSU?
I’ve been at OSU since 2004 when I started grad school. What struck me as a grad student, and remains true as an employee is the amount of caring professionals, faculty members, and students in this community. I’ve seen many people go above and beyond the call of duty to check up on a student, advocate on a student’s behalf, or ensure changes were made or in progress that benefit student experiences. You don’t find that everywhere, especially on a large campus. This culture inspires me, and is in line with my own personal style in working with students.
What kind of transportation did you use in college?
I had a hand-me down old brown, Subaru wagon (great mountain car). I passed it down to one of my younger sisters – it just wouldn’t die!
What is your favorite agricultural commodity?
My husband is a chef, so I am the lucky recipient of a lot of great meals and treats. I suppose for this reason, I’d say wheat – it is the foundation of many of his homemade breads, pizza dough, & cookies.
What is something you enjoy doing in your free time?
I have young kids, so I don’t have a lot of true free time… more family time. We enjoy reading, art, gardening, biking and walks, going to the pool, and anything and everything outside once the rains subside.
Do you have any advice for students in the college of agricultural sciences?
I’ve only been with agricultural sciences since the start of winter term, but I have seen how friendly, easy to talk to, and proactive the faculty and advisors are. Related, my advice would be to take advantage of conversations with resources (advisors and instructors) early in your career. I was once in a meeting with a student and a professor, and the prof asked the student what she hoped to do in the future. Turns out, the prof knew a contact in the industry the student was interested in, and immediately linked the student to a job resource. Conversations can lead to strong leads and connections whether for volunteering, an internship, or employment. Take advantage of what is around you!