Jones '97 finds niche as campus leader
Had she not sustained an injury that ended her track career, Anne Jones '97 could be in the midst of corporate recruiting looking for a position at a biological researching firm.
But somewhere during the past three years, the track team member from Nebraska, who began as a biology major, turned campus leader.
Jones is president of Delta Delta Delta sorority and the Education 20 teaching assistant who organized last spring's pivotal meeting about the fate of the education department. She has won several awards for leadership in the Greek system.
"I'd say she's a quick study," Education Professor Robert Binswanger said. "She's bright and spirited, organized and highly focused."
Jones reflected on how much she has changed as she sat on her bed in the Tri Delta house at the end of another busy week.
"I always laugh -- I was such a different person and I'm not sure I remember who that person was."
"I was such the stereotypical athlete," Jones said.
Jones' older brother also attended Dartmouth, so Jones had planned to go elsewhere.
"I was actually going to go to Brown" University, Jones said. But when she visited, she "was terrified by how intense they are."
Then she visited Dartmouth on Homecoming Weekend.
"I was just really caught up in the pride at the school," Jones said, and she applied early.
'Out of nowhere'
Jones, herself, is sometimes mystified by her leadership positions at the College.
"It was really weird," she said. "Someone was saying, 'You just blew up out of nowhere.'"
When she rushed and pledged Tri Delta, Jones said she was not considering a leadership position as much as she was wondering if she would have the time to participate in many sorority activities given her commitment to the track team.
It was only after stress fractures forced her to stop running her sophomore winter that she had more time.
"That was really hard," Jones said of the injuries.
At the end of her sophomore summer when she was serving as house manager, someone asked her if she had ever considered being president of Tri Delta. Jones said she discussed the option extensively with her mother before deciding to give it a try.
She said her experience at Tri Delta made her realize her leadership abilities.
"I really think Tri-Delta gave that to me. I feel like I owe this house a lot," Jones said, although she does not think it is necessary to have the backing of a sorority to be a prominent leader on the campus.
"Being from Nebraska," Jones said she did not come to the College with a background in politics and leadership.
"It was certainly new territory," she said. "I grew up on a farm."
As president of Tri Delta, Jones was part of a union of the presidents of the six sororities of the Panhellenic council that called for change in the Greek system.
"We really clicked," Jones said. "We really started to make moves in terms of accountability."
Assistant Dean of Residential Life Deb Reinders said Jones understands and responds well to the needs of individuals
"That particular gift helps her enormously when she is leading her sorority," Reinders said. "She's an excellent listener."
Reinders said she first noticed Jones' leadership abilities at a retreat with other Greek leaders.
"I saw the way she interacts with her peers and I saw the respect that they gave her as a peer," Reinders said. "As her dean, I seek her advice and her counsel."
"She does things that mean a lot to her," Sea Lonergan '97 said. "She's not one to do things just to do them for the sake of doing them."
"I think her ability to get people excited about doing something and to be a part of it is a really cool thing," Lonergan said.
And, "I think she's a wonderful girlfriend," Lonergan added.
Over the edge
When she first got to Dartmouth, Jones was planning to be a biology researcher, but discovered the education department by accident.
"I just asked my [Undergraduate Advisor] what was a good class to take," Jones said, and she ended up in the education department. But "it was Education 20 which really put me over the edge."
She said her involvement in the education department "certainly stands out in my mind" as part of her Dartmouth experience.
She said the meeting she organized "really opened up Dartmouth in a whole new light" for her.
Jones said she was not just impressed with the number of students who turned out at the meeting and their enthusiasm for the education department, but with the intelligence of the comments students were making.
"It was fabulous," Jones said. "It was just so great to see students embracing issues like that."
She said the event also made her think not just about the fact that Dartmouth did not want to support the education department, but at that point, it had not solicited student input before attempting to make the decision.
But Jones said she thinks it is more important to be able to find happiness in a number of things rather than to focus on one event.
"That was an hour in time. I don't tend to dwell on those things," she said.
And although she still loves science, she "sort of went the avenue of ... a psychology major" who focused on educational issues.
"Ironically enough, some of the graduate schools I'm looking at are like, 'Where are your sciences?'"
Jones is open to change.
"Part of the reason I'm taking the path I am taking," Jones said, is because of the flexibility it offers.
Having studied psychology and education, she will be able to work for education firms or in educational administration among other areas.
"I could just do so many things," she said.
And she realizes that it does not always pay to focus on one specific career for the future.
"I was just sure I was going to be a veterinarian when I was a little girl," Jones said. But allergies prevented that option.
Jones said she finds it amusing that she has become more studious than she was in high school.
While she used to be the sort of person who talked to her friends during classes, Jones said now she cannot understand students who do so.
"I'm much more intellectual than I was in high school," Jones said of her changes since coming to Dartmouth.
"I'm a little taller, too," she said.
"Actually, I'm a lot taller."
"I love to play hoops," Jones said. She sometimes plays at Hanover High School among other locations and finds time for other activities as well.
While classes "certainly take time," she said, "It doesn't occur to me as work."
Binswanger said, "She does a number of things outside of class that are as successful as the work she does academically."
But with all the activities Jones is involved with, she said, "I really have to prioritize my time. If you see me on campus, I walk really fast."
"I think it's interesting ... being raised in a small town in Nebraska and ending up here. That peace, that distance from people -- I appreciate it much more now," Jones said of her childhood growing up on a farm. "This is a very different place."
Living in the Tri Delta house in a mostly residential neighborhood, however, Jones can sit on the porch and watch entire families rather than just students.
"It's really nice to be in touch with that. It feels much more homey to me," Jones said.
Jones likes living in the house because of her fellow sorority members as well.
"It's just so nice, they're your friends and they'll really be there for you," she said.
The ground outside her window in the Tri Delta house is broken up by construction of the new Hillel center. In addition to the new building, though, a new road may end the relative isolation of the Tri Delta house from the noise and activity of the campus.
But Jones said she will be happy as long as some of the new pavement near the Tri Delta house contains a basketball hoop.