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Dec. 16, 2011
As Elise Jones graduates from Northwest Missouri State University with her degree in interactive digital media and a computer science emphasis, she is looking back on her college experience as one that was eye-opening, rewarding and a reminder that one’s goals can be achieved with some hard work.
Jones, of Omaha, Neb., came to Northwest with the intention of pursuing a degree in vocal music performance but soon realized her passion for computers and technology.
“Music was always easy for me and I loved it, but I also enjoyed the challenge of solving logical and mathematical problems,” Jones said. “Since Northwest is an excellent fit for both majors it worked out well for me.”
Jones wasted little time getting involved in activities she enjoyed, making new friends and expanding her knowledge along the way. At Northwest, she was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, the Spirit and Truth Gospel Choir, the DigEM student organization for multimedia and advertising majors, Awaken Student Ministries and the Residence Hall Association, among other organizations. Jones also was a member of Northwest’s Homecoming royalty this year as well as in 2010.
“I was very involved in high school and honestly didn't know how to transition (to college),” Jones said. “I learned quickly that my resources could be my best friend throughout my time at Northwest, and I wanted to make sure I got my hands into everything that interested me. It was a great way to meet people, and it gave me more motivation to keep my grades up.”
Last spring, she was one of 24 students selected to be part of the pilot class for Northwest’s Knacktive strategic communications agency. The intense training helped Jones develop her interests in advertising and marketing.
“Knacktive really whipped me into shape,” Jones said. “I was a media planner, which was nothing I had studied before, but the teachers of Knacktive really took a chance on me and I was determined to not deliver anything short of what they deserved. … I now know what it's like to work in a real-life agency with clients and meetings, and I owe that all to Knacktive.”
Jones also credits Northwest staff and faculty members for helping to guide her when she wasn’t so sure of her goals and direction. Jones said her academic advisor Dr. Carol Spradling, an associate professor of computer science and information systems, and Steve Bryant, director of intercultural affairs, played key roles in her personal development.
“Carol helped me discover what I am passionate about by pushing me to try new things in my field and encouraging me to never limit myself,” Jones said. “She is the reason I have had so many internships and the reason I can hold a decent conversation. Steve serves as a constant reminder that hard work will never be wasted. They both helped me to develop a unique set of skills though my major extracurricular activities that have prepared me to take the world and do great things with it.”
Jones future plans include working in the social media marketing field and “taking life one step at a time.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468