Jones awarded for making a difference at university, local community
13 years ago, Jeannette Eileen Jones accepted a job offer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has taught on campus ever since. Today Jones is an associate professor of history and ethnic studies.
After receiving her doctorate from SUNY Buffalo State in 2003, she began a national job search. Jones chose Nebraska because she believed Lincoln was the best fit for her, though she now admits it was a culture shock after living her entire life on the East Coast.
“I realized you have to make home where you are,” she said.
In a statement announcing Jones as this year’s recipient, Mick Hale, the executive director of Leadership Lincoln, said Jones has been “a pillar of support for students of color on the UNL campus for many years.”
“At first I was shocked,” Jones said. “Then I was overwhelmed. Then I felt humbled.”
Leadership Lincoln celebrated Jones, along with other award recipients, on April 7, at Nebraska Innovation Campus. The volunteers of the Clinic Operations Group for A Clinic with a Heart were honored with the Bud Cuca Servant Leader of the Year Award.
Jones serves as president of NAACP’s Lincoln branch, after formerly serving as the group’s vice president. In 2016 Jones also received the College Distinguished Teaching Award. Jones also works with the university’s Black Lives Matter group and the Black Graduate Student Association.
Rileigh Hurd, an undeclared freshman, is taking a course from Jones.
“She’s very involved on campus, and I think she really wants to do good work in our community,” Hurd said.
Hurd also said she thinks any student who has had Jones can tell she isn’t just at the school to teach.
“I hope my students don’t just see me as someone who talks but also as someone who can walk the talk,” Jones said. “That I do this to live in a better place.”