Leavittsburg woman is pursuing a trio of degrees at KSU

CHAMPION – For most college students, one degree would be enough.

For Tia Jones, 20, of Leavittsburg, a junior at Kent State University Trumbull, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business management and two associate degrees in business management technology and accounting technology, is just part of the game.

Jones, the recipient of several scholarships, maintains her impressive academic record while working part time at a local bookstore. She is on the Dean’s List, the President’s List and in the Honors Program at Kent State Trumbull.

Jones was one of 100-plus college students honored for academic excellence on Thursday at the KSU Trumbull campus auditorium.

“From a young age, my parents told me I would have to pay for my own college education,” said Jones, the middle of three children.

In a speech to the audience Thursday, Jones advised them to not let doubt keep them from pursuing their dreams.

“I have been presented with so many opportunities. Success is not just handed to you. I encourage you to find those people who help you to succeed and thank them from the bottom of your heart,” Jones said at the end of her remarks.

Jones expressed her gratitude to those role models who she said made the difference in her life and continue to assist her through academics and personal success.

“I was raised in a home with parents that encouraged me. I want to be a role model for children that don’t have that,” she said.

Her parents, Raymond and Christine Jones, were in the audience.

Jones has given back through volunteering with children in Bible school, coaching youth basketball and serving meals to those in need.

She said she also is inspired through academics and the many professors and leaders at the university.

“A lot of the professors here have worked in the business field. They have taught me a lot of things that I would not have known about marketing, operations and communications,” Jones said.

The respect and admiration is mutual.

“Tia is an exceptional student and an exceptional person. Anything you ask her to do, she’s all over it,” academic adviser Christine Cooney said.

In her spare time, which is limited, Jones is busy fixing up a new home with her fiance, Glenn McClellan, who also was in attendance at Thursday’s ceremony.

She enjoys baking and dreams of using that love to start a bakery where the proceeds go to help feed the homeless.

“I have baked a lot for the church. I find it to be a stress reliever,” she said.