Purdue Profiles: Kasi Jones
Kasi Jones, senior assistant director of Student Access, Transition and Success and coordinator of orientation, pulls together materials for bags that are handed out to new students during Boiler Gold Rush. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)
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Whether it's helping the student leaders of Boiler Gold Rush find their passion or keeping up-to-date with students in the news, Kasi Jones loves seeing young people succeed.
Jones, senior assistant director of Student Access, Transition and Success and coordinator of orientation, takes every opportunity to learn about others and turn this large campus into a small one.
How did you become interested in student services?
As an undergraduate at University of Central Arkansas, I was involved with the Student Activities Board, Public Relations Student Society of America and Alpha Sigma Alpha. These activities are what got me interested in higher education. I went to graduate school part time for college student personnel and administration while working full time in admissions recruiting, which is an entirely different area of student services than what I do now.
How did you end up in your current job at Purdue?
I was looking for a change, so I stepped out of my box and applied for this position. I knew I wanted to go to a larger institution for more opportunities, and I wanted to be in the North. The Midwest and the North are basically the same thing, so here I am.
I wanted to do something where I could work closely with students. With recruiting you get the students to the school, but then you're done. With a program like BGR, I am able to be involved in leadership development with current students and give new students the resources to be successful.
I absolutely never imagined myself living in Indiana, but I've been here for two years and love every minute of it.
What role do you play in Boiler Gold Rush?
I am the coordinator of BGR. Corey Thoss is the assistant director, and we form a leadership development program for our current students who will then, of course, run BGR.
I make sure we stay on budget and set up collaborations and sponsorships on campus and in the community.
I hate to say BGR is an easy week, but all the hard work is done, and we are able to watch the student leaders put into action what they've learned. BGR began the 14th, so this week, I'm mostly around to put out fires.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love working with our student leaders and watching them develop into more confident and poised students. It is great to see them have a passion for something and run with it.
When does planning start for BGR?
This weeklong event takes all year to plan. This Thursday of BGR week is our Student Orientation Committee callout for 2011. There really is no downtime. Our planning for next year starts the same day our structured programming for this year is complete.
Orientation isn't completely over after BGR, though. We have fall and winter welcomes at the beginning of each semester for students who couldn't attend BGR and an athletic orientation for new athletes who are already in season.
What else are you involved in at Purdue and in the community?
Kevin Farrell, assistant director of SATS, and I are co-directors of the Miss Purdue Pageant. I am on the Leadership Lafayette Curriculum Committee and a part of Tippy Connect young professional network. I like to attend our student leader events like Purdue Dance Marathon, club team gymnastics meets and even wrestling matches. I play softball and love to color, too.
Do you stay inside the lines?
Absolutely, and then I outline it in black and mail the pages to my friends. It's so relaxing.
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