Meaghan Jones|Nat'l Merit Scholar Enjoys It All
By Amanda Cairo
With the world of education at her fingertips, Nampa’s Meaghan Jones is taking full advantage of her time at the University of Idaho.
The anthropology and chemistry major is in her third year at the University. She is filling her schedule not only with classes and the University Honors Program, but with clubs and activities as a National Merit Scholar.
“I feel so fortunate to be able to take the time and get so involved,” says Jones. “I thought it would be good to take advantage of my scholarships and the time I have here.”
As she was looking at universities, Jones says she not only wanted to stay in Idaho, but she wanted a community where she could really become involved. It wasn’t just the University community and the academics that drew her to Moscow, but the town and atmosphere as well.
“Everyone is very supportive of the University,” says Jones. “I looked at other colleges and there weren’t as many student involvement opportunities.”
Jones has been a member of the ballroom dance team, Compassion Speaks, chemistry club and the pagan club. She also applied for the Honors Program's alternative service break. On top of two majors, she says the best part of her Idaho experience is the Honors Program.
“They offer some really interesting seminar classes,” says Jones. “And it is nice to have a support community of people who feel the same way about academics.”
With a passion for anthropology, she first began her college career in the College of Letters Arts and Social Science. Taking advantage of her scholarship opportunities though, she expanded to a more scientific approach and added chemistry, a favorite subject. Merging the two degrees, she is hoping to go into museum curation or artifact analysis.
“It’s really interesting to go through the dirt and find a bottle, but with chemistry, I can analyze what was once in that bottle,” says Jones, adding that starting with an assortment of pieces to create a whole item at the end of the day is fascinating. “It’s the little gems, the common place artifacts, that really show you history.”
On the anthropology side, Jones says working in the archeology lab as an undergraduate has been great practice. She also spent time over the summer at an archeological site, where she learned she preferred the lab work over field work.
“It’s so good to be able to have the practical experience here,” says Jones. “I don’t think you get that at a lot of other universities.”
She adds opportunities to attend conferences with professors and present papers as an undergraduate will help her as she looks ahead to graduate school.
“I like being a student; I’m very interested in pursuing further studies on a refined level in gradate school,” says Jones.
As she continues her studies, the lessons she learned during her first year in the Core Discovery class about service learning have remained with her. Jones says the volunteer opportunities on campus have been amazing and helped her grow as a person and student.