Meet Scott Jones, AU Staff Council president. As part of an ongoing series, each issue we will profile a different Staff Council representatives.
Scott Jones grew up on a farm in rural Illinois surrounded by horses, cows, chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats, ducks, geese and pigs.
His favorite pet, however, was his Appaloosa named Misty. Scott believes that raising his horse and growing up on the farm gave him a strong work ethic and taught him team work. The family had to work together every day to incubate eggs, care for the animals and keep the farm running smoothly, in and out of harvest seasons. “There was no way one person could do it alone. Everyone had to do his or her part,” Scott said.
Scott left the farm and has landed in Washington, DC, as Director of Operations for the University Center at American University and also as Chair of AU’s Staff Council. But he still has to get his animal fix. “We had 40 kittens this summer,” he said, explaining that he is a foster parent for the Washington Humane Society. Kittens spend an average of five to eight weeks socializing with Jones’ boxer Rambo and his cat Keisha before they are put up for adoption. “I have five kittens running around the house right now,” he says. “It’s cute because they will crawl up on Rambo and fall asleep with him.”
Scott has worked as the director of operations for the University Center for eight years and is on his fourth and final year of Staff Council. This is his second year as chair. “Initially, I joined the council to meet staff across campus and continue my professional development. As I remained involved, I realized that we had some great opportunities to make a significant impact on the campus community,” Scott says.
As Scott gets ready to step down from his position as chair and member of the council, he advises the next chair to “know that change happens slowly, so find pride and motivation in even the smallest of accomplishments.”
His proudest moment on staff council was just this semester. “I think completing the 2011 Staff Council Survey brings me the most joy as it provides future direction for the Council and the University as it relates to staff,” he said. Approximately 640 staff participated and the results provide a clear picture of AU Staff’s concerns, and consequently what the council’s priorities will be.
Scott describes the council as a group of dedicated AU staffers who volunteer their time to make a difference. Just as his family shared responsibilities to collectively make the farm function, Scott says council members collaborate to serve the entire AU community.
But does he miss the farm? “I often think about moving outside of DC so that we might be able to raise horses, ducks, geese, pigeons, and free range chickens.” But for now, he’s happy sticking close to the circus of life on campus.
As told to Celina Ryan
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