East Carolina University alumna, Dr. Karla Jones (’00, ’02) recommends that students take advantage of networking and volunteering opportunities on and off campus.
“Always be the one to ask a question at each event you attend,” Jones said. “Make sure you are front and center.”
She also encourages students to get to know their instructors. “Your professors, administrators and coaches are great resources,” Jones said. “Everyone that works or went to ECU have very diverse backgrounds and are always available…Utilize them for advice, guidance and mentorships.”
A discipline chair at Central Piedmont Community College, Jones oversees the Department of Health and Physical Education and serves as chair of the Worksite Wellness Committee. She is responsible for teaching health courses and the first aid CPR course through the American Heart Association. She also is an adjunct professor teaching sport management at Johnson C. Smith University, Queens University and Grand Canyon University. Her previous experience includes working as a supervisor on the security team for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
Collaborating with other disciplines and creating new initiatives to impact student learning has been rewarding for Jones.
The Charlotte resident acknowledges the benefits she received from service activities at ECU and in the community and encourages students to get involved. “I was involved in everything from the Student Government Association and sport marketing to the Ladies Elite Community Service Organization,” Jones said. “I strongly feel that these types of engagements shaped my work ethic, passion for service and drive to excel in my field.”
Jones has given back to her alma mater in many ways. She serves on the ECU Alumni Association board of directors and supports the Karla Faye Jones Scholarship in the College of Health and Human Performance’s Department of Kinesiology.
Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science and a master’s degree in athletic administration from ECU. She holds a doctoral degree in sport management with a concentration in sport marketing from the United States Sports Academy. Her research interests include ethics in professional sports and experiential learning practices.