Featured Tigers is a monthly series wherein the spotlight shines on a few students, alumni, faculty and staff from our Crete, Lincoln and Omaha campus locations. These individuals stand out in the best way — as talented and driven leaders.

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What is your name and title?Eric Jones stands in front of a wall with faux greenery and black-painted brink, wearing Nike tennis shoes, jeans and a denim jacket.

Eric Jones, M.Ed — Assistant Director of Leadership and Service

How long have you worked at Doane? What attracted you to work here?

Two years and three months. When I interviewed at Doane for the community director position, I felt the sense of community on campus and with my interactions with everyone I met. During the time I interviewed, it was still COVID-19 and we had to wear masks, but everyone around me made me feel welcomed and it made the decision easy to come to Doane.

What do you consider the best part of your Doane experience?

What I consider the best is building relationships with the students and making an impact in their lives. I can say that my Frees Hall residents really helped me grow as an individual and professional. They were my last class that were first-years that I worked with and I can say out of all the first-years that I oversaw, they were the ones to really made my experience worthwhile. Now being in a new role, I am able to keep the relationships that I have with students going and push them to become a better version of themselves.

What is something you're proud of accomplishing or achieving while at Doane?

I am proud of getting accepted into the Doctor of Education program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln — this is a huge accomplishment for me. I spoke with many people at Doane about pursing this advanced degree, and how I wanted to grow as a higher education professional to continue making a difference in students' lives and combating injustices and inequities for underrepresented groups.

In addition, I'm proud of working with the VP of DEI & Government Relations, Luis Sotelo, to create an Inclusive Leadership course for our students on campus. We worked all summer developing the content and course to ensure that students are able to learn, develop and grow as leaders. Doane is a special place and I am happy that I am here and have been involved with various projects and initiatives to better the student experience.

What is some advice you would give to current students? Or, what is some advice you've received that you value?

Some advice I would give current students is to never forget your purpose and commitment to your education. You will continue to make mistakes in life, and never dwell on what you cannot fix or control. You are intelligent and worthy!

What is something you like about yourself that others may not know?

For the last eight years, I have been able to work in my truth — which is being an African American gay male in society. For one thing, I am not ashamed of who I am. I am actually proud of the person that I have become and truthfully embrace my identity. I have to remind people that I am me and will continue to wear my jewelry, have an item or two that will sparkle, and have a bag on my hand. I know that everyone does not support the LGBTQIA+ community and I had to realize that I cannot force that either — we all know what the Bible says in full about it. However, I am going to love me and I have accomplished a lot. I have three degrees under my belt and working on another one before I am 30. I always remind myself "Just Be You" and the rest will fall in place.