By Mike Wooten
University of Georgia College of Engineering alumnus Jonathan Jones is being honored for his commitment to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach in local communities.
Jones received the 2018 Eugene M. DeLoatch Legacy Award at the annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Global Competitive Conference, held Feb. 8 – 10 in Washington, D.C. A fermentation improvement engineer for Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™, Jones was recognized for his work to establish a company-sponsored STEM outreach program for students, teachers and parents in rural Michigan.
Through Jones’ efforts, the Science Ambassadors program in Harbor Beach grew to more than 30 employee volunteers in less than two years. In 2015, he was nominated to the global steering team for the Science Ambassadors program, which serves thousands of people at 21 locations on three continents. Today, he serves as the co-chair of the organization.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be nominated and selected for the Eugene DeLoatch Legacy Award,” said Jones. “Dr. DeLoatch was the first black president in the history of the American Society of Engineering Education and continues to champion diversity in STEM. I would not be receiving this award if it wasn’t for my supportive supervisors and amazing team members who empowered me to make outreach possible.”
In addition to his work with Science Ambassadors, Jones volunteers at School on Wheels events targeting children experiencing homelessness and serves as a professional mentor for students at the middle school, high school, undergraduate, and graduate school level.
“By educating our communities about the importance of STEM, we create a well-informed society and equip all generations to make better world for us all. I’m where I am today because someone decided to invest in me, to believe in me, to inspire me. I think the next generation is worth investing in as well.”
Jones graduated from the UGA College of Engineering in 2013 with a degree in biochemical engineering. While at UGA, Jones was inducted into the UGA Blue Key Honor Society and served as a senator in the UGA Student Government Association. He received the 2013 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Student Leadership and the 2013 Outstanding College of Engineering Student Award. He also held leadership positions in the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, the National Society of Black Engineers, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Engineers Without Borders.
The Eugene M. DeLoatch Legacy Award is named for the former dean of Morgan State University’s Mitchell School of Engineering. The school’s inaugural dean, DeLoatch retired in 2016 following a 32-year career that made a significant impact on the number of minorities in engineering.