It was the fall of 1977, and Kansas native Marcella Jones was an excited college freshman ready for a new adventure. She didn’t realize, however, the adventure would take some unexpected turns—and ultimately land her in a faculty position at Minneapolis College.
Shortly before enrolling at the University of Kansas, Marcella decided to major in civil engineering.
Why that field?
“I didn’t actually know what engineering was,” she recalls. “But everyone told me it was what I should do since I’d always been a strong math and science student—and you could earn a handsome salary as an engineer.”
Jones eventually transferred to the University of Minnesota, where she graduated magna cum laude with a mathematics degree and a minor in computer science. She went on to earn a master’s degree in math.
Her next step was a logical one: return to Minneapolis College. She has worked as a mathematics instructor at the college since 1994, and has taught everything from introductory algebra to multivariable calculus over the last 19 years. She says the job never gets old.
“My journey has helped me develop a passion for understanding my students’ journeys,” said Jones. “I still never tire of seeing the light that shines when a student realizes a certain mathematical truth for the first time or when something that seemed difficult suddenly becomes clear and attainable."