Graduating Student Spotlight: Cedneshaja Jones

Cedneshaja Jones

Cedneshaja Jones, of Sherwood, will graduate this May with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. Jones describes her experience at UA Little Rock as an amazing and heartfelt journey.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I joined the UA Little Rock campus community in 2014 as a transfer student from UA Pulaski Tech. Spending time with family is very important to me, and I wanted to remain close to home in central Arkansas. Some of my family members previously attended UA Little Rock, so this school felt like a natural fit for me.

It took me some time to decide what to study. After changing my major several times, my academic advisor recommended pursuing an interdisciplinary studies degree, which would make good use of all the classes I had already taken while also keeping me on schedule to graduate on time. Dr. Johanna Miller-Lewis, associate dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences, and nurse Chanell Smith in UA Little Rock Health Services provided key help in establishing my expedited interdisciplinary studies degree plan.

What was your biggest challenge or most difficult decision you had to make during college?

Part way through earning my degree, I had to take two semesters off before returning in fall 2019. Thankfully, UA Little Rock offered me a graduation incentive grant in 2019 that covered half of my tuition, and I was able to work at Kroger Pharmacy to pay the other half.

Spring 2020 has been an emotional semester. The cancellation of the Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been disappointing. However, I am excited to walk in the Fall 2020 Commencement Ceremony. It will be a meaningful celebration not only of the degree I’ve earned, but of all the hard work and perseverance I put into earning the degree. I can’t wait to walk in December!

What is your favorite memory of UA Little Rock?

Achieving a 4.0 GPA during the fall 2019 semester.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

College is a place where you can be open-minded and express yourself. Work hard but also make time to experience life by balancing your school and personal life. Also, make sure you are financially prepared to handle the expenses of college. Look for scholarships that will help pay for essentials like tuition, books, and supplies. Don’t stress over the plan that you have set, and make sure you have backup plans if your initial plan doesn’t work out the way you want it to. Most importantly, remember to have fun.

What do you plan to do after graduation?

Following graduation, I plan to continue working at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Kroger Pharmacy to save up money to attend graduate school and earn a master’s degree in social work.

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