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Old Dominion University Board of Visitors Member Has History with Distance Learning

By Sarah Darrow

Old Dominion University's Board of Visitors member Toykea Jones is an example of what a diverse and interdisciplinary education from ODU can do for you.

Jones graduated with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a minor in business administration in 2003, and a Master of Engineering in 2005. Both degrees came from Old Dominion University.

Even in 2005, Jones recognized the need for flexibility for students. "When I was working on my master's I had a full-time job," she said. "I taught earth science at Maury High School." As many current Monarchs know, a teaching position demands a lot of time. She worked during the day and took classes at night.

Since earning her master's, the sky has been the limit. Jones joined Johnson & Johnson in 2005 as part of their Engineering Leadership Development Program. Her career has spanned engineering, manufacturing, supply chain management, project management, strategy, and sales.

Jones credits her professional success to being flexible and being able to make smooth transitions. "In a large company you have to have people who are experts and you also have people who are generalists," she says. "It's a balancing act, and you need both to achieve professional objectives."

Jones has been a member of ODU's board of visitors since 2016 and serves as the Chair of the University Advancement Committee and as Vice Chair of the Academic & Research Advancement Committee. Jones says she's proud of her alma mater and the work that's being done for students, alumni, faculty, and the community surrounding ODU as a whole.

"The thing that I'm most proud of is who we are and what we're known for," Jones says.
"Our tech programs to prepare future leaders is phenomenal. We're able to help students think big, change their minds, even become entrepreneurs. That will help us drive and contribute to the Virginia economy."

As a way to show her support, Jones established three endowed scholarships at Old Dominion University. In 2010, she partnered with ODU to create the Toykea S. Jones Endowed Scholarship in Engineering. Her second endowment began in January 2014 for students seeking to learn supply chain management. Her most recent scholarship was established in September 2018 for students studying chemistry. To learn more about these scholarship opportunities, visit toykeajonesfoundation.com.

Although she lives in Maryland now, Jones is still very active in the Old Dominion community and is proud of her work and the work of the University. "We are preparing our students for these roles in the future," she says. "Anything we can do to proactively prepare students is something I'm proud of."

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