With more than 20 years of higher education experience, Jones currently serves as professor and assistant dean for Diversity, Outreach and Engagement in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University.

“UCF is one of the most innovative institutions in the nation, with outstanding research and technological innovations in many different disciplines that contribute to the economic vitality of Central Florida and the state,” Jones said. “Equally important, UCF is deeply committed to student access and success. I know I will learn a lot from this great university.”

During her fellowship at UCF, she will assist with many important projects, including the UCF Collective Impact Strategic Planning process, as well as serving on the university’s Budget Realignment Workgroup and UCF’s University Innovation Alliance team. The University Innovation Alliance is a coalition of 11 public research universities committed to making quality college degrees accessible to a diverse body of students as part of each institution’s public mission.

The ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing emerging leaders for senior positions in college and university administration.

In her position at NC State, Jones has initiated innovative programs that have increased the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students, and resulted in a 50 percent increase in African-American postdoctoral fellows and a 60 percent increase in the minority graduate student population in five years.

Jones also spearheaded an undergraduate student success initiative that resulted in closing the graduation gap for Latino students from migrant farm-working backgrounds.

In addition to her administrative role, Jones is highly recognized for her scholarship and contributions to her discipline as evidenced by being inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in 2012.