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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: DAILEY JONES, C/O 2012

MSMS Connects recently caught up with alumna Dailey Jones, who graduated from MSMS in 2012.

  • Why did you choose MSMS? I chose MSMS primarily for the expanded academic options, including research experience and more advanced science electives as well as the adventure of living on-campus during high school. 

  • How would you describe your time at MSMS? Attending MSMS was the best decision I’ve ever made and was incredibly fun. I made some of the best friends there, especially my roommate Laurel Marsh, who is also currently a graduate student and was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to continue her research this year in Germany. I have fond memories of playing on the soccer team with Dr. Odom, the epic snow day in 2011, goofing off during “play time” after study hours, dances every month, trick-or-treating in the dorms, and many more. It’s amazing to watch the ongoing achievements of my fellow 2012 graduates. They continue to impress me, and I am so proud of how far we’ve come. When people ask me about Mississippi, I tell them about MSMS and its incredible students and faculty. 

  • After attending MSMS, what university did you attend? If so, what did you get your degree(s) in? I attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham (Go Blazers!), where I earned a bachelor’s in neuroscience, with a minor in chemistry and Mandarin.  

  • Do you think MSMS helped prepare you for your future professional endeavors? MSMS was critical for my success as a student and scientist by introducing skills I continue to use in my professional life. For many students who matriculate, this is the first time they will feel truly challenged and even fail at something. Being surrounded by like-minded peers, including those “smarter” than you, can simultaneously develop both community and grit. These aspects of MSMS are what fueled my success at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and now at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Learning how to ask for help from teachers, mentors, and peers was key to my growth. Imposter syndrome is a nasty beast that can linger throughout one’s career and learning to battle that early is a great gift that MSMS provides. Encouragement I received from professors at MSMS made a lasting impact on my life. 

  • What is your current profession? I am currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in the Neuroscience Graduate Program. I am co-mentored by Dr. Cristin Welle and Dr. Ethan Hughes, and I conduct experiments using cutting-edge brain-computer interface technology in a mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis. My thesis project is centered on understanding the role of myelin in motor cortex circuit function. Along with producing high quality data for publication, I also present my findings at local and international conferences. Outside of lab I am active in scientific outreach for youth and adults in Colorado (@cu_noggins). 

  • What inspired you to pursue this line of work? I’ve always been interested in science, but during high school I developed a specific interest in neuroscience after taking psychology and human biology classes. From there on I’ve been fascinated by how individual neurons and glia cells contribute to human behavior, and how that goes wrong in disease.   

  • Would you recommend attending MSMS? Any student who is looking for an adventure and is willing to put in the work would be a great fit for MSMS. Although it’s clear I love science, my favorite classes at MSMS were Dr. Easterling and Dr. Richardson’s literature and writing classes, and Mrs. Jones’ painting class. You will find such a well-rounded education and a strong support system.