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Volume 12 – Spring 2011 Danielle Jones Jennifer Thomas From Xavier to Afghanistan It’s pretty safe to say that while growing up, Jennifer Thomas ’98, never thought she was following a path that would one day see her staffing an armed forces medical unit in a faraway foreign land. That’s not the stuff that little girl’s dreams are made of. But for this U.S. Navy Lieutenant and physician, the journey she has taken has made her real dreams become a reality. The military punched her ticket into the medical profession. “Joining the military was not something I had considered while I was at Xavier” said Thomas, “but I wanted to go to medical school, and the opportunities the Navy offered in the medical field and the fact that they paid for my medical studies, made it a deal too good to pass up.” “Now having lived through it the past 10 years, I can honestly say I wouldn’t change any of the experiences I have had,” she said. “I feel like I am a part of history.” Thomas earned her medical degree in psychiatry at the Howard University College continued on page 2 A publication for parents, students and prospective students of Xavier University of Louisiana Two-sport student-athlete takes her game to Med School There are student-athletes and then there are student-athletes. Some are average students, excelling in athletics; others excel in academics, but are just average athletes; while still others are those rare individuals who excel in both areas. Danielle Jones is one of the latter. A senior biology-premed major, Jones graduated in December. Due to a combination of earned precollege credits, summer school and internships, she finished up her college degree credit requirements in just three-and-a-half years. However she crammed a wide variety of experiences into somewhat abbreviated time-frame. A member of the Gold Nuggets basketball team for three years, she became a rare two-sport letterwoman for the University by joining Xavier’s fledgling volleyball program this semester. She participated in two prestigious summer research programs at Ivy League institutions. She worked as a volunteer with the several local organizations, including the Audubon Zoo and the Jesse Owens Recreational Center, and was involved in various green light and recycling projects. “Danielle impressed me with her ability to merge athletics with academics without neglecting either one,” said biology professor Sister Grace Mary Flickinger S.B.S., Xavier’s Faculty Athletics Representative and Jones’ academic advisee since she arrived as a freshman. Jones, who prepped at Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge, played basketball at XU for three years, but decided to forego her fourth year of eligibility when she realized last spring she would be completing her academic studies early. As fate would have it, however, the University announced it was reviving its dormant women’s intercollegiate volleyball program for the 2010 fall semester. At the same time she continued to maintain the highest academic standards, earning a spot on the Dean’s List every semester and being named recipient of a Rousseve Academic Scholarship, an honor reserved for the University’s top 10 students in each class. continued on page 2

Eye on Xavier - Spring 2011

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