Graduates in the Spotlight

Melanie Jones

Image of Melanie JonesHOMETOWN: Stamford, Connecticut

MAJOR:  Music Education (PreK-12) with a concentration in Classical Percussion

WCSU DEGREE:  Bachelor of Science in Music Education

ACTIVITIES: Sigma Delta Tau sorority, WCSU Percussion Club president, WCSU Housing and Residence Life Academic Resource Mentor, Ives Concert Flutists, Kathwari Honors Program, National Association for Music Education (NAfME), National Society of Leadership and Success, United Percussion, Fusion Drum and Bugle Corps, Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle, Percussion Instructor at Stamford High School

INTERNSHIPS: Student teaching at Cos Cob School and Darien High School, co-ops at Cos Cob School, Hillcrest Middle School, Shelter Rock Elementary School, Broadview Middle School and Ellsworth Avenue Elementary School

HONORS AND AWARDS: 2018 Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award, Sigma Delta Tau Order of the Lapis Academic Honor Society, Dean’s List every semester at WCSU, Kathwari Honors Program Outstanding Scholar, Minority Teaching Incentive Scholarship recipient, University of New Haven Dean’s List Scholarship recipient



Melanie Jones spent a semester at the University of New Haven before transferring to WestConn. “I was offered a quality education at a low cost,” she says of her decision to return home. “I was also able to be close to my friends, family and foundation.”

She decided to pursue a degree in music education because “I am very passionate about teaching and music is something that has been important to me my whole life. The ability to have two of my greatest life interests in one field is my dream.”

Her former professor, David Smith, who retired last year from the music department, made a big impression on Jones. “He really inspired me to do the best I can in anything that I am passionate about. He supported me and always gave me valuable advice, but always allowed me to make my own decisions.”

Asked what she will remember most about her WestConn experience, Jones says, “In the spring of 2016, six of my colleagues and I performed the Ivan Trevino piece, “Shared Space.” We had worked together all semester to bring the piece to life and it was very well-received by our peers and professors.”

After graduation, Jones says, “This August, I am moving to Australia for a gap year to work. Afterward, I may start graduate school there and hopefully build my life abroad!”

Her advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Don’t be afraid to go your own way, even if that means leaving people behind. Take risks and make yourself vulnerable; change is always uncomfortable at first.”