Student Spotlight | Stacey Jones

By Karina Antenucci

Stacey Jones

Laney Student Stacey Jones

Now a fourth-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, Stacey Jones always liked chemistry as far back as he can remember. "I like being hands-on with science. It allows me to see how things work," said the Ph.D. candidate and The Davis Lab National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellow, whose research focus at Emory University is studying enzymes and trying to characterize them using X-ray crystallography,

A New Jersey native, who attended Georgia State University for his undergraduate degree in Chemistry, Jones credits his non-scientist brothers as his original mentors. "They have always been hands-on in doing things and showed me what dedication and hard work looks like, which is a big part of what I do," he said.

At Laney Graduate School, Jones' advisor Kathrine Davis has been an instrumental mentor. "She has taught me not to limit my ‘toolbox' and try a multitude of things to solve one problem," he said.

The community and friends Jones has made at Emory is his most valued aspect of his time at graduate school thus far. "The people here have been so supportive of anything I've wanted to do. They are always willing to help in any way," Jones said.

Additionally, Jones' involvement with Emory Diversifying Graduate Education (EDGE) program is an experience that he doesn't think he would have been able to find anywhere else. "I don't think it exists anywhere else to this magnitude," he said. He helps recruit graduate students, including traveling to conferences and visiting colleges around the country to promote LGS. "I have had people pour into me and this is my opportunity to give back and pour into someone else."

As for what his post-graduation plans are, Jones is leaning toward a position at a government agency. In his field, he hopes to bridge the gap of something that no one has seen before with the enzymes he works on.

Outside of his chemistry studies and EDGE participation, Jones enjoys dabbling in technology. He built his own PC from scratch and is currently in the process of upgrading it to have a full virtual-reality setup, putting further emphasis on his love of hands-on dedication to building something new.