Humans of Hamden: Kiku Jones
By Beverly Wakiaga
There’s a warm aura that surrounds Professor Kiku Jones. Her yellow top matched her warm personality on a grey Tuesday Morning. It is easy to see why she was one of the professors to receive a Center for Excellence Award.
“It’s absolutely amazing. I am so lucky to be able to do this and to get an award for it,” she said. “I can’t even process it. It’s just hard to say. I am absolutely blessed to do this.”
2017 has been a good year for Jones, she attended the award ceremony on October 19, she recently got tenure, and as a Kentucky basketball fan the recent changes to the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team have her excited.
“We were like ‘oh this is great, he’s (Baker Dunleavy) got basketball in his blood, it’s like a long line’ we were really excited,’ explained Jones. “We’re super excited and we’re definitely going to be at the basketball games.”
It’s been five years since Jones began teaching at Quinnipiac. She is originally from Kentucky but was teaching in Oklahoma before she made the move to the Northeast.
“We were there for nine years and everything in Oklahoma is kind of dead and flat. It was hot and nothing grew on the trees,” Jones said laughing. “My sons ... we were driving and they said ‘Mom look, the trees are green’ and I thought that’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. We love it here. We absolutely love it here.”
Jones, a professor of computer information systems, made the move to New England because she was interested in the School of Business IT for Good program. The Kentucky native is also very passionate about giving back, she is always part of the big event and has gone to Guatemala twice to help different organizations build websites. She also wants to show her students that they can work outside of their expected career paths.
“For the senior capstone I try to have different projects that are based on non-profits so that the students can see that their skill sets can be used in that way, and I want the students to really see that the skills that they’re doing don’t only have to benefit themselves,” Jones said.
It’s clear to see that Jones doesn’t only love her job but her students too. She describes herself as a behind-the-curtains person who wants to help build her students.
“I succeed when they succeed and that’s what makes me happy."