Archive for Thursday, May 5, 2005

Senior’s prescription calls for research

May 5, 2005

Some might call her crazy, but Gwyndolyn Jones loves chemistry. A lot.

"Something about chemistry is fun to me," she said. "It makes math make sense."

Jones is a Lansing High School senior who is planning to study pharmaceutical research in the fall at the University of Kansas. She said she intended to study with an emphasis in neuroscience so that she could find cures for Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Jones said the field would involve a lot of work with chemistry. She said she learned a lot in her Chemistry II class and it was the most challenging of her high school courses.

Pharmaceutical research appeals to her, Jones said, because several family members were affected by Alzheimer's.

"It's really important because I know how hard it is to watch a family member die from such an awful disease," she said.

In addition to the personal connection, Jones said she thought the research environment would be conducive to a lifetime of learning.

"I love learning," she said. "I have to learn about everything all the time."

Many of Jones' extracurricular activities throughout her high school career are an extension of her love of learning, including Science Club, French Club, Debate, Forensics, Pen 'n' Paw and Scholar Bowl.

Gwyndolyn Jones

Gwyndolyn Jones

"I loved (Scholar Bowl) because it was kind of like Jeopardy," Jones said.

Jones called herself "the queen of trivia" and attributed her success at Scholar Bowl, which she was involved in during her freshman year, to the fact that she reads "all the time" and retains a lot of the information.

Jones said her love of reading and writing drew her to Pen 'n' Paw, a literary club at the high school. She has been the editor of the school's literary magazine, "Lion Scratches," for two years. Since she has been the editor, Jones said she implemented a few changes to the magazine, such as creating a theme for titles, page numbers and other elements. The last issue of the magazine had a wintry theme, she said.

"Everything had shadows," Jones said. "I think it was eye-catching because everything matched."

In addition to designing the magazine, Jones also oversees the content. She said she tried to keep a balance of short stories and poems and a variety in the themes of the pieces selected. She said the teenage angst theme was "overdone and sad" but she would include pieces if they were not too cliche. However, she said she preferred works that had a more light-hearted tone, such as a story about a pet turkey that will be included in the issue of "Lion Scratches" that is set to come out on Friday.

Jones has a passion not only for English but for other languages, too. She said she hoped to study Hebrew, Latin and Greek in college. However, she acknowledged that her hope might not be possible by majoring in pharmacy. She said the program was extremely rigid and only allowed for one elective each semester for the first two years of the six-year program, which wouldn't be enough time to start studying new languages.

"That's kind of what tears me up about pharmaceutical research," she said.

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