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Head Start at STLCC Enables Jones to Pursue His Dream

May 04, 2012

Photo of Lamont Jones  
Lamont Jones

With two semesters to go until completing his bachelor’s degree in biotechnology/biochemistry at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Lamont Jones is half way to achieving his dream. A St. Louis Community College alum, Jones graduated in 2009.

“Since I got an associate degree in applied science, I was more than prepared for all the rest of the science classes that I had to take at the University of Missouri-St. Louis,” said Jones. “I found that in most of the classes I took at UMSL, I had learned some aspect of the material I had learned at STLCC.”

Jones was a part of the 2+2+2 program at STLCC, which enables students to do their junior and senior year in a program at a technical school, get an associate degree at a community college and complete a bachelor’s degree at a four-year university.

Jones attended South County Technical High School’s Laboratory Science program and completed Introductory Biology as a distance education course from STLCC-Florissant Valley in 2005. Credit was transferred to STLCC’s biotechnology AAS program, and an articulation agreement with the UMSL biotechnology/biochemistry program allowed Jones to enter there with junior status.

Jones says the thing he found appealing was that most of the science classes he took at STLCC were hands on.

“We learned the material or procedure, and sometimes within the same class period, we were performing that same procedure,” he said. “I preferred this because I learn the most by actually seeing or doing what is just taught.”

STLCC and the South Country Tech program collaboration began in 2000 when Eilene Lyons, then STLCC’s Biotechnology program coordinator, and Terry Melsheimer, Laboratory Science program coordinator, began talks to develop a 2+2+2 pathway for high school students.

Lyons said that Melsheimer was a strong advocate for her students and a joy to work with. Through their team teaching, first on-site at the Special School District’s West County facility and then by iTV from Florissant Valley, they formed an alliance that benefitted some very bright high school students. Jones was among those students who benefited.

“Terry and I are extremely proud of Lamont and we know he will continue to be successful in science and medicine,” said Lyons, who now is the acting dean of the Math, Science, Engineering and Technology division at STLCC-Florissant Valley.

Jones currently works full time in research at the Washington University School of Medicine and is in charge of all the animal experiments and ordering.

“I still perform duties that I learned at STLCC and some cell culturing,” said Jones.

In his spare time Jones is usually at the movies or trying a new restaurant. He also loves to swim, play billiards or just hang-out with friends. He plans to apply for medical school once he has completed his bachelor’s degree.