Alumna receives Wings of Excellence Award

Dr. Ruth Jones, pictured with Alan Phillips, Director of the NASA Safety Center was awarded the Cleveland Federal Executive Board’s Wings of Excellence Award at the 27th Annual Awards Program.

CLEVELAND, OH – Dr. Ruth Jones, a 1994 University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) graduate received the Cleveland Federal Executive Board’s Wings of Excellence Award at the 27th Annual Awards Program for serving as an inspiration to others and bringing credit to the Federal service.

Employed by NASA Safety Center’s Mishap Investigation Support Office, Jones was honored for significant contributions to three agency investigations that required rapid intervention and assistance as well as an extended temporary duty at Glenn Research Center to complete one of the investigations within the 75-day requirement.  Jones is also a mentor for the Youth Motivation Task Force at UAPB, which offers students assistance transitioning to a professional environment.

A native of West Helena, Arkansas, Dr. Jones received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from UAPB in 1994 and is the daughter of William and Essie Jones and a 1989 honor graduate of Central High School in West Helena. Dr. Jones is also an alumna of Alabama A & M University where she received her Doctorate of Philosophy and Masters of Science degrees in Physics/Materials Science in December 2000 and July 1997, respectively.

Dr. Jones is the second African American woman to receive a Ph. D. in Physics in the state of Alabama, and the first woman to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from UAPB. The author of numerous articles on optical physics, Dr. Jones is also a member of the System Safety Society, American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, SPIE, National Society of Black Physicists, National Society of Black Engineers and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Her ultimate goal is to teach Physics at a Junior College or University because she has never had a female professor or a black professor throughout her educational career. She feels that if she gives back by teaching she can show other young girls that women can excel in science and math. In addition, Dr. Jones is frequently invited to high schools and colleges to deliver commencement speeches as well as workshops, which encourages students to pursue college degrees and advanced degrees. One of her goals is to help young people, particularly minorities in small towns, understand the excitement, opportunities and enjoyment in pursuing a technical career.

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