No Limits At W&L, Mary North Jones has been able to pursue interests in both European history and medicine as she builds a foundation for her career.
“I knew I wanted to attend a liberal arts college, and W&L really stood out to me the first time I visited.”
~ Mary North Jones ’21
Hometown: Shreveport, Louisiana
Major: European History/Pre-med Track
Q: What factors contributed to your decision to attend W&L?
I knew I wanted to attend a liberal arts college, and W&L really stood out to me the first time I visited. By the end of Johnson Weekend in the spring of my senior year in high school, I knew definitively that W&L was where I wanted to go to school. The classes I sat in on were so engaging, and I felt like W&L was a place where I could pursue multiple academic interests.
Q: Why did you choose your major, and what do you hope to do after graduation?
I’ve been interested in European history since high school, so it just made sense for me. It doesn’t hurt that the department is filled with so many amazing professors! I enjoy reading and writing a lot, so the history major has really been a perfect fit over the last couple of years. One of my favorite parts of my W&L education thus far has been the opportunity to major in history while still fulfilling my pre-med requirements and taking other science classes that interested me. After graduation, I’d like to work at a hospital or medical center as a research assistant or perhaps as a scribe for a few years, and I plan on going to medical school after that.
Q: Tell us about your COVID-related work in Shreveport this summer. Did it impact your goals for the future?
This summer, I worked for two months as an assistant for the COVID-19 Strike Team based out of LSU Health Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Strike Team tested every nursing home in northwest Louisiana on a weekly basis; my day-to-day responsibilities included creating spreadsheets with patient records, couriering testing kits and specimens to and from nursing homes, and assisting the Strike Team nurses with the testing process in nursing homes. I loved the work and gained a lot of valuable experience regarding what it takes to monitor the COVID spread within a population. My experience this summer definitely affirmed for me my desire to pursue medicine and got me interested in the possibility of working as a research assistant for a similar type of project after graduation.
Q: How did your Spring Term trip to Ireland and your Winter Term at Oxford contribute to your W&L experience?
Spring Term in Ireland was amazing. We were on the Dingle Peninsula, and it was incredibly beautiful. The class itself was also quite unique: We were studying Irish religion and modern Irish literature. As a sophomore who was considering going abroad for a full semester the next year, it was nice to go abroad for a month with W&L students and professors and get a better feel for what studying abroad was like. I would definitely recommend Spring Term abroad to anyone who is unsure if they’d like to go for a semester. My semester at Oxford was a different experience, as I was much more on my own. I really enjoyed the increased independence, but my time spent there certainly made me appreciate the W&L community.
Q: As an Outing Club Appalachian Adventure trip leader, what would you say to prospective students about the Outing Club and the opportunities for outdoor adventure in and around Rockbridge County?
I would tell prospective students that they should definitely sign up for Appalachian Adventure! I’m probably not the most qualified member of the Outing Club to be giving recommendations, but I’d definitely tell new students to learn about all of the opportunities the Outing Club offers to the W&L community. There is definitely some cool stuff that you might not expect.
Q: Has anyone served as a mentor to you at W&L?
My advisor, Professor Sarah Horowitz in the History Department, has definitely served as a mentor to me. She interviewed me when I was a prospective student, and I then requested her as my advisor when I got to campus. She has helped me so much with scheduling and general school advice. She is on sabbatical this year and I miss her!
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More About Mary North
Q: Favorite shop or restaurant in Lexington?
Q: What do you get there?
Blue Sky grilled cheese—a classic
Q: What’s your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite classroom building is Tucker. My favorite study spot is the fourth floor of the library, preferably at my carrel; the silence of the fourth floor is very refreshing!
Q: What book or film do you recommend to everyone?
I read a ton of Agatha Christie over the spring and summer, and would definitely recommend any of her books if you’re looking for a little escapism. They’re so fun!
Q: Favorite W&L event?
My favorite event is probably Young Alumni weekend in the fall. I’ll miss all my graduated friends this year!