Caitlin Jones came to Clarion University as a secondary education major, but soon switched to English. Writing had become such a big part of her life. She knew she needed to pursue it.
"I have wanted to be a writer since I was young," Caitlin said. "At first I thought I'd write children's books, but a non-fiction prose class at Clarion changed my mind. I knew then and there I wanted to write non-fiction."
She immediately got to work putting pen to paper. Her commitment moved her closer to realizing her dream of becoming a published writer.
On March 17, 2010, Caitlin was chosen to present two of her works at the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honorary Convention. Her first piece, Waiting for Me, is about living in a world of preset fashion norms for women, while trying to be true to yourself. The second piece, Define America, is based on Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man. This critical paper analyzes how the unnamed narrator represents the entire black race in the early 20th Century.
Caitlin was among a select group of students chosen to speak at this conference along with already established authors Chris Abani, Li-Young Lee, Judith Ortiz Cofer, and Azar Nafisi.
"This experience taught me not to be afraid to put myself and my views out there," Caitlin noted.
Where does this confidence come from? By getting involved and pursuing leadership roles at Clarion since her freshman year, including vice president of the University Activities Board and English Club, Student Senate student relations committee chair, and as a member of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and Sigma Tau Delta.
With the help of her encouraging professors and like-minded friends, Caitlin is making a name for herself at Clarion.
"At Clarion, the professors know my name and encourage me to submit my writing to various publications. On campus, I'm a name not a number. The small, supportive environment fostered and facilitated my leadership activities," Caitlin said.
Caitlin plans to attend graduate school in the fall to obtain a master's degree in student affairs in higher education, and hopes to work in a college setting one day. Wherever life takes her, it's certain the new experiences and perspectives will fuel and form her writing.
Caitlin would like to credit this chapter of her life to Clarion University and all the professors and students who understood and encouraged her evolution from student to young professional.
Will Caitlin Jones join the ranks of accomplished American writers? Time will tell, but she's well on her way.