Brandywine Student Spotlight: Dillon Jones

Dillon Jones

Dillon Jones

Credit: Penn State

Year: Fourth

Major: Communications

Involvement: Student-athlete, Brandywine men’s basketball team; resident assistant (RA); member, Black Student Union; member, National Society for Leadership and Success

Brandywine: What was your deciding factor in coming to Penn State Brandywine?

Jones: I was looking for an opportunity to play collegiate basketball. All the doors were shut in my face to play – even my high school coach told me to give up and focus on my career instead. I spent that whole summer proving to myself that I was capable of playing collegiate sports, and I got blessed with the opportunity to play at Penn State Brandywine when one of the coaches approached me at a game.

Brandywine: How did you choose your major?

Jones: I’m really passionate about communicating with others, and I also have a love for sports. I’ve been playing basketball my whole life. If I wasn’t fortunate enough to get the opportunity to play professionally, I wanted to be able to talk about it in a professional capacity. Majoring in communications was my first step to achieving that goal.

Brandywine: What challenges have you faced at Brandywine, if any?

Jones: One of the main challenges I faced was adjusting to my schedule of being a student-athlete while also being involved in clubs. I wanted to put my best foot forward and make the best of my college experience, so I got involved. Juggling all of that, though, can be very taxing on the mind and body. I always live by the philosophy of being centered and staying even keeled to get through the storms because eventually, the storm will subside to make it to the other side.

Brandywine: Who at Brandywine has supported you and how?

Jones: I want to give a huge shout-out to the athletic department. They were extremely helpful in getting me acclimated and adjusted to life as a collegiate athlete. The professors are amazing here as well. They’re super flexible, and Brandywine is such a tight-knit community, so it’s easier to reach out to them when needed. A lot of my classmates have been helpful as well.

Brandywine: What made you interested in joining the men’s basketball team? What do you enjoy most about it?

Jones: I got recruited to be on the basketball team when I was in high school, and I really enjoy the team’s comradery and getting the chance to be a leader. I’m a naturally born leader, and my voice carries when I enter a room. I’m all about working together toward a common goal. Also, I’ve made long-lasting relationships with my teammates. Those connections have helped me a lot, and I know they’ll help me later in life.

Brandywine: What made you interested in becoming an RA? What do you enjoy most about it?

Jones: I’m always here — I’m here about 90% of the day, so I figured I should stay on campus. I lived in the residence hall my first year, and then I commuted for the next few years. When I saw there was an opening for the RA position, I figured it would be a great opportunity to help the younger classes navigate their college experience. Being an RA has allowed me to connect more with people I already knew and develop even more relationships.

Be open to anything. Don’t put any limitations on what you should get involved with because you’d be surprised about the things you like. Those opportunities will shape you into a better version of yourself.

—Dillon Jones , fourth-year communications major, Penn State Brandywine

Brandywine: What advice do you have for students who are looking to get involved?

Jones: Be open to anything. Don’t put any limitations on what you should get involved with because you’d be surprised about the things you like. Those opportunities will shape you into a better version of yourself. I didn’t think I was going to take up communications — I thought I was going to become an engineer. Then, my mind shifted because I realized what I liked. After that, I wrote some articles for the Lion’s Eye, and now I really enjoy photography.

Brandywine: With your involvement at Brandywine, how has your time on campus been impacted?

Jones: My schedule is really full, but I enjoy it because I really like structure. The structure keeps me focused and helps me stay on track toward my goals. I get a lot of work done following a strict schedule, especially since becoming an RA.

Brandywine: What’s your favorite memory you’ve made at Brandywine?

Jones: My favorite memory was going to the men’s basketball championship at University Park two years ago. I had never been to State College, so it was my first time seeing how big the campus was and playing in an actual stadium. It felt so surreal. It was a long journey to get there, and I’m really looking forward to playing in our new conference (NCAA DIII United East Conference) next year.

Brandywine: What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at Brandywine?

Jones: The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to always remain patient. I know we can get jammed up in due dates and deadlines, but sometimes you have to sit still and let everything play out. I like to live by the motto of “be phenomenal or be forgotten,” so I do the best I can in everything I do in life.