Student spotlight on Heather Jones

Student spotlight on Heather Jones

From nursing to naturopathy, community health graduating senior Heather Jones shares about her time at WOU and plans for the future.

Heather Jones is graduating this spring with a B.S. in Community Health Education and a minor in human biology. After graduation, Heather plans to apply to the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland. But before starting another 4+ years of school, Heather says she is going to “get a life again and start to pay off my school loans.”

Heather’s path to graduation has been winding. She started at WOU in 2009 as a nursing major, but 3 years in, Heather wasn’t sure if it was the right career. So she left WOU, moved to Bend, and started working as a CNA. “After 4 years, I decided I wanted to do more,” says Heather. “I liked the field of healthcare, but I wanted to focus more on preventative health.”

While she was in Bend, Heather saw a naturopathic doctor as a patient. “I really liked her holistic and hands-on approach compared to traditional healthcare. So she met me in a coffee shop one day and we just talked.” This prompted Heather’s return to WOU in 2016 and her switch to community health. “I chose to come back to WOU because I liked the small class sizes and the one-on-one attention of the professors who really want to see you succeed.

”Heather is currently finishing up her internship at Samaritan Heartspring Wellness Center, an integrative healthcare clinic in Albany. “Janet Roberts helped direct me to Heartspring,” says Heather. “They usually don’t take interns, but by chance my supervisor decided to open my resume. She saw my interest in naturopathic medicine, so she met with me and we instantly clicked.”

Besides her internship, Heather’s favorite experience has been the closeness of her classes. “It’s the same 12 people in all your classes, so you really get to know everyone.” And her favorite class was International Health with Dr. Vala-Haynes. “Her passion is the reason I want to travel after graduation.”

Heather attributes her successes to “having goals, believing in myself, and taking advantage of all the resources nearby like the writing center.” Heather recommends incoming students take full advantage of these campus services.

Use things like the rec center and the wellness center to help take care of yourself. And don’t get too stressed to eat!

For students in the Community Health Education major, Heather has the following advice: “Do your best. You’ll be confused at first, but do the best you can and the rest will fall into place.”