Jacqueline Parson, senior music, psychological science and mathematics major, has been singing her way across the quad and serving others with joy every day during her time here at William Jewell College.
Parson has a heart for many disciplines, and these passions have led her to become involved in numerous projects over the past few years. Originally, Parson did not come to Jewell with the intention of doing music therapy or the mission work that she is pursuing today. Instead, she had the intention of going to medical school and becoming a surgeon, but her interests have led her elsewhere. Being a Jewell student has allowed her to combine her interests and pursue new research and pathways.
“I’ve always loved music, particularly singing, so I ended up in the music department and its gotten me involved with choral scholars, concert choir and the handbell choir. In psychology, I’ve enjoyed helping professors with their research, and last year I helped Dr. Stevenson with his research. This year I’m assisting Dr. McCune with a project of his that ties math and psychology together that he approached me about to design the experiment for,” said Parson.
Managing three majors and being involved is no easy task at Jewell, but Parson has managed to do both with success.
“It’s been worth it because I wouldn’t have been able to do this anywhere else, in terms of pursuing such diverse interests, of which none of the major required courses overlap,” said Parson.
As well as having lots of classes to juggle, Jacqueline has put her diverse passions into action and has become involved in activities on campus such as Concert Choir, Zeta Tau Alpha, and Christian Student Ministries.
“I really love singing in the choir here, Dr. Maglione is just a really great mentor and director, and he makes the experience enjoyable with the amount of passion that he puts into it,” said Parson. “For the last two years I’ve been the ritual chairman of Zeta because it’s something I really enjoy. I’ve also been a part of Christian Student Ministries since my first year here, but over the past two years I’ve become more involved as a leader and have been helping to lead the MOSAiC services, both speaking and leading music,” said Parson.
Parson has been able to meet numerous Jewell students, staff, and faculty due to her diverse interests and activities, and because of this many people have been able to experience working with her and witnessing how she utilizes her cheerful spirit and energy to make positive differences within the Jewell community.
“I just live my life everyday and hope that my presence brings other people happiness. I’m personally not sure what impact I’ve made on other people, but I hope that I have made an impact,” she said.
Since starting her first year at the college, Parson has learned about herself and what she stands for, developed her global perspective and learned lots from valued professors.
“Between first year me and present me, I have become much more conscientious about the decisions I make and the way the world is working. Before coming to Jewell, I would just act without thinking about what might happen afterwards. Now I know that it’s important to think about other people too. Learning through experiences has given me a lot of wisdom for how to behave in the real world. Jewell has made me more aware, conscientious, culturally aware, and considerate. We are all connected in one way or another,” said Parson.
Parson is excited about where her Jewell education will take her in the coming years. She has future plans to serve and volunteer and is thinking about applying to graduate school.
“I’ve always had a very big heart for serving and volunteering because it’s a natural part of me to always want to put others before myself. My goal is to apply for the Peace Corps and hopefully get in, and then to volunteer there, and when I return I’m ideally planning on pursuing a masters in music therapy because I have personally seen the first hand effects that it’s had on people that are very close to me,” she said.
More than anything, she hopes to help others to feel valued and loved wherever her education, interests and passions take her.
“I’d like to spend the rest of my life volunteering and helping in any way I can. I’d like to spread love to people that need it, and help, not those who are labeled ‘less fortunate’ because that’s a very super mystic way to look at anyone, but to help people that may not have an understanding of the privilege, love and wisdom that is present in our world today… just learning how to step back from our own privilege here in America…to become part of the rest of the world and to be a part of it in any way possible,” said Parson.
Parson plans to graduate in May of 2019 and she is thankful for the memories she’s made and will make through her activities and favorite Jewell traditions.
“I’m looking forward to the final memories I’m going to make with the people here, because Jewell is a special place and we all know how important and special this place is. I’m going to keep on living in the moment, I feel like life is about celebrating the journey versus reaching the destination, so I’m not going to be thinking about graduation, but I’m going to be thinking about all of the things that I can do now that will make the most of this experience,” said Parson.
Photos by MacKenzie Roth