How a dearly departed math professor, known for the sweetness of her soul and the generosity of her spirit, will be honored in the Academic Resource Center at CUAA.

Her door was always open and her candy bowl always full.

Karen Jones, emerita professor of mathematics, knew the power a piece of candy could hold as a “soft invite” for students. That’s why she always kept her office fully stocked with sweets. Where some people keep a small dish on their desktop, Jones had a platter-sized array of treats. One could accurately say that the size of the platter had a direct correlation to the size of her heart for students.

Even without the candy, Jones excelled at making a person feel at ease. She especially loved serving those students who needed an extra boost of confidence. Throughout her years at CUAA, she was an ally to the Academic Resource Center and would frequently carve out extra time in her schedule to help students who were struggling with her subject area.

According to her obituary, “she was a helper in the fullest sense of the term and loved making sure that others felt like they were taken care of. Karen helped an innumerable amount of people during her life and career.” Jones, who served on the CUAA faculty from 2003 to 2019, was called to rest in May. Even in death her impact on students continues. Her family chose to designate memorial gifts made in Jones’s name to support the Academic Resource Center.

Bigger and better

Donations will be used for multiple projects, says ARC Director Kimberly Bentley.

“We used some of the funds to purchase a CUAA desk wrap for our welcome desk in the ARC,” she explained. “Funds will also be used to stock the candy dish in ‘Karen’s Korner,’ a space near the front entrance of the ARC designated to carry on Karen’s legacy.”

The ARC currently serves about 200 students, Bentley says, and that number continues to grow as the ARC expands its services. Memorial gifts in honor of Professor Jones can be made by visiting, or by contacting Linda Sproul at 734-995-7491 or

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