Jana Herron, 1996 Alice Lloyd College alumna, was raised in Galax, Virginia. She now resides in Ooltewah, Tennessee, with her husband of nineteen years, Greg, and their two children, Marli and Lendi. After graduating from ALC, Jana completed her Master’s degree in Biology from EKU as a Caney Scholar in 1999. With a boundless passion for learning, she has taken classes toward a second Master’s in Apologetics at Luther Rice Seminary, and still has a strong desire to complete her Ph.D. in Biochemistry.
When asked how she felt Alice Lloyd College impacted her career path, Jana replied, “I think ALC was a God-send” – expressing that the campus and community made her feel at home. Jana completed her degree in Biology at Alice Lloyd College with the intent to continue her education in nursing. She is grateful for the opportunities that ALC opened for her through the Caney Cottage Scholarship. As she began graduate studies at the University of Kentucky, she found that a career in Nursing wasn’t what she had been called to do. Jana transferred to Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) focusing on Biology and unsure where that path would lead her, but trusted that God would place her where she was needed.
After completing her studies at EKU, Jana married Greg and the couple moved to Pensacola, Florida, where she had an opportunity to work as a DNA analyst with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Jana and Greg chose to move closer to family with the birth of their first child, and she was able to stay at home with her children as they grew. She eventually longed to get back into a career and she took a position as an adjunct professor at Chattanooga State Community College. Jana spent the better part of a decade working as a full-time faculty member at the College before she was recruited by the administration where her daughters attended school. She is now working at Silverdale Baptist Academy as the Chemistry teacher and Science Department Head. “That was not my plan—I never went to college thinking I would be a teacher. I have since learned that teaching is a calling, not a job.”
Reflecting on her time at Alice Lloyd College, Jana is thankful for the work study program saying, “…it’s probably the biggest asset ALC offers to students.” She goes on to explain that the program instills a work-ethic and identity in a job that always comes back to serving others, “Whether it’s having to prepare lunch, assisting in the print shop, or helping in a lab.” Jana spent three years of her time at ALC as a Biology Assistant to Dr. Sam Gilmore where she was able to learn the process of setting and cleaning labs, tutoring students, grading assignments, and taking care of “all the critters he had.” She claims these experiences sparked an interest in the many things she has been a part of since her time at ALC. “The decision to attend ALC and stay there was pivotal for my future. It literally molded my path and I am SO thankful for the opportunity.”
It is these opportunities that have impressed upon Jana the importance of embracing every second. Advice that she would also extend to current students: “Enjoy every second. Don’t overestimate the freedom of graduation; it just means Welcome to the Real World. Have fun, but make wise decisions. Don’t be afraid to change your major—be what you want to be, not what someone else thinks you should be. Pray daily for wisdom and direction.”
Jana’s dedication to serving others and her relentless pursuit of education is a testament to the work Mrs. Lloyd began over one hundred years ago – work that is still being done today. By providing opportunities through class and work study, ALC is better able to assist students in achieving future goals. The College strives to shine a light on all subjects of life so students, like Jana, can go out into the workforce with a wealth of information that they can use to make a difference in the lives of others.