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Tonja JonesTonja Jones is a dedicated employee at Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry and a champion gin rummy player. An administrative assistant in diagnostic sciences, Jones joined the college in 1986.

“I enjoy helping people and feeling needed,” she says. “I consider doing my best at my job as one way I can accomplish this.”

The people she works with, whom she considers a second family, are among the reasons she has remained at the college for 20 years. Karen Smith, administrative assistant in purchasing, has known Jones for 11 years. She describes her as a very caring person and admires her commitment to her family.

“Tonja Jones is a great friend of mine,” says Smith. “She would do anything that you asked her to do, if it can be done.”

Jones is resolute in her admiration for Dr. John Wright, professor and chair of the department. He describes Jones as the most efficient employee he has ever had.

“I still remember interviewing her 20 years ago for this job and, if I had it to do over again, I would hire her in a heartbeat,” says Wright.

When she is not at the college, Jones is a serious gin rummy player. She plays the card game on Internet game sites and hosts tournaments as well. She has traveled as far as Pennsylvania and New York to play in live tournaments with other players from the online gaming sites.

“It is great to travel to new places and to actually meet people from various parts of the country that I have come to know so well online,” she says.

A repeated champion, Jones describes her game as fierce but fun-filled.