Regnal “Reggie” John Jones, Executive Director of the Illinois Institute of Technology-based, Chicago Area Health and Medical Careers Program, succumbed to a heart attack on January 9, 2016. He lived just a week shy of his 76th birthday.
Jones was born on the near north side of Chicago, in the Old Town neighborhood. He was the youngest of five children. After his family moved to the western suburbs, Reggie attended Argo Community and Lyons Township High Schools. After completing just three years of high school, Jones was an early entrant at the University of Chicago, where he would earn a BS in Biology (63’), an MS in Botany (63’), and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 1972.
Jones has had a remarkably varied career. His first professional appointment was as a research biologist at IIT’s Research Institute in 1963. He later taught biology, plant physiology, experimental biology, and genetics at Loyola University and Chicago State University. From 1981 through 1986, Jones served as Director of Health Education and Preventative Programs for the City of Chicago Department of Health, where he developed several nationally recognized community-based intervention programs in nutrition and communicable disease control.
In 1986, Jones returned to the Illinois Tech campus as Executive Director of the Chicago Area Health and Medical Careers Program (CAHMCP). CAHMCP is a “pipeline” program, with the goal of increasing the number of qualified minority matriculants to medical, dental, and other health profession schools. Program participants are provided with successive years of structured academic, counseling, motivational, and financial support until they reach their long-range career goals. The CAHMCP pipeline extends from sixth grade through the final year of health professional school.
Jones is survived by his wife of 53 years, Angela, two adult children, and two grandchildren.