Tag: Ashlee Jones

Popping the question in the season of love

Katie Cline, Editor-in-Chief

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, boxes of chocolate and giant teddy bears are sure to be some of the most popular gifts, but a few lucky lovers may end up with something extra special: an engagement ring.

Ashlee Jones shows off her engagement ring (photo via Ashlee Jones/Facebook).

Holiday proposals in general are popular. Between November and February, the time of year known as “engagement season,” there are several major holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day.

JSU alumna Ashlee Jones has firsthand experience with the joys of engagement season. Her boyfriend, Jesse Hall, proposed on Christmas Day 2017 with a Russian doll-style proposal. He gave Jones a large box that held progressively smaller boxes.


“A ring box was at the bottom with my engagement ring inside, and he asked me to marry him, and I told him, ‘Well, duh!’” Jones said.

Jones and Hall met at JSU when they both had shifts at the radio station. This Valentine’s Day will mark their seventh anniversary together.

“I do think that holiday engagements are cheesy,” Jones admitted, “but I think it’s different if the holiday has a certain significance for your relationship. Technically, Valentine’s Day would have made more sense for us since it’s our anniversary, but Christmas is my next favorite holiday, and he knew that, and since my family was there with us, it made the proposal even better.”

When the couple gets married on October 13, it will have been a long time coming.

Jones and her fiancé, Jesse Hall, celebrate after getting engaged on Christmas Day (photo via Ashlee Jones/Instagram).

“I knew I was ready to get married because Jesse is my own personal cheerleader, and he always knows exactly what I need to cheer me up,” Jones said. “A lot of guys these days aren’t so quick to support their partners fully and honestly, but I’m truly blessed to have found a man that encourages me to pursue my goals and treats me as an equal, and I give him the exact same.”

Mariana Alvarez, a freshman biology major, got engaged to her high school sweetheart at the start of the new year. She and her fiancé, Andy Abercrombie, met at Southside High School in Southside, Ala. and have been dating for three years. Abercrombie proposed after a scavenger hunt around town.

“I did not see the proposal coming at all!” Alvarez said. “He said it was a surprise date, and I totally bought it.”

While some may worry that they are too young to get married, all Alvarez is worried about is forgetting to invite someone to the wedding.

“We have been through a lot of big changes together,” Alvarez said. “He graduated high school and went to college while I still had two years of high school left, and we made it work, and that’s something that I know I can count on him for. We’re going to make things work even when they aren’t easy or convenient, and that was a big part of knowing that we are ready.”

Alvarez and Abercrombie don’t plan to get married until after Alvarez graduates, but part of what she is looking forward to is having someone to grow with through all of life’s circumstances.

“Marriage is a huge commitment,” Alvarez said, “and I have someone who liked me when I was a weird sophomore in high school and loves the person that I am becoming, and while I’m unsure of so many things in my life, I’m 100 per cent sure about him.”

Andy Abercrombie proposes to Mariana Alvarez in January after a scavenger hunt (photo via Mariana Alvarez/Facebook).

It really is the season of love, but before you run out and buy a ring for your significant other, Jones has a word of advice: communicate.

“If you can’t tell your partner everything and be able to discuss things you may have issues with and be able to compromise, you’re not ready for a mature relationship,” Jones said. “Your future spouse should be your best friend and never a source of stress and anxiety in your life, so make sure the person you marry has always got your back and relaxes you on the worst days and that you’re there for them just as much.”








Zeta Tau Alpha has Jacksonville thinking pink

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Zeta Tau Alpha’s national philanthropy is breast cancer awareness. (Photo via Zeta Tau Alpha

Grace Cockrell, Staff Writer

When someone thinks about the month of October, typically Halloween comes to mind. But for families of those who have lost their lives to the battle of breast cancer, it’s usually something a lot scarier than ghosts and ghouls. On average, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes, and one woman will die of breast cancer every thirteen minutes.

The sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority believe in the importance of breast cancer education, awareness and aiding in the fight. Not only have they taken this issue on as their national philanthropy, but the sisters of the Zeta Psi chapter work to make a lasting impact on campus and all over Jacksonville by raising funds for a cure.

“My great-grandmother passed away from breast cancer when I was younger so the philanthropy was always very important to me,” said Ashlee Jones, a ZTA and JSU alumna who currently works as the Foundation Marketing manager for Regional Medical Center in Anniston, “and not just because it was so personal, but because this was something that has affected so many other families, too. It’s a very harrowing connection to share with someone, but it’s important to bring light to this disease and for people to know that they have a support system to rely on, because positivity and hope during treatment is one of the most important things you can have.”

Each year, Zeta Tau Alpha at JSU hosts a few events that will literally have people “thinking pink.”

The chapter hosts the “Think Pink” football game here at JSU and asks all JSU students, faculty, and community to wear pink to the as a part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Zeta sisters will also be selling pink shakers, handing out pink ribbons and will walk out onto the field with breast cancer survivors during pre-game.

This year’s Think Pink game will take place Saturday, October 14 at 3 p.m. as the Gamecocks take on Eastern Kentucky.

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From left, Madi Schwartz, Morgan Majors and Cassidy Bishop take a break from hanging bows in 2016. (photo via Zeta Tau Alpha at JSU)

Another big fundraiser that is taking place around campus right now is “Paint the Town Pink”. Each October, the Zetas hang pink bows all over Jacksonville. The chapter sells bows to friends and families to be hung in homes and offices which raises money for Breast Cancer Education and Awareness beyond Jacksonville.

“Breast Cancer Awareness is something that I find extremely important,” said DeLena Harris, a senior broadcast communications major and the secretary of the Zeta Psi chapter. “Three years ago, I didn’t know nearly as much as I do know about the effects of breast cancer, how to self-check and how to educate others. I also didn’t realize how many people breast cancer affected and that men can be diagnosed with breast cancer as well.”

Students can help by sponsoring a bow for ten dollars that will be on display in Jacksonville or by making a donation of any amount to the cause. The bows are on sale through October 14 and separate donations can be made during the entire month of October.

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From left, Ashlee Jones, Susan Stack Hurst, Suzanne Hawkins Stephens and Missy Almaroad Wagoner of the ZTA Northeast Alabama Alumnae chapter at the 5th annual Venecia’s Foundation CRAP 5k in Piedmont, Ala. on October 7. (photo via Susan Stack Hurst/Facebook)

“I think the heart of Greek life is serving others,” Jones said, “just as a line of the ZTA Creed says, ‘to learn the nobility of serving, thereby earning the right to be served.’ The best leaders have servant’s hearts, and working together to help those around you is the building block of a strong leader. No matter what your philanthropy or organization is, it’s important to give back and to help better your community and those around you. That’s what being a true leader is.”

For more information on purchasing a bow and donating visit Zeta Tau Alpha’s website.

Don’t miss the chance to give back and aid in the fight against breast cancer and in helping Zetas put their crown on a cure!

And go here for more information on Venecia’s Foundation.