Education and innovation have been key throughout Shelley Jones’s life. She began college at just 16, graduating from Durham College’s (DC) Law Clerk Advanced program in 1985 and later receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Laws in Common Law from the University of Ottawa. Her career since has been incredibly fulfilling: from interning at Yahoo! in California and becoming a lawyer and registered trademark agent with expertise in trademark law, to working for BlackBerry and then leading stakeholder relations for the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, of which she is a member and Fellow – she’s seemingly done it all.
When Shelley was recruited to establish the National Inventors Hall of Fame Canada (NIHF), a Canadian not-for-profit organization, she jumped at the opportunity. It would allow her to continue following her passion for intellectual property law and bring her back to education – this time by helping to inspire youth.
“I love working at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Canada. The stories of our Inductees, all world-changing inventors, are inspiring, and through our innovative STEM educational programs we introduce students to the invention process through hands-on, creative problem-solving activities and project-based learning, which really helps them understand their own potential,” says Shelley. “As an intellectual property professional, I am particularly proud of how these programs introduce entrepreneurship and IP concepts to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in a fun and engaging way.”
Throughout her career, Shelley has also continued to strengthen her connection with DC. Named to the Alumna of Distinction in 1995, she participated on the President’s Panel for the Building Something Amazing campaign in 2017, and delivered an address to graduates at that year’s spring convocation. More recently, she returned to her alma mater in a professional capacity by bringing Camp Invention to DC this past summer, along with a reception for NIHF Canada hosted by DC President Don Lovisa.
“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to host Camp Invention, our summer enrichment program at DC, and I’m excited to be back again this summer,” says Shelley. “With a focus on STEM and entrepreneurship, our program aligns perfectly with DC and its programs and resources.”
She is also a longstanding DC donor, helping to support the construction of both the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food and the Centre for Collaborative Education, where Camp Invention took place.
“Giving back is so important to the vitality of our institution, especially in terms of dollars required to provide the best student experience,” remarks Shelley. “It’s a great feeling to be associated with DC and know that I remain very connected to my alma mater.”
As a donor, Shelley’s support currently goes towards the Student Experience Fund, which is used to support the college’s top priorities. The fund is currently focused on increasing enrolment in the skilled trades through the expansion of the Skills Training Centre at the Whitby campus.
“Regular giving is so easy and seamless, and you can see the results that the donations make for students – those attending the college today, but also in the future,” says Shelley. “There are various ways to contribute and I’m truly happy to support the great work DC is doing in this way.”