News - 'Biggest Loser' finalist returns to teach at her alma mater

'Biggest Loser' finalist returns to teach at her alma mater

by Sarah Thomack

Sonya Jones

A finalist from The Biggest Loser is a big addition to Greenville University’s faculty. 

The University has hired Sonya Jones, a first-place runner-up on the 16th season of the NBC TV show, The Biggest Loser. Jones will join the faculty as a professor of sport and kinesiology. This Biggest Loser alum is also a 1996 alum of Greenville University.

“I am very excited to return to my alma mater,” Jones says.  

While at Greenville University, Jones played Lady Panther softball and was named All American Player of the Year. She was the first Greenville player to hit a ball out of the park. 

Since graduating, Jones has served as an athletic director and a physical education teacher and coach at two different schools. Most recently, she served as an outreach representative with HSHS Medical Group and is owner and coach of a weight loss clinic in Litchfield, Illinois. When Jones appeared on The Biggest Loser in 2014, she credited her faith and the strong foundation she developed during her time at GU (then Greenville College) for helping her through the journey. 

“Greenville is the place that I was discipled and learned what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” Jones said, upon announcement of her new position with GU. “I think I’m most excited because this is coming full circle for me. When I was a student, so many of the professors and faculty invested in me. I am now excited to have the opportunity to invest in students. I want to be a game changer in their lives so that they can be a game changer in someone else’s life someday.”

Jones embodies perseverance, positivity, and a strong work ethic. Those and other qualities make her a great asset for GU’s campus community. Her book, 44 Lessons from a Loser (Author Academy Elite, 2018) builds on her firm belief that God has a plan and purpose for us, and that we often don’t know our true strengths.

“Ms. Jones brings to our faculty an exuberance of spirit and commitment to GU’s mission for character and service,” said Brian Hartley, GU’s chief academic officer. “It is a joy to be able to welcome her back, this time into our teaching ranks.”

Jones will begin her role at Greenville University in fall 2021.

This story was published on March 18, 2021




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