July 11, 2006
By Scott MacDonald
Janeen [Jones] McReynolds came to Atlanta from another major city, Detroit, Mich., and thought she would eventually return home after earning her degree from Georgia Tech. That, however, quickly changed after competing for the Yellow Jacket track and field program. Since that time, she has never left the Tech community.
“The sense of community in the athletic association is a favorite memory,” said McReynolds. “I really do appreciate every single person that served there and each one’s effort to make athletes’ experiences great ones.”
While competing for the Yellow Jackets, McReynolds was a four-time All-American in the 400-meter dash and 4x400m relay. She won five ACC titles, garnered eight all-conference honors during the course of her career and still is part of the record-setting 4x400m relay team from 1992 (3:33.85).
For her efforts, she was selected in to the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame this last fall, along with the likes of Tech greats Stewart Cink (golf), Jay Payton (baseball) and Malcolm Mackey (men’s basketball), to name a few.
“That was no doubt the pinnacle of my track career,” said McReynolds. “The whole experience was humbling and somewhat surreal. To be in the company of so many great athletes and to be recognized by those who knew my journey [knee injury] and watched me grow as a sprinter was the highest honor I could achieve in track and field.”
While at Tech, Janeen met her future husband, Uwezu McReynolds, another Tech athlete in the men’s track and field program. They started dating in 1993 and were married in 1998. The two just had their first son, Sidney Uwezu, in July 2005.
After graduating from Tech in 1994 with a degree in mechanical engineering, McReynolds worked as an assistant coach for the women’s track and field team from 1995-97. In 1998 she decided to take a position as a research engineer in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where she remains today.
“I originally decided to study engineering because I enjoyed math and science and was encouraged to do so by my high school counselor,” said McReynolds. “Having so many options in engineering at Georgia Tech, however, I wasn’t sure which type was right for me.
“I ended up choosing mechanical engineering because I liked the fact that I could `see’ what was going on, I thought I would return home and work from one of the big three car companies, and I did well in the sciences related to mechanical engineering more so than the other disciplines.”
As a member of the National Electric Energy Testing, Research and Applications Center, McReynolds helps conduct pre-competitive research and development, evolve state-of-the-art test methodologies, equipment and practices, coordinates and leads selective efforts in the standards arena and supports high-level educational and training programs.
“Competing at the collegiate level, particularly for a school like Georgia Tech where the academics are so demanding, builds time management and problem solving skills,” said McReynolds. “It fosters discipline, commitment and integrity.
“It creates relationships that last years beyond eligibility, and teaches one very important lesson – life is full of joy and disappointment; success depends on how you react to both. All of these things continue to influence my life today.”