Jordan Caley is one of those rare students who comes along and reminds us why we became educators in the first place. On first sight, Jordan
may seem like a typical UNH student from Stratham, NH, but upon second glance you would see how unique Jordan actually is. Jordan believed that what was asked of her by her classes wasn’t nearly all that she could produce. This explains her consistent venture to go above and beyond in all that her college experience had to offer.
Though she started out as a Nutrition major, and a high achieving one, it was her participation in an Anthropology course with Dr. Lugalla called Growth, Development and Poverty that helped create her UNH story. It was this class that influenced Jordan and confirmed her decision to
become an International Affairs major with a focus in Spanish. She quickly realized she wanted to learn as much as possible about the world, how it works and why there is so much poverty and inequity. Now in her last semester, Jordan is completing both her majors with a Senior Honors Thesis in Spanish literature and for her International Affairs Capstone Seminar, a research paper on drug-related violence in Mexico.
When talking about her classes, Jordan gets particularly excited by the classes in which the professor’s passion for the subject matter is apparent. She appreciates when they are able to speak from personal experience and share first person accounts. She plans to be that way when she completes her terminal degree and becomes a
Jordan’s first hand experience began when she decided to study abroad in Merida, Mexico for a year and pursue the National Security Education Program Boren Scholarship. She was one of a handful of recipients (from the U.S.) and had her entire year abroad paid for. In return, Jordan has
made a commitment to work for a government agency with national security responsibilities for a year. In Jordan’s eyes, this was a win-win. She would have an opportunity to gain more knowledge about national security and the U.S. government post graduation, and let that shape and
influence the rest of her story.
In addition to traveling to Mexico, she traveled to Washington, DC to meet with Senator Dan Boren
(D-OK) and several other politicians and policy makers on Capital Hill and with various agencies. Jordan also made time, between her freshman and sophomore year to travel to Ascoli, Italy with the UNH program to study nutrition and culture. By the end of her sophomore year,
Jordan was recognized for her excellence in Spanish by receiving the UNH Spanish Department’s Literature Award, and being inducted into the Sigma Delta Pi Hispanic
Honor Society, which is rare for a sophomore.
Outside of her amazing academic successes, Jordan has sought countless opportunities. As a first year student she was a conversation partner for a Taiwanese graduate student. Jordan loved conversing and provided her partner
with weekly interaction in the English language. She also was a member of the organizing committee for the first ever OXFAM Hunger Banquet at UNH. Additionally, she has been a member of Project Sunshine since her very firrst year
at UNH, organizing and leading monthly trips to Shriner’s Hospital in Boston for UNH students to visit with children who are sick. If all that wasn’t enough, Jordan found time to be a resident assistant (RA) in Smith Hall for two years. The International hall was a perfect fit for Jordan who loved getting to know all about her residents and their cultures. In her senior year, while the stress and uncertainty about the next step looms, Jordan found the time to be the general manager for the International Food Luncheon, serving 400 guests, which is incredibly time
consuming and stressful. It is no doubt that her management was what made this year’s IFL the best run in
Jordan made several connections with faculty and staff at UNH, but none more impactful than her relationship with Taras Ferencevych, her supervisor in the RA position. Together they shared a love of learning and a sense of curiosity. While Dr. Lugalla ignited the fire within Jordan
to learn about inequality and development, Taras helped keep the coals hot by inviting Jordan to lectures and events on campus. Taras provided her the impetus to think critically about a wide range of issues. Dr. Lori Hopkins, Jordan’s Spanish advisor was also quite influential to
Jordan’s story. Dr. Hopkins was always there to talk with and bounce ideas off of during the planning of Jordan’s senior Honor’s thesis in Spanish.
With a few inspirational staff and faculty members at her side, Jordan has truly made the most of her college experience. Her curiosity and commitment to life-long learning has been the paper on which Jordan writes her story, and her adventures, the pen. While Jordan’s story is just beginning to write itself, it is no doubt that the following chapters will be just as exciting and moving.