Meet Jordan Thomas, a central Arkansas native who graduated May 2017 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in biology and minors in information technology and music.
Tell me a little bit about yourself
My hometown is Cabot, Arkansas. I graduated from Cabot High School in 2013 and began college at UA Little Rock that fall. I’m a biology major and minoring in information technology and music.
I play the clarinet and have participated in multiple music ensembles at the university. I’m a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, and I’m also very family oriented! I spend a lot of free time with my little brother, Dillon.
Why did you choose UA Little Rock?
I chose UA Little Rock for a few reasons. I had toured a few other universities, and none of them quite felt like the right fit. After touring UA Little Rock and receiving an offer of a full scholarship, I was sold.
As part of the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps Scholars (CLC) and Science Scholars Program, I got the opportunity to meet people from the same programs. I’m also very family oriented and wanted to stay close to home, so the university ended up being the perfect choice for me.
Was there anything that surprised you about the university?
Yes, it’s not your typical college campus environment. It’s very diverse in a variety of demographic categories, and it was great to interact with all demographic types.
Why did you select your major?
I chose the biology major, because I knew that I always wanted to be in the medical field. I started out as a chemistry major and switched to biology toward the end of my freshman year.
As for my minors, Thomas Wallace pitched the information technology minor program to my CLC class one day, so I selected this as my minor to diversify my skillset. I also had enough hours of music ensemble work to easily pursue a music minor as well.
Are you going to graduate school?
Yes, I’ve been accepted to the Doctor of Audiology program at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and will begin course work there in the fall. I like the biological and technical aspects of audiology. Due to my passion for music, I understand how devastating hearing loss can be.
What were your favorite study conditions?
Upper classes provided the most ideal conditions for me because of the smaller class settings. That’s part of the reason I didn’t go to a larger school. And I would not have survived without flash cards! I even have my brother using flash cards now.
Who were your mentors?
Dr. Jim Winter (Science Scholars) and Nick Steele (CLC) were key mentors within my scholarship programs. They aided me greatly in aspects of advising, as well as helping students within the program build their leadership skills and relationships with peers.
Jenny Dodson, director of campus life, was also a great mentor, and Dr. Darin Jones (Organic Chemistry II) was a great teacher. He genuinely cared about his students’ confidence in the coursework and as people. He constantly referred to us as “superstars!”
Do you participate in any extracurricular activities?
Yes, I play clarinet in the UA Little Rock Wind Ensemble, the UA Clarinet Ensemble, and I am a member of the UA Little Rock Trojan Pep Band. I am a member of the Order of Omega Honor Society, Kappa Delta Sorority, and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
How has Greek life helped you?
Kappa Delta provided the opportunity to meet new people since most of my high school friends went to other schools. The negative perception of Greek life is definitely not what I experienced here.
It’s a great platform for networking before you get a job and provided me an immense amount of leadership training. Overall, the program instilled a greater confidence in me. These women care about and support each other.
What was your biggest challenge?
One of my biggest challenges was being away from my family and creating a new life. I was a straight A student in high school, and I was blessed with an encouraging support system, so the move to college was like starting from scratch. But, joining campus organizations helped a lot, if not the most, in overcoming these obstacles.
Any advice to future students?
My advice to future students would be to get involved on your campus! Join campus organizations, attend school sponsored events, whether you want to or not. The support system you will build will help you in numerous ways throughout your college career.
— Compiled by Toni Boyer Stewart/UA Little Rock Communications