TILF Success Stories: Meet Jordan Ivie

Posted by Trudy Richards on 01/08/2014


Seeking out the global perspective, TILF Scholar Jordan Ivie (left) traveled to Seville, Spain, with Dallas Baptist University in the summer of 2013.

TILF Scholar Jordan Ivie doesn’t exactly remember her first UIL experience. It’s simply been too long since she started participating in elementary school. What’s become unforgettable is the first regional competition of her high school career.      

“As a freshman, I thought I had no chance of making it to state, especially since I had not done very well at district,” Jordan said. “I was not even going to stay for the results posting.”

As she was leaving the meet, Jordan was stopped by a friend’s frenzied footsteps and shouts in her direction.

“All I could hear was “first, first!,” and it took me a long time to understand that I had won first and was going to state! As a freshman!,” she said. “I didn’t expect it at all and it really helped shape the identity of who I was in high school. I was the ‘Girl Who Wrote’ and it was largely because of that.”

For Jordan, it was the beginning of a wonderful journey over the next four years at Brock High School. She advanced to state each year in Ready Writing and also competed in journalism events, Spelling, Cross Examination Debate, and One-Act Play.

“I miss acting a lot,” she said. “One-Act Play helped my self esteem because I discovered that I could get up on stage and be another person without being afraid. And that was a big discovery for me because I’ve always been kinda shy.”

Now in her third year at Dallas Baptist University, Jordan is a recipient of the Meadows Foundation Scholarship, awarded to Ready Writing competitors.

“That financial support of helping me take the first step for the rest of my life is really important to me,” she said. “I have always been very focused on academics, and I cannot imagine what my life would be without college.”

Years of practice with the written word in UIL have been a great influence on Jordan’s college career in more ways than one.

“It’s definitely helped me a lot in academic writing, because that’s how I learned to use sources and to write concisely,” she said. “It’s funny because sometimes I actually do better on essay tests where I have a limited amount of time than I do on actual papers where I have several weeks. I work better under pressure sometimes because of UIL writing.”

Majoring in English with a Biblical Studies minor, Jordan is set to graduate in three years instead of the typical four. Looking to study Renaissance Literature, she’s searching for just the right graduate program to help her towards her goals.

“I am currently in the process of applying to several different English graduate programs across the country,“ Jordan said. “I plan on pursuing a Ph.D. in English Literature for the next five years and becoming a professor.”

Even though she’s not a professor yet, Jordan has the chance to prepare with some one-on-one student interaction right on campus. For the past year and a half, she’s been working as an international tutor at the DBU International Office.

“Tutoring is the best thing that has happened to me in college,” she said. “I now have friends from all over the world, and I know that if I ever want to visit Italy or Brazil or Korea or a dozen other countries, there will be places I can stay at a moment’s notice.”

In the fall of 2013, Jordan was promoted to the position of International Tutoring Coordinator. She is now responsible for scheduling tutoring sessions, keeping records, and contacting at-risk international students.

“It challenges me everyday that I do it, but it’s a blast,” she said. “I am fully convinced that I have been blessed with the most wonderful and well-suited job I possibly could have found.”

Jordan says that serving as a liaison between five other student tutors and the International Office is a job she has to learn and adapt to on a daily basis.

“In this way, I kinda get the best of both worlds,” she said, “because the people who work in the international office are amazing, so I love getting to work with them more.”

Dallas Baptist University offers tutoring services to International Students in regular academics, as well as through the Intensive English program. Students can come in for help on grammar and spelling for a paper or to practice conversation.

“We get anything and everything,” Jordan said about the variety of subjects she’s reviewed. “A lot of times, they’ll have a presentation and come and work on their pronunciation with us and practice their speeches so we can correct them.”

Jordan’s gone to great lengths to help students and feels rewarded by their success.

“There was one girl who passed her English class that she had been struggling with, and she had been working with me a lot and even coming to my apartment after tutoring hours to working on her papers,” she said. “And after she passed her class, she was like, ‘Jordan, this was because of you. Thank you so much.’ Just a lot of affirmation and that was really great.”

She even brought a special guest to her family dinner table for a very American holiday.

“I just took a Taiwanese student home with me for Thanksgiving so she got to see how my family interacts and that was fun.” Jordan said about her friend Hsin-Yi. “She loved it. She hadn’t had a lot of it before, like the dressing and the gravy and things like that, but she ate all of it.”

Jordan says she enjoys seeing students experience new things, and that working with international students is a great opportunity to learn about different learning styles.

“Even though I won’t be necessarily working directly with international students in my career, it’s a great opportunity to see how certain people interact with the material,” she said. “Even within a group of international students, there are people who get it and there are people who just struggle so hard. ”

Through teaching, Jordan hopes to inspire others to reach the “light bulb” moment of understanding.

“Just getting to help them learn and getting to see that light click on when they finally get it is so fun,” she said. “It’s so rewarding; that’s something that’s definitely made me want to be able to do that everyday - is help people say, ‘oh, I get it.’ ”

Outside of tutoring, Jordan is a member of both the Alpha Sigma Omega Academic and Sigma Tau Delta Honor Societies. The rest of her time is spent with her church community. She even leads a small group bible study for high school girls in the youth group.

“It’s just one of those things where I have to find time, because my church is where I find my community and friendship and a lot of my strengths to get through the week,” she said. “It’s nice because there’s a lot of families up here that will let me crash at their house when I need to, so I can stay at my church for a weekend and do my homework.”

With so many things to accomplish, Jordan says she’s struck “a necessary balance.” Through her campus and church communities, she finds satisfaction in helping others grow.

“My faith is the center of my life and it’s the thing that has driven me to everything that I’m trying to do right now,” Jordan said. “There was a period of a couple of years where I wanted to be a missionary, but then God showed me that I can do ministry anywhere.”

Jordan believes that the world can always benefit from good learning and gracious acts.

“He wants people in the schools and in the universities just as much as He wants people overseas doing mission work,” she said. “He has given me a passion for English and a passion for writing and a love of those so I can use them for His work.”


Written by Jan Ross Piedad

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