Jordan Harris is a senior in the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences studying brain and behavioral sciences. After graduating in May, she plans to participate in a post-baccalaureate research program that will help prepare her to pursue a doctoral degree in psychological sciences.
While Harris considers every month to be Black History Month, February in particular offers a great time to be mindful and seek out the great accomplishments of Black individuals.
What made you choose to study brain and behavioral science?
I chose to study brain and behavioral science after becoming really fascinated with the brain in my high school psychology class. Purdue's Department of Psychological Sciences and the field of psychological sciences as a whole is also very broad, and I have a lot of interests within it, so I really appreciate the intellectual flexibility and freedom.
What is your favorite club or organization you’ve gotten involved in at Purdue and why?
My favorite club on campus is the Women of Color in Healthcare Association, for which I currently serve as president. I joined this organization as a first-year student, looking for a cultural and professional community with people who share my values, background and career plans, and I have found exactly that. Being able to continue connecting with and supporting other women of color on campus as president is the best thing.
What has been your proudest accomplishment as a Purdue student?
My proudest accomplishment as a Purdue student was presenting my first research poster at the Office of Undergraduate Research's annual Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium in 2019. I've gone on to present other research projects since then, but the very first one was really special for me, as it marked an important milestone in my journey as an undergraduate researcher.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Every month is Black History Month for me, but February is most strongly a reminder that the accomplishments, excellence and resilience of my people are even greater than what we currently know. There are so many important figures whose stories are still obscured by the racism, sexism and classism of history, and February is a great time to be mindful of them and even try to intentionally seek them out.
This month, as we honor the significant contributions of Black individuals throughout history, who is someone (past or present) you admire? Why?
I am a really big reader, so two figures I admire are writers Alice Walker and James Baldwin. Outside of just an admiration for their enormous talent, they also used their vocation as a tool for social awareness and change, and these are the same goals I have for myself.
Written by: Rebecca Hoffa, firstname.lastname@example.org