Dr. Tuajuanda Jordan
In 2002, Jordan entered academic administration and advanced from associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to associate vice president for academic affairs by the time she left Xavier in 2005. Because of Jordan’s coordinated efforts with other administrators in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Xavier was the first institution to re-open its doors for classes. She moved on to become the director of the Science Education Alliance (SEA) of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The SEA is a collaborative effort designed to have scientists and educators work together to enhance science literacy while preparing the next generation of scientists. Jordan also headlined the National Genomics Research Initiative in 2008 – a program that exposes college freshmen to genomics in a research experience included in their curriculum – that is now implemented at over 60 institutions, having touched the lives of more than 3,000 students by 2011.
Over the course of her career, Jordan has obtained research and science education grants from the NIH and the NSF, respectively. Her research was focused on elucidating the catalytic mechanism of HMG-CoA reductase in a pseudomonad and the characterization of a unique apolipoprotein involved in the complement cascade. In addition to scientific publications and presentations, Jordan has published and presented on science education. A recent scientific publication that was the result of her science education efforts listed 192 co-authors with more than 160 of them being undergraduates. Her honors include being named a Purdue University Distinguished Alumni from the School of Agriculture in 2008. In 2009, Jordan was named a “revolutionary mind” by Seed magazine.
Tuajuanda Jordan received a B.S. in chemistry from Fisk University in 1982 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Purdue University in 1989. She was an undergraduate scholar and a graduate fellow of the National Institutes of Health Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program, for which she served on the subcommittee many years later. She did her postdoctoral training at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine in cell biophysics and pharmacognosy. Jordan was a tenured faculty member in the department of chemistry at Xavier University of Louisiana and a visiting scientist at the University of Michigan in biophysics.