Established by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation back in 2000 with the intent to support students that can “build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others," the scholarship will allow Jordan to pursue her masters of philosophy in criminological research. Additionally, she will live at Cambridge for nine months.
MSU senior wins prestigious Gates Cambridge scholarship for graduate school
“Originally, I wasn’t even going to apply for the Gates-Cambridge," Jordan said. "... I had to apply to Cambridge itself and write an additional essay for the competition."
Jordan said that she felt too overwhelmed with other scholarship opportunities to take on another, until a professor urged her to apply. She said that her professor told her that if it was something she really wanted to do, that she could make time for it. Once Jordan committed to applying, it only took her a few days.
“I had already done the research," Jordan said. "I already knew which professors I wanted to work with. I already had pretty much figured out what course I wanted to do."
Since Jordan had worked on multiple applications this year, she already had professors willing to write recommendations for her.
Jordan is one of only 24 recipients in the United States for this year, narrowed down from a shortlist of 95. She plans on researching the high incarceration rates in the nation as compared to other nations.
Despite currently experiencing its lowest incarceration rate in 20 years, the U.S. still leads the world in incarceration.
“I have always been interested in issues around social justice, since my dad is a historian who focuses on black history,” Jordan said. “I became inspired to research incarceration in particular by my own observations of over policing and my belief that mass incarceration would have never gotten so bad in the US if it wasn't for a long and deep history of racism here."
Jordan said that she first took interest in politics after graduating from high school, just a year after the 2016 presidential election.
“I remember being so amazed by everything that was happening in the country, and I wanted to understand politics better,” Jordan said.
While Jordan has previously studied abroad in the United Kingdom, she has not been to Cambridge. While she will know a few people in the U.K. who will also be there for academic reasons, Jordan will not be in the program with anyone familiar.
“This is part of what terrifies me, I think I’m going to get off the wrong train or something,” Jordan said.
Jordan plans on attending law school after Cambridge. She has been accepted into both the University of Michigan and the City University of New York (CUNY) law schools, and from there, she would like to work as an attorney for a civil rights organization.
Do you want the news without having to hunt for it? Sign up for our morning s'newsletter. It's everything your friends are talking about and then some. And it's free!