Julian Jordan...Never taking the easy way out

Nov. 26, 2002

Brown junior Julian Jordan, a back on the men's soccer team, has never been one to take the easy way out. Since his days at Canterbury High School in Fort Wayne, IN, the 21 year-old has always taken on a very demanding course load. From neuroscience to international negotiations, Jordan doesn't see his classes as work, but rather as learning experiences. In his third year at Brown, Jordan continues to be a success in the classroom and on the soccer field. A quick look at Jordan's fall semester courses can tell you a lot about him: International Finance, French 151, African Anthropology and History/Theory of International Relations. "The open curriculum at Brown is something that appealed to me," says Jordan, of his main reason for choosing to come to Brown. "Taking an anthropology course or a political development course is something I've enjoyed doing because they're subjects that were not offered in high school." Jordan has excelled in all of his courses since starting at Brown in 2000, maintaining a 3.93 grade point average.

"When we recruited Julian, we knew Brown was going to be a good fit for him. It's not that he's just bright, it's the fact that he's curious and he wants to learn and enjoys learning," says head men's soccer coach Mike Noonan.

On the soccer field, the 5'7" defenseman has led the Bears to 14 shutouts since joining the team. Last year, Jordan was selected as an All-Ivy Honorable Mention after playing in all 16 of Brown's games. He maintained the Bears' back line in their late-season run for the Ivy title, shutting out their last three opponents of the season.

"Julian has been one of our most consistent performers over the course of his three years here. I always know that I'm going to get his best effort whether it's in practice or in a game. Julian is a catalyst when I go into the locker room. I look for him because he brightens my day," says Noonan. Brown finished the 2002 season with a 5-7-4 record, losing five games by one goal. Jordan helped lead the team to three shutouts and notched his first point of the season on an assist in the Bears' 1-0 shutout against Cornell on Oct. 26. Jordan balances all of these courses with not only soccer, but also with his involvement in the Brown Faculty Committee on Athletics, which examines different policies and procedures within the athletic department and how it affects student-athletes and the general student population. The main purpose of the committee is to get student-athletes' perspectives on various issues.

"I think Julian epitomizes the student-athlete because he is a phenomenal student and he is a great soccer player. He brings a great perspective to the committee. We always want to put our best foot forward when dealing with the faculty, and I think Julian represents himself, his team and the department very well," says Athletic Director Dave Roach, who approached Jordan about joining the committee. Jordan says he feels fortunate to be a part of the committee because he gets a first-hand look at how things are decided and what kind of input is effective and not effective.

One of the issues the committee has discussed is the new seven-week rest period instituted by the Ivy League this fall that prohibits athletes from having any involvement with their sport for that amount of time. "It's a tough ideological argument. I believe it goes a lot deeper than how much time students have to spend on class or sports. It's such a hard thing to control because it takes so many years to develop so it is very difficult to approach an issue like that," says Jordan.

Throughout his life, Jordan's curiosity has led him to interesting work, whether it's a course in school, an internship or a hobby. He has written numerous articles for the African Sun, Brown University's newspaper for the black community. Jordan heard the paper was struggling to find articles on Africa one day and decided to summit a few articles. One of his articles focused on South Africa and economic developments. The paper also featured a piece of Jordan's artwork, which he completed in high school. Although he doesn't consider himself an avid artist, he credits his art teacher in high school with improving his art skills.

For the last two summers, the Ron Brown Scholar has spent his time doing internships. In the summer of 2001, Jordan went back home to Indiana to work for Lincoln National Reinsurance Company, one of the world's leading life, health and financial reinsurance organizations. While there, he worked on an optimization project, which was to figure out the best way to take in money, and time management projects. "I worked with people in upper management so it was a good experience for me just coming out of my freshmen year." This past summer, Jordan worked for Goldman Sachs, a global investment banking, securities and investment management firm, in New York. "I worked with two different wealth management teams which allocated the assets of really wealthy individuals." Although he chose to concentrate in International Relations, Jordan hasn't decided on his career plans just yet. "I'm in a learning phase right now. I want to try different things, as long as they are new and interesting," says Jordan who chose to concentrate in International Relations because it was something that would teach him a little about economics, business and the world around. "I also always wanted to travel so I figured it was the best way to travel around the world without actually traveling."

Next semester, however, Jordan will get the chance to travel when he goes abroad to Senegal. "I chose to go to Senegal because they speak French there and I do speak it to a certain extent. I also decided to go there because I figured I would never have the opportunity to go to Africa for this long of a period of time in my life again," says Jordan who is looking forward to the new environment and culture.