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Georgia Southern graduate credits independent study and mentor for success in public health

Jordan Bordeaux (pictured above) assisted in migrant farm clinics and collaborated on a capstone presentation that focused on the mental health of migrant farmworkers.

Many students strive to make a significant impact on their communities before they graduate. Jordan Bordeaux is one of them. 

As an undergraduate student at the University of Wyoming, Bordeaux worked in health promotion and wellness. That experience prompted her to look into graduate programs for public health.

“I enjoy public health because it is such an inclusive area of study, and really focuses on health and wellness in both a micro and macro level,” said Bordeaux, who is from Douglas, Wyoming.

She chose the Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) based on the quality of education and affordability, and for its emphasis on project-based learning and access to graduate assistantships that could help fund her educational endeavors. 

In August 2020, Bordeaux enrolled in the Master of Public Health program with a concentration in community health. As a scholar in the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Scholars Program, she was introduced to JPHCOPH faculty member Tilicia Mayo-Gamble, Ph.D. The assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Community Health would become Bordeaux’s mentor.

The Georgia AHEC Scholars Program is a two-year multidisciplinary certificate program for health profession students that offers opportunities for hands-on training, experience in rural and underserved communities and networking with other students and professionals.

After learning about migrant farmworker clinics through the AHEC Scholars program, Jordan and Dr. Mayo-Gamble developed an independent study that would allow Jordan to gain real world experience working with this population.

As part of her independent study, Bordeaux assisted in migrant farm clinics and collaborated on a capstone presentation that focused on the mental health of migrant farmworkers. The independent study also allowed her to use Spanish to communicate health and wellness concepts. 

“This class was one of the most impactful parts of my master’s program,” Bordeaux said. “Thanks to the program, I improved my Spanish-speaking and expanded my knowledge on the Latino & immigrant community and the migrant farmworker experience.”

Bordeaux said she is grateful for all the amazing opportunities Georgia Southern provided to her during her time as a student. 

“Georgia Southern really provided hands-on learning experiences that have helped shape my future and endowed me with a broad range of transferable skills,” Bordeaux said. “That, I believe, will help me in a variety of concentrations.”

Mayo-Gamble noted how active Bordeaux was as a public health student.

“She was a graduate assistant in the Office of Student Wellness and Health Promotion and helped plan suicide prevention events on campus as well as recruited Wellness Ambassadors and Peer Body Project facilitators,” said Mayo-Gamble. “She also earned a mini-grant from the American College Health Association to examine COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and interned with the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential to gather support for comprehensive sex education.” 

Jordan’s long list of achievements and passion for public health earned her the Graduate Student Leadership and Service Award at the 2022 Eagle Excellence Awards.

When she received her diploma during commencement ceremonies, Bordeaux reflected on her career plans. 

“My plan for the future is to work in a community setting, where I can educate and empower others in topics around sexual health, healthy relationships, mental health and substance use,” Bordeaux said.

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