College of Applied Sciences and Arts
Why did you choose your major?
I began my academic career at San Jose State as a pre-nursing major where after three semesters I decided to switch my focus unto Kinesiology. My decision to focus on Kinesiology can be attributed to the accumulation of influentially meaningful people and organizations that I’ve had the opportunity to share my time. As an individual who believes in the overwhelming pertinence of human movement as a means to obtain and enjoy a meaningful quality of life, I have inevitably acquired injuries as a result of physical activity and exercise. Exposure to the field of physical therapy through my past injuries has provided me with the realization of the value of ones’ own physical independence. My ability to perform simple daily tasks with experienced ease became the most difficult expeditions of my day. I was filled with hysterical laughter as I wasn’t physical able to tie my own shoes! That time of my life conveyed my unknown ability to persevere. Over time, considerable amounts of self-will and determination, and those involved in the healing process allowed me to become the person I was before the injury. Completely Independent! Independent of physical assistance as well as my own psychological down pinning. This elated feeling soon after recovery is unlike anything I’ve experienced before and plan to provide that feeling to those I come into contact with as a future physical therapist.
What does receiving this particular award mean to you?
Receiving the Dean Scholar award this year and in the past, simply put is a tangible symbol of success. It says to the world: “Look at what I, Jordan Spradlin, have made of myself so far in the 22 years of life I’ve been fortunate enough to thrive.” However, my pride is not located with pieces of paper acknowledging my academic accomplishments, but is settled with the people who have provided me with the opportunity to make a name for myself in this contingent world. This award provides me with great satisfaction; not at my personal recognition to fulfill an innately vain desire, but that the people I love know they can be proud of my choices and my life.
Who has been influential in your life and/or who has contributed to your academic success?
If I were to answer this question completely, I can guarantee I’d have every reader fast asleep; as the list of people who have contributed to my academic success is far too long for any mention here. Although, without any question at all, my Momma has and always will be the most influential person in my life. I could elaborate on the ubiquitous trials my mother has confronted and overcome with grace and determination, but I’ll save you the same amount of time it would take you to finish The Odyssey. Without her spiritual guidance, Christ like love (and justice), and her unfailing will to provide and care for her family as well as others as best she can, I would simply have a character of a mediocre child, while today I am a man of an esteemed character where most of the credit is properly due to my mother. As the saying goes “Behind a great man is always a great woman,” my stepfather is a felicitous example. He came into my life nearly 8 years ago and maintains a disposition worthy of reverence by any man including myself. His continued presence and spiritual support has elevated my resolve throughout my academic and professional career. Both of these amazing individuals have laid down the ever-forming foundation where I continually place my reliance. Concerning my professors and advisors, Dr. Shifflett has by far been the most influential scholar I’ve had the pleasure to work with. She has the wonderful quality that only a few teachers are fortunate enough to possess; this quality being that of challenging students to an almost unbearable point of academic frustration while simultaneously providing us with the essential tools to solve difficult problems through our own process. Her ability to convey professional, real world presenting problems in the university setting is paramount for molding leaders capable of handling daily conflicts with poise and confidence in the field of Kinesiology. With her academic and advisory prowess, Dr. Shifflett is among the elite instructors of this fine university along with the leaders in her field.
What would you say to other students to encourage or inspire them to attain academic excellence?
For the students who happen to come across this response, there are only a few words of advice I’d like to leave you with for consideration. The brute fact that you are sitting there, reading this sentence through sensory stimulations and able to synthesis an order of words to process my intended message from my brain into yours without any errors is, simply put, quite the miracle. The odds of your existence are astronomically low! For instance, ‘the building blocks of life,’ being amino acids bond together with other amino acids in a very particular pattern to form proteins. Some of these proteins are essential to life and some not so much. Before you get bored of reading about proteins for the trillionth time, think about this. Hemoglobin, the protein making up 90+ percent of each red blood cell in your body has 4 heme groups each providing oxygen to the trillions of cells making up your body. Hemoglobin is about 146 amino acids long and each of those need to be in the proper sequence to create the identity of hemoglobin. With those 146 amino acids there are a possible 10 to the 190th power of possible combinations of these acids. That’s 190 zeros after 1! And that is only our red blood cells! And to think of all the other contingent chances of you sitting in your seat reading this sentence. With just that brief look into one miniscule aspect of our life, I can now say to you my fellow SJSU student, don’t waste such a magnificently improbable purposeful opportunity to be alive and to make a name for self, which is all we truly possess.
How do you envision yourself in 5-10 years?
The 5-10 year plan becomes a notional concept when one looks back on his or her life after ten years and examines the quality and direction of their past choices. I have no Idea! How should I right now? I’m 22 years old and am about to be launched into the most unrelenting black hole we call the American workforce. What I do know is as I’ve become older, my varying interests have never been more elucidated. I enjoy obtaining knowledge. All kinds and lots of It! I also like to acquire knowledge in many different forms. Forms being any concept from living abroad for 5 months, travelling, experiencing and realizing the ways other people think and eat on a daily basis, furiously engaging with books that range from A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bryson starting with examinations of the mechanisms thought to be present in the beginning of our universe to the generational developments of the family unit so well conveyed in East of Eden by Steinbeck. As of today, I plan to submit my Physical Therapy school applications this coming fall and hopefully be enrolled as a fulltime PT student come Summer 2015. After earning my Doctorate of Physical Therapy, I plan to join the Peace Corps and serve as a volunteer physical therapist. Although these are wonderful goals, I’ve come to learn all too well that my plans do change on occasion and they’ve always turned out to be more than anything I could have expected. I suppose what I’m trying to leave you with is that it won’t matter what path I happen to walk along, I know I have people who love me in this world and I love them too and as long as I have that fact in my life; it’s the best life for me.
A few words from his nominating professor:
Jordan is an excellent student - did a study abroad (Hertfordshire, UK) and serves as a tutor presently for KIN 175. He works great with peers, has a balanced personality, handles leadership responsibilities very well, and equally good in a team setting.
- Professor Bethany Shifflett