Jordan Strand ’17
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Preparing to teach

Along with his chemistry major, Jordan is minoring in physics and getting endorsements in both secondary education and coaching. He’s a member of the Red Raiders track and field team, participates in intramurals, and serves as a resident assistant, peer tutor, and discipleship group leader. He was also part of a Spring Service Project team that spent a week helping in schools, tutoring kids, and painting a home in Opelousas, Louisiana. The future high school chemistry and physics teacher is interested in teaching overseas as a missionary.

The right mix
I chose Northwestern because of the great scholarships it offered and the chance it provided to run college track. Plus, my brother went to Northwestern and told me it had a good academic learning environment. I had no idea what I wanted to major in when I arrived as a freshman. I considered youth ministry, religion, exercise science and biology but decided on chemistry because I usually did well in the sciences—and if I want to go on to graduate school, it offers a good base for medicine, engineering and education.

Science support
Northwestern’s chemistry department offers a good selection of classes to help students get a detailed understanding of the subject. The professors are very knowledgeable and well-equipped to teach the material in an understandable way. Northwestern also has really good tutors—especially Randy Van Peursem, the science support services professional—to help those studying chemistry.

A faithful worldview
As a chemistry major, it hasn’t always been easy to see a direct correlation between my faith and my studies. While asking myself, ‘How can I use my life and career to bring God glory?’ it was a challenge to see how chemistry fit into the picture. But I’ve learned you can glorify God through any field of study by living an intentionally Christ-centered life that reflects God to the people in your sphere of influence. And as I encountered the complexities of chemistry, physics and God’s created order, my faith has been strengthened as I stand in awe of the Creator who made it all.

Learning for life
Because of Northwestern’s size, there’s a good feeling of community, and I’ve gotten involved in a lot of different activities. I’ve also had the opportunity to be a discipleship group leader and resident assistant, which has helped me grow in responsibility and leadership. I’ve been challenged to wrestle with hard life questions, which has enabled me to grow. I’ve developed deep friendships and have learned a ton from the relationships I’ve made. And I’ve gained a greater appreciation for little things like a home-cooked meal, talking to my parents, weekends, and a full night of sleep.