Faculty Award for Diversity Enhancement
Established to recognize outstanding performance in enhancing diversity in departmental, college, or university programs at Iowa State University.
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
When Tera Jordan set out to increase the diversity of the Iowa State University faculty, she developed a program with a 100 percent success rate. As the inaugural chair of the welcome committee of the Black Faculty and Staff Association at Iowa State, she arranged meetings with the finalists for faculty and staff positions who desired to connect with the association. Among the interviewing candidates who have met with the committee and received an offer of employment, all have accepted. Her successful methods have been adopted by each of the groups associated with Iowa State’s Faculty and Staff Affinity Council.
She didn’t stop there. Jordan is a leader in many initiatives that draw people of diverse backgrounds and interests to Iowa State and support them on campus — while enlightening the privileged. When race-related violence unfolded on American soil, she promoted understanding, inclusion, and community among faculty and staff by co-coordinating a well-attended campus conversation on these topics.
With several colleagues, she also helped initiate, develop, and deliver a series of workshops that help underrepresented faculty and graduate students navigate entrenched academic systems, and overcome societal barriers to ensure their retention and success.
Her efforts are not lost on students. As chair of the student-athlete experience committee of the ISU Athletics Council, Jordan helped to reorganize the Cyclone Connect mentoring program and attend to issues of health, safety, facilities, and well-being among student-athletes.
In her classes, lessons focus on both traditional and alternative lifestyles and diverse perspectives, and respond to contemporary challenges in American society. Her careful attention to these matters helps validate some students’ concerns while also educating privileged students to better understand issues of diversity.
Jordan also unassumingly counsels many students of diverse backgrounds who drop by her office or catch her in the halls. She provides a listening ear and a vote of confidence while advising students on the challenges they face in their personal lives, on campus, and in pursuit of their academic degrees.
Iowa State University is more diverse — and richer — for her efforts.