Now a Bay College sophomore majoring in biology, Jay Jordan started taking college classes in his hometown. However, his plans changed when his family moved to Bark River.
“I’m originally from Pennsylvania and I had gone to school a little bit there, but my family moved up to the U.P. and I moved up with them,” he said.
Jay began studying at Bay during the fall 2019 semester. So far, he said things have been going well despite some difficulties early on. As he has attention deficit disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which interfered with his ability to keep up with classes, a member of Bay’s faculty referred Jay to Jessica Manier in the Office of Accessibility.
“She made it so I would be able to get audio recordings and extra time on tests and that sort of deal,” he said.
While Jay had always been interested in biology, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do in the field until he started college.
“I got the chance to do an internship when I was in Pennsylvania, and I found out I really like research … I want to do medical research at a hospital,” he said.
At Bay, Jay has taken some classes with Brian Black, including environmental science. Unfortunately, that class – which Jay took during the winter 2020 semester – was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID kind of happened right in the middle of my first lab class, so we didn’t get to do the field trips and things. But, honestly, Brian did a good job of transferring everything online,” he said.
Jay is also exploring the possibility of dual majoring in English.
“I haven’t gotten much of a chance to do the English classes, but there are a lot of really cool classes that I’d like to take,” he said.
Aside from academics, Jay has enjoyed socializing at Bay.
“The atmosphere is really friendly around here,” he said.
He went on to say it has been easy to join clubs at the college – including Bay’s PRIDE, the student organization he is most heavily involved in. Among other events, Jay and his fellow PRIDE members traveled to Kalamazoo this February for the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference.
“It was a really good conference. There was tons of people there, and we got a lot of really good information we were able to apply on campus to help make things more inclusive,” Jay said.
After getting his associate degree at Bay, Jay plans to transfer to a university elsewhere in Michigan. There, he’ll start working to earn his bachelor’s degree.
“I’m looking at Eastern or Northern – they both have really good science classes,” he said.
When he’s done with college, Jay hopes to do lab work at a children’s hospital.
“I like the idea of helping people, but I also want to do the research,” he said.