Last fall, long-time Professor of Hospitality and Director of the Faculty Commons Julia Jordan retired. Last week, faculty and staff gathered (over Zoom!) to celebrate her service to the college.
Anyone who interacted with Julia over her years at City Tech knew her to be kind and generous, warm and welcoming, entirely dedicated to progressive and student-centered pedagogy. Her OpenLab bio reveals much about her ethos: “after 40 plus years in education,” she once wrote on her profile page, “what drives me is the evidence that learners who are successful take responsibility for their own education, they practice and question, and when they are supported and guided, they solve problems with their peers.”
Her position as Director of the Faculty Commons made Julia a lynchpin at the college. She turned the second-floor Namm space into a vital community hub where everyone could feel like a valued member of the City Tech community. As a leader, she exuded patience and care as she guided her colleagues and brought boundless energy to the events she organized.
Over the years, her support for the OpenLab proved critical. She gave the OpenLab team a space from which to conduct our daily activities–our meetings, office hours, and our Digital Pedagogy events. She mentored new members of the team as they got to know the sometimes maddening intricacies of City Tech life. She encouraged faculty and staff to use the platform and cheered them on as they got familiar with new technology. She did this day-in and day-out, without complaint, and with characteristic hospitality. OpenLab Digital Pedagogy Fellow Jesse Rice-Evans says of Julia, “it was such a joy to feel a kinship in our similar backgrounds (front-of-house food service). I noticed right away that Julia could anticipate needs of workshop attendees, facilitate comfort and community, and keep everyone fed and watered!”
We wish her a very happy retirement and thank her for her tireless work and generosity in giving to the City Tech community.