2016 North Dakota

ASPIRE TRIO Achiever
Patricia Queen Jordheim


Returning to college as a nontraditional student I have graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Communication, my Master’s degree in Communication and will graduate with my Ph.D., in Teaching and Learning Higher Education in the spring of 2016. I was hired in in 2014 as an instructor in the Communication Program at the University of North Dakota. At this time I am teaching four sections a semester of the Fundamentals of Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication.

As an undergraduate I was on a committee which formed the Adult Re-Entry Center on the UND campus, and acted as a student consultant to the director. While working on my master’s degree I created and implemented a mentoring program to assist new nontraditional students through the Adult Re-Entry Center. I have been an active member of the President’s Council on Women and a member and officer of the Association for Women in Communication, and a member of the SComm graduate student association. I was part of a research project called “Women of Wisdom” which was presented on the UND campus and at the National Communication Association. Through the research and presentation of Wise Women the recognition and celebration of National Women’s Day was started on the UND campus.

Throughout my Master’s and Ph.D., education I have been on the McNair graduate panel several times to talk to McNair scholars about what to expect while graduate students. I have attended conferences in Delevan, WI, Kansas City, KS, Washington D.C., Chicago, IL and Lexington, KY. I have received the UND Memorial Union Outstanding student award, a Faculty Star teaching award and been nominated for an Outstanding Faculty award.

Throughout my college career life has been challenging and rewarding. During my master’s and doctoral degree studies I went through an illness which lasted six years. Additionally, my parent’s health failed leading to their eventual deaths. I was instrumental in their care and support, all the while achieving academic excellence.

It was a failed marriage that led to me pursuing my lifelong dream of finishing college. Fortunate for me, I quickly became acquainted with Student Support

Services in the TRIO Program and took advantage of all it had to offer me. I was tutored in math, had counseling and advising and a welcoming place to study. I earned a 4.0 my first semester and my SSS advisor, Cheryl Kingsbury, introduced me to the McNair Program. I was in McNair for two years and can’t imagine how I would have made it through my college career without all the encouragement, preparation, assistance and support I received through McNair. McNair allowed me to prepare for graduate school and research. I had one of

my professors tell me that through McNair I was ahead of the “game” as far as my cohort in my master’s program due to the preparation provided by McNair.

While this sounds all well and good, it is because of the dedication of the people at TRIO that I owe a great deal of my success. My path takes me on occasional visits where I get both bolstered and pestered. Every single person in TRIO is

encouraging and caring, willing to go the extra inches, yards and miles it takes to see me through. Pestered would be my McNair advisor who keeps me on my

straight and narrow path, all in a good natured way, but not much different from actually being in the program! The impact is overarching of my entire academic career. When asked to come and help on a graduate panel, or in any other way, I hop at the chance to give back to TRIO. When one of them shows up at one my classes during the beginning of the semester with a student I make room for

them in my class. I have been known to walk students over to TRIO to make sure they take advantage of their help. I can state, without a single doubt that I

would not have made it through my academic career without TRIO and the outstanding people who work there. TRIO is home and the means to my success.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email