Student Spotlight: Jordan Aussicker C’20

Jordan Aussicker C’20

What attracted you to Drew?

Honestly, I came to Drew on a whim! I had recently transferred out of another school, and the day I came to Drew for my tour it was pouring rain and so we couldn’t see the campus. Something inside me just made me say yes to coming to Drew, and every day I’m so grateful for whatever it was!

Did you know what you wanted to major and minor in your first year? 

When I first came to Drew, I was so sure that I wanted to major in History, to do archival and conservation work, but that idea has changed several times since and now my main focus is languages! I really credit the Spanish/French professors at this school, as in high school I always assumed I was bad at learning languages, but as it turns out all you need to be good at something is someone who’s willing to make the learning process worthwhile.

What draws you to languages?

I never liked languages until I got to Drew. Luckily here, the professors show you how language is so closely intertwined with culture, mindsets, and the way the world works. I love to learn about it! Things like how “ojalá” (“hopefully”) in Spanish comes from the Arabic phrase for “God willing”, a remnant of the Moors’ occupation of Iberia in the 700s! Or how Norwegians use the phrase “helt Texas” (“totally Texas”) to describe something wild and out of control, because of the influence from old American Westerns! It makes me feel so much more in-tune and connected with the world around me.

Do you work on or off campus? 

Both! I have worked at the Methodist Archives on campus for three years as a student archivist, and have absolutely loved my time there. There’s always new and exciting things each day—everything from personal postcards to letters and gifts from foreign leaders and famous artists/creators pass through my workspace. Most recently I discovered a letter from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from the Civil War era, casually discussing his travels in America with Charles Dickens, and the recent release of his translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy. My roommates have definitely had to go through endless ramblings about new findings over the past few years, sorry ladies!

I also work at the Morristown & Morris Twp. Library! It’s absolutely one of my favorite places I’ve ever worked. Not only are the rest of the staff so friendly and kind, but I love interacting with the patrons! I am very outgoing, and spend each day at the circulation desk getting to connect with new people, and talk about new books, movies, and programs. I also use my French and Spanish daily while speaking with patrons from different countries! Making someone feel cared for and seen by speaking to them in their first language is something I love being able to provide at such an essential place like a public library.

Have you done any NYC, short or longTRECs? 

I was so lucky to be able to go on the 2018 Paris shortTREC to study French language and culture! Each day we would either attend a class, or go on a trip to another historic site. We stayed with host families, and got to eat new foods and experience new music and television—even learning how to use the metro was a fun and novel challenge. My two favorite things were the classes, as we attended them with students from all around the world, and the French neighborhood called Saint-Michel. It sat right along the river, and was filled with old bookstores! I brought back so many books that I almost didn’t have room for them all in my bags!

Did you have any mentors at Drew?

I would say that two of the most influential professors I have had here at Drew are Professor Placet-Kouassi (from the French Department) and Professor Raul Rosales (from the Spanish Department). I’ve never had two professors who are more passionate about what they’re teaching, and who are so willing to go above and beyond to help their students! I owe so much of what I’ve been able to achieve at Drew to them both.

What world issue(s) are you most passionate about?

I think a lot of what I’m passionate about really just boils down to caring about other people. Which is why I’m so unbelievably lucky to do what I do: In studying History and languages, I gain a knowledge of peoples’ cultures and backgrounds, the social inequality facing the most vulnerable today, and can connect with people in a way that makes them feel seen and understood. By working at the archives, I ensure that individual stories are not lost to time and history. And in the public library, I see daily that what I do can have an immediate and long-term impact on the community I live in—at the end of the day all I know is that I want to spend each day making sure the people around me are loved and cared for, especially those who need it most.

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew over the last 4 years?

All of my favorite memories are from just spending each day with the those I’ve met here, as Drew makes it so easy to find people you connect with. I’ve bonded with transfer students, theatre kids, student athletes, students from science and politics and arts communities—every day I would be at a new performance, thesis defense, movie night, or student activity, supporting my friends and bonding with new ones!

Any hobbies or activities you enjoy that are not on your resume or Fun Fact (s) about you?

I do a very poor job at staying still, so I have lots of hobbies! I spend most of my time in the woods outdoors, gardening, hiking and exploring. I love sports, and with friends I’ll play soccer, softball, and swim. I play six instruments (admittedly some better than others), I adore cooking for people I love, and reading books. And besides French and Spanish, I also speak some Norwegian and collect materials to learn new languages all the time—I’m planning on Italian next!

What are your career goals? Dream job? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I’ve already got my dream job! Even when I was little I wanted to work in a library—I would put my books in order using the Dewey Decimal system, and with a Minnie Mouse notepad as a due date sheet, I asked (essentially forced!) family and friends to “check out” any book they’d like. I am fortunate to know that nearly every community in the country has their own public library, with different needs and populations to serve. I know wherever I end up in the future, I’ll love it!

In general, what advice would you give first-year students?

If nothing else, make what you do worthwhile. Finding a future path full of love, not just for what you do, but for the people around you, is something that will motivate you every day to get out of bed, get outside, and make the world a better place. Also, know when to admit you’re wrong or uninformed! All it can do is open the door for new and interesting people to come in and enrich your life.

 

Posted by Yasmin Acosta
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