Jordan Roiland '21
Summa Cum Laude
Applied Mathematics and Statistics and Biochemistry double major
Minor in Chemistry
I'm from Long Island, born and raised! South Huntington specifically!
How did you hear about Stony Brook University?
I've known about Stony Brook since before I knew what college was! I remember coming here to walk around campus as a child, and all I understood was that some people decide to go to school AFTER FINISHING HIGH SCHOOL?! How irrational! Now I'm one of them, haha!
Why Stony Brook?
A piece of me always knew I would study at Stony Brook. My parents met while studying here, in Roth's own Hendrix. Stony Brook is a family school, with my older brother also graduating from here in 2019. My mom was also in one of the first classes of the Honors College, so it was exciting to continue this and build a family of Stony Brook graduates. Aside from the deep family ties, I knew that Stony Brook offered an exceptional education. To me, Stony Brook wasn't "good for a public school." No. Stony Brook offered top-tier programs and opportunities and happened to be affordable and public, which were also important in pursuing my education.
On his majors and minor:
I study Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Biochemistry, and I minor in Chemistry. As a senior in high school, I knew I loved math and biology and wasn't able to make a decision; I guess I still haven't! After taking organic chemistry and lab, I found I loved chem and wanted to research in it, making the minor a breeze! I knew SBU's Biology and AMS programs are top tier, so this choice was also easy knowing these studies would set me up for success
There's a lot! There are classes I loved for the content, classes I loved for the professor, and classes I loved for both! If I had to pick just one, I think I'll cheat and say my probability courses (AMS310 and 311) with Professor Fred Rispoli. Especially during the pandemic, Professor Rispoli was super accommodating, and I ended up TA'ing for him twice, which helped me build connections with the department and develop my professional abilities in teaching difficult concepts in math. I loved in 311 how Professor Rispoli would give us thought problems at the beginning of class, and ask us to solve them by the end of class. This course was so interesting to me that I always made sure to solve the problems, and he would allow me to stand in front of the class and teach/talk through my thought process! This was incredibly fun and makes me want to teach at some point in the future.
Interests and accomplishments:
On the personal side, I love gardening and making kombucha, and doing both in my dorm room. I really like plants, and have been planting my own around campus, including the sunflowers between Chávez and Tubman Halls, so keep a lookout for them next fall! Professionally, I have a passion for healthcare advocacy and bridging the disparities in healthcare that POC and LGBTQ* people face, as comprehensive healthcare is a prerequisite to our fundamental and inalienable rights. My accomplishments are difficult for me to characterize, as a lot of what I have come to value in my experiences as an undergraduate is found in the little moments, the small impacts I have made on a personal level.
I think my greatest achievements can be found in interactions with my fellow Seawolves and through my personal struggles as well as helping others through theirs. My Junior year was very hard on my mental health, and these struggles actually started before the pandemic, and I was growing out of them when we first shut down. It was difficult to be on an upward trajectory right when the world shut down. I think my greatest accomplishment was pushing through this with the support of my friends. Not just pushing myself through in these times, but being there to encourage and push my peers. We have grown a lot in this process, and our social support network is incredibly strong to counteract the difficulties of this pandemic. I couldn't have done it without them, and I am proud to know I was helpful in their ability to succeed as well.
Awards and Accolades:
I am a member of the Honors College graduating Summa Cum Laude, and with the Provost's award for academic excellence. I have also been on the Dean's list since beginning here, and am fortunate to have received three Academic Achievement awards for maintaining a 4.0.
Plans for post-graduation:
Currently, I am involved in the Progressive Pipeline Fellowship, an internship with Change Research, and working as a Graduate TA for SBU. Take BIO231 with me this summer! I am also enrolling in the SBU School of Public Health for an MPH.
I am still figuring this out. I am interested in public health, specifically around STD prevention and education as well as the intersectionality these issues have with communities of color and LGBTQ* youth.
Clubs and organizations:
I was a founding member of oSTEM, which unfortunately was unable to continue at the start of the pandemic. I am a member of the Spirit of Stony Brook Athletic Bands for all four years, an RA for three years, a member of NRHH for four years, a member of the Ojima Research Group in the Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, a Student Ambassador, and a member of the SUNY SA DEI Committee. I also am on a few other committees at SBU.
Advice for future Seawolves?
Get involved! This school is big, but there are many small pockets. Join clubs, but also take your time to find things you're really passionate about. You can "shop around" and find the ones that really excite you! And they don't have to be related to your studies or career interests. They can be something you'll never do again, but I promise they'll give you skills that are transferable to your future endeavors.
Favorite SBU memory:
I think one of my favorite memories was sneaking out of one class with my two friends to see the view from one special hidden spot. It had great views and I want to keep it our special secret. I haven't been to it since the pandemic hit. Other things include winning our first heat in Roth regatta my sophomore year - getting soaked with that ominous green goo, and of course the WolfieLand carnival.
On graduating during these unusual times:
It's definitely sad to be missing out on some of the fuller festivities, though having ample opportunities to be vaccinated on campus will allow me to spend time with some of my friends before we all go in different directions! I am glad that we are able to hold limited in-person graduations, as it allows for a sense of the finality. honor, and pomp of a ceremony. For virtual events, I am super excited to be one of the graduation speakers for Biochemistry! We are busy working on a speech and I am honored to have met, and be able to work with my two co-speakers on creating a meaningful experience.
To my fellow graduating Seawolves: Congratulations! You did it! To my continuing Seawolves, you've got this! Keep pushing, make sure to stay connected with friends, knowing it's never too late to send someone a text to catch up. I'm sure they want it as much as you, and it's the barrier of the pandemic keeping you apart. Thank you all who have been a part of my growth these past four years, be it mentorship or friendship, or something else entirely. You all mean the world to me, and I can only hope I have impacted you as much as you have impacted me.