Exploring Unimagined Realms

img FCM Student Life NMI 170x150Born in Cuba, raised in New York, New Jersey and Florida, Maggie Jordan brings the world to students on the North Miami Campus. Jordan joined Safety and Security six years ago, an exporter who’d decided on a career change. Three years ago she volunteered to serve as an advisor to the Cultural Living and Learning Community and the International Community in addition to her duties as campus student conduct officer. Her love for travel expands horizons. “I think like an international,” she says.

The 27 students in the cultural community based in Lakeside Residence, learn about different cultures, foods, poetry, the arts and music, taking in exhibits, concerts, the ballet. “It’s agreed that I don’t tell them where we’re going,” Jordan says. “If we don’t tell them, they participate and come back and say ‘I never would have done that.’”

For the 30 to 50 members of the International Community, most of whom live off campus, Jordan’s challenge is to bring the globally diverse group together. Orientation was set up to encourage cross-cultural bonding over activities like bowling and skating.

“It brought international students from being something of an underground network to above ground, where they feel empowered.” For the second year, the communities hosted World Celebrations so students in other parts of the university could see how countries represented in all parts of the school celebrate the winter holidays.

From the Baroque symphony, the ballet and Vizcaya to Washington, D.C., Little Havana and Colonial Williamsburg, members of learning communities are exposed to history, culture and geography as diverse as their origins.

“I don’t want them to go back home thinking this is all there is to America or North Miami,” Jordan says. “We can say to these students ‘You were not just on campus, you were all over South Florida. This is America.’”