Yolanda Jordan Donates Extra Time to RSENR, UVM and Burlington
- By Shari Halik
Yolanda Jordan is a familiar face in the Rubenstein School Dean’s Office. Hers is the first desk you come to. Friendly and lively, Yolanda contributes a bright, classy, professional approach to the day-to-day business of the Dean’s Office and to the UVM and Burlington communities.
As the Assistant to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development Allan Strong, Yolanda juggles the unenviable and colossal job of “Schedule of Courses” for the School (making sure our students can register spring, summer, and fall for the courses they need) along with scheduling of Aiken Center rooms for classes and other events.
She also handles appointment and reappointment letters for some of our faculty. She is the School’s Notary Public and contact person for key and CATcard room access, including Jericho Research Forest and the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory.
Amidst all that, she cheerfully squeezes in countless little jobs, like letting absent-minded staff and faculty into their offices when they forget their keys, and some not so little jobs like showing prospective users the available teaching and meeting spaces in the Aiken Center or planning and coordinating the faculty/staff holiday party.
Yolanda has worked in the RSENR Dean’s Office since 2010. Before that, she worked in the UVM President’s and Provost’s Offices for two years while she coordinated dean’s searches for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the School of Business Administration, and the Rubenstein School.
Just a little before that, Yolanda grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, where she was a high school track star, held many sprint records, and was named Missouri athlete of the year. She ran the 100-meter dash (in 11.8 seconds!), the 200-meter, 400-meter, and relays. Her last record was broken just five years ago in a relay race. She went on to run for Arkansas State University, in Jonesboro, and majored in communications and psychology. “That’s how I developed my uncanny ability to relate to people so well,” she jokes.
Twelve years ago, a job as manager of the Sprint-Nextel Wireless corporate store in Williston relocated Yolanda and her husband, Jackson, a Captain in the Army National Guard, to Vermont. With Jackson’s subsequent deployment to Afghanistan, Yolanda needed a 9 to 5 job to be home evenings with their two children, Sha’Kylah and Jared. That’s how she found her way to UVM.
“I like the people in the Rubenstein School. I’ve learned a lot from everyone about the environment and natural resources,” says Yolanda. She also gives a lot back to the School and UVM and the Burlington community.
Active on the RSENR Diversity Task Force, Yolanda also serves on a UVM committee that organizes the annual Women of Color Leadership Retreat run by the UVM Women’s Center and ALANA (African, Latino(a), Asian, and Native American) Student Center. She volunteers each year to help with the RSENR breakfast at the ALANA Center. She donates more of her time whenever she can. During this fall’s UVM Staff Appreciation Week, she helped package meals at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf.
“We couldn’t package the food fast enough for the number of people picking up meals,” says Yolanda. “I was astounded by how many people really need food and happy to be helping out.”
Yolanda stays just as active in her home community of Milton, Vermont and in Burlington, where her children attend school and her family attends the New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church. For three years, she chaired GospelFest, a church musical event each February to honor Black Heritage. Yolanda serves as the Church’s Trustee and Financial Secretary. She is also a member of the Burlington School District Athletic Advisory Board.
She and her family stay very busy attending Sha’Kylah’s and Jared’s sporting events year round, ice skating on local rinks, enjoying monthly family dinner-out and movie nights, and traveling to Montreal.