The Dearborn Icebreaker: Tina Jordan


The Dearborn Icebreaker is a new Reporter feature designed to help us get to know our UM-Dearborn colleagues.

Tina JordanName: Tina Jordan
Position: Executive Secretary, Business Affairs
Years at UM-Dearborn: 1.5 (plus 6.5 at UM-Ann Arbor)

What does a typical workday look like for you?
Read and respond to email, take and make phone calls, schedule meetings, reschedule meetings, create PowerPoint slides, order iPhones, pay bills, answer questions, greet visitors, place orders, reconcile accounts, distribute mail, etc.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I thrive on variety and change, and my job offers that constantly.

What was your first job?
As a teenager, I babysat, and for a time I exercised (rode) horses for a neighbor. As a young adult I was a full-time receptionist/secretary, part-time drop-off day care manager and a part-time hostess/waitress. (It took three jobs to pay for my efficiency apartment and my car!)

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I know a great deal about childhood abuse, domestic violence, and controlling, abusive and narcissistic people. I’ve studied those areas intensely in order to survive and strive to become a healthy person. On a happier note, I was a lead singer and worship leader in a contemporary worship band and sang in front of well over a thousand people a week for about five years—there is nothing like singing with the band!

What do you do to relax?
I do a challenging Sudoku or Killer Sudoku puzzle every night before bed. I love jigsaw puzzles. I love Prismacolor pencils and Dover coloring books. I love to take walks and admire the beauty of the nature. I love music. I love art. I play with acrylic and watercolor paints. I make jewelry. I love playing and snuggling with animals. I love to “hang out” with my kids. I love to cook and create my own recipes. I love to pick a subject and check out all the books I can from the library and study that subject until I’ve had enough. I love neuroscience and behavioral science. I love philosophical discussions. I love a glass (or two!) of Chianti Classico or a great cup of strong black coffee. And I love to take naps.

What’s your definition of a life well lived?
Personally, it would be feeling like I had lived in such a way that I reached the top of Maslow’s hierarchy pyramid. In the abstract: becoming the person I/you am/are capable of being.

What’s the proudest moment of your life?
Each time my kids demonstrate they truly understand controlling/abusive people and assure me they will not be a controlling/abusive person or be in a committed relationship with a controlling/abusive person. 2) The day, not very long ago, when my daughter shared with me that I was her hero. 3) Finishing the last class needed for my associate degree (with high honors!) on December 17, 2012…now on to my bachelor’s! 4) Each time I think about where I came from compared to where I am today.

If we were to create a UM-Dearborn playlist, what song would you want to include?
“In the Mood” by the Glenn Miller Band—that music lifts spirits and gets feet a’tappin!

If someone handed you a $100 bill, what would you do with it?
Ask the giver who I was supposed to give it to or what I was supposed to get for them; I would never expect it would be for me! If it really was for me, then two words: Trader Joe’s.

What advice would you give to this year’s graduating class?
Be true. Be responsible. Be teachable. Be strong. Be a better person tomorrow than you are today. Ask questions. Give the benefit of the doubt. Be gracious. Be thankful. Be creative. Remember you always have options and choices, even if you don’t like them. Take calculated risks. Do what you love. Do what you don’t love, but need to do anyways. Be respectful. Be trustworthy. Be wise. Be a good example. Be the same good, honorable person when no one is looking as you are when anyone or everyone is looking.

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