Russell Scholars Program

Advice from an Alumna

Since graduating from USM, Jordanna Ford ‘20 has been avidly working toward getting a job in the psychology field. Her plan is to go to medical school to become a psychiatrist. She is currently employed by the Department of Health on the “COVID Team” in her county. She is also taking a course at a local college that she needs for entrance to medical school. 


Jordanna talks about the benefits of the Russell Scholars Program. “For one, volunteering at Gateway, an organization in Portland that supports immigrants and refugees, was super rewarding and a major learning experience for me. Interacting with diverse students, particularly tutoring them in different ways to find the method that worked best, resonated with me. I thought about it from a psychological perspective: Not everyone is going to understand a topic in the same way. Time and patience are your best friends when working with a variety of Individuals.” 


Jordanna says that her advice to first-year RSP students is to stay in the program until graduation.”I made the mistake of leaving the program early on because I overlooked the opportunities it could make available to me. By the next year, I realized that it was the most beneficial asset of my college career, and I became active again. It might not be clear in the first semester what opportunities may arise or what RSP has to offer, but as you progress through school, you'll see that RSP opens doors for you.”  


Jordanna thinks the biggest benefit of RSP is the program’s professors. “Having their support made me feel more comfortable in situations I was uncertain about because I was confident I had someone to help me.”