Alumni News

December 10, 2021 at 5:41 pm

Class of 2021 | It started in a sociology class, now Jorden Milliken is looking to law school

Jorden Milliken is ready for Commencement.

Jorden Milliken is ready for Commencement.

Jorden Milliken changed her major half a dozen times before she happened onto that one class that led to her “ah-ha” moment at Ohio University.

The dominoes quickly fell into place, and soon she had a major (or two), a supportive group of faculty mentors, and a career focus that she’s passionate about.

“As a freshman and a sophomore, I changed my major almost six times. I could never find the exact fit to my passions, and I was always yearning to learn more. When I sat down in my first sociology class, I found myself so fascinated with the material and so passionate about social justice,” Milliken said.

“Once I realized that a legal career fit my passions perfectly, I knew that I had found my niche. I knew that under the guidance of my professors and Pre-Law Advisor Larry Hayman, Esq., I could achieve anything. My ah-ha moment was when I realized not only ‘I’ve got this!’ but also ‘they’ve got me!’”

Milliken ends her undergraduate days at OHIO as she crosses stage at Fall 2021 Commencement with two degrees in hand—a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Sociology-Criminology.

With plenty of Ohio University Mock Trial experience, she is planning on attending law school in the fall. “Until then I will be working under a judge at my local courthouse, as well as working as a substitute teacher for my high school alma mater. While in law school, I hope to focus on public service and become a public defender.”

Milliken was part of the Ohio University Mock Trial Team that advanced to the Opening Round Championship Series of the American Mock Trial Association’s tournaments in March 2021. (See OHIO Mock Trial Advances to Opening Round Championship Series.)

The 2021 mock trial team, group Teams shot

The Mock Trial Team in March 2021.

Q&A with Jorden Milliken

Q: What stands out in your mind as you think about graduating despite COVID?

A: I think that graduating during a global pandemic is just a testament to the will and perseverance that my peers and I have. I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to graduate, and especially grateful that my family will be able to attend in-person and cheer me on.

Q: Who were your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life? 

A: I must personally thank my sociology and criminology professors! Professors Amanda Cox, Rebecca Collins, and Holly Ningard have truly shown me what passion within your career looks like. Professor Collin’s “Introduction to Sociology” class inspired me to look into a career in law and dig deeper into my passions of social justice. They all have encouraged me and mentored me, and I will forever be thankful that Ohio University led me to them. Without these professors, I would not be where I am today.

Q:  What was the hardest hill you had to climb (not counting Jeff Hill) at OHIO? And how did you overcome challenges or obstacles in your path?

A: My hardest obstacle here at Ohio University was when classes initially went online. As someone who has always been a visual and hands-on learner, it was really difficult to adjust to online learning. I always appreciated that my classes were full of meaningful discussions and debates, and COVID-19 impacted the ways that we were able to communicate in the classroom. Luckily, my professors have been kind and accommodating, and I was always able to work through my concerns with them. My online classes were also filled with like-minded students who were equally as passionate about the subject as I was. This definitely helped discussions feel less like we were on a Teams call, and more like I was sitting in the same room with them. Nothing will beat the first in-person class that I attended at the beginning of this semester and seeing friends that I had not physically seen in a year. The joy that I felt from being back in the classroom made all of the hardships worth it.

Q: What are your favorite OHIO memories?

A: It can be surprising how much one singular place can mean so much to you. Almost all of my most fond memories at Ohio University are at the Front Room. My friends and I would go to “Froom” daily for hours just to study, talk, joke, and laugh. Even my friends who have graduated still mention how much our Front Room study dates have meant to them. I would not have been able to survive college without those small breaks from class and homework, where we could just joke, laugh, and spend time together.

Q: What’s the one thing you would tell a new OHIO student not to miss? 

A: If I could give advice to a new Ohio University student, it would be to not miss out on the small things. There are things that you do in college that you don’t realize have made such a big impact on you until you’re about to leave. Go to that cardio dance class with your roommate, meet your friends at the Front Room, join that org that looks fun.

Go make memories because those are what you are going to look back on as you’re about to graduate or in 10, 20 years. While you’re going to be so grateful that it happened, you’re going to be so sad to see it end. Cherish them.

Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

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