Reverend Dr. Lynda Marie Jordan March 1, 2010Posted by Science Club for Girls in Guest Blog, Letter to Young Self, women in science.
Reverend Dr. Lynda Marie Jordan is a native Bostonian, born in Roxbury Massachusetts. She is the third of less than ten women of African descent—to date— that has earned the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Chemistry, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After receiving the Ph.D. degree, Dr. Jordan became a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris France. It was that she began her work on the Human Placental Phospholipase A2 (PLA2), and one of its protein inhibitors, Lipocortin. During her two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow, she made substantial contributions to understanding these key proteins, which are associated with the human inflammatory processes. Her pioneering work of isolating both the calcium-dependent and calcium-independent high molecular weight PLA2 isoforms, was one of first identifications of these novel human enzymes. The isolation and identification of these important human proteins, laid the groundwork for many advancements in biomedical research we see today.
After completing her postdoctoral studies, Dr. Jordan also served as an Assistant Professor and was later tenured as an Associate Professor of Chemistry, at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, (NCATSU), in Greensboro North Carolina. During her time at North Carolina A & T, she accumulated extensive experience in science education, science research & training, infrastructure development, and human resource development. She has received national and international recognition, for her leadership contributions toward the teaching, training and mentoring of diverse populations of students, scientists and junior faculty. Dr. Jordan, along with her students, have presented her research at various scientific conferences in the United States, and Switerland, Japan and Austraila.
Dr. Jordan’s academic experiences span the pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate levels. She serves as a mentor, for several students who were in pursuit of careers in science, and junior faculty members who are making the transition into their professorships. Her former students are currently: Professors, Research Scientists, and Professional Scientists at federal agencies and in industry, Teachers, Dentists, Physicians, MD/Ph.D. Scientists, and Pharmacists. At the administrative level, in the realm of capacity building, while at North Carolina A & T, Lynda Jordan secured over 2 million dollars in extramural funding to implement innovative programs in chemistry. She also developed curricula & programs at various levels of science education, while implementing goal oriented strategic plans that enhance the level of training at the university.
Throughout her career Dr. Jordan has maintained her commitment to the community, at the grass roots level, and has developed numerous tutorial programs for nonprofit organizations, churches and community centers. She has also assisted organizations in actualizing their financial resource base, by writing proposals — pro bono— for various community organizations, and also assisting them in the development of their infrastructure. She continues to contribute toward the development of services and resources for community-based programs. She has served on numerous boards and committees at the local, national and international levels. Her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., honored Dr. Jordan, at the national level, with the Project Cherish Award, for her outstanding work in the community and her scholarly contributions to society as related to her contributions in Chemistry.
Dr. Lynda Marie Jordan was also selected as the African American female representative for the award-winning documentary entitled, “Discovering Women.” This pioneering series, produced by WGBH in Boston, profiles the lives of women scientists; she was the African American representative. First Lady Hillary Clinton honored Lynda Marie Jordan, at the White House, for her contributions to science and science education, at the premiere of the showing of this documentary. She was also selected to participate in a special Commemorative Meeting for World Peace, in honor of The Archbishop Desmond Tutu; held in Kowloon Hong Kong, in 2000.
After developing an interdisciplinary biological chemistry program at NCATSU, Dr. Jordan spent two years as the Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor of Chemistry at MIT. During her tenure at MIT, as the MLK Visiting Professor, Dr. Jordan accepted the call of ministry on her life; she received ministerial training at Harvard Divinity School. While there conducted an ethnographic research study on the topic: Domestic Violence in the African American Community: The Role of the Black Church, which resulted in a published journal article, in a periodical affiliated with Harvard Divinity School.
In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, while at HDS, Dr. Jordan also earned the Certificate in the Study of Science and Religion from the Boston Theological Institute (May, 2007). Her Master of Divinity thesis entitled, Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities: Accessing the Power of the Holy Spirit for Healing involved the collection of original qualitative data which explored theological mechanisms as possible solutions toward addressing the issue of health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities.
In June 2008, Dr. Lynda Jordan received both the Master of Divinity (MDiv) and the Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees, from the Harvard Divinity School (HDS) and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) respectively. The topic of her Master of Public Heath practicum, Development of a Program to Enhance the Spiritual and Mental Health Needs of Homeless Women at a Daytime Shelter in Boston Massachusetts, demonstrates her desire to unite the community, academia and health care resources to address practical daily life issues within society. She is the first person in the history of Harvard University to obtain these two degrees— simultaneously. While matriculating through the programs at HDS and HSPH, Lynda was also ordained as an Elder in the United Holy Church of America, Inc. (July, 2006), and currently serves as an Associate Minister in a local church in Roxbury, Massachusetts (Holy Temple Church).
The hands on qualitative and quantitative research education and experiences that she received while matriculating at HDS and HSPH, enhanced Dr. Jordan’s existing capacity to contribute to the issues in these areas. Her ministry supports the holistic healing and re-engagement of people who are disenfranchised from mainstream society. She utilizes her extraordinary experiences in infrastructure development, program design and implementation, strategic planning, capacity building, human resource development, research, teaching and preaching toward the actualization of her call of ministry. In the community, Dr. Jordan has the necessary skills to communicate with members of the community, on an intimate level. Her ability to build relationships built on trust and respect— toward all people — permits her the privilege of hearing the concerns of people with whom she is in association. Consequently, Lynda has the capacity to contribute to the creation of effective and practical mechanisms to combat the personal, social and environmental issues that define the condition of a community. She is a servant-leader.
Dr. Lynda Jordan’s long-term goal is to positively contribute toward eradicating the obscurities which create the gaps between the needs of the community, and the resources of academia and the health care system. Her ability to serve as a conduit between these entities can benefit them as they develop ways to interweave their individual threads toward the unequivocal purpose of effectively and efficiently attending to the needs of the people. Dr. Jordan’s ability and desire to positively contribute to the elimination of racial or ethnic health disparities in the United States, encompasses the church, academia and the community. Her education and practical experiences in biological chemistry, theology and public health, triangularly positions her between these three fields, giving her a distinctive and broad perspective as to how these three components of human life intersect. This panoramic view offers her a more comprehensive approach toward the development of intervention and prevention programs to address the issues that relate to racial and ethnic health disparities, in America.
The Reverend Dr. Lynda Marie Jordan has unambiguous faith in salvation through her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She possesses a stalwart conviction in God’s love and power, and is responsive to the necessity of integrating Christ-like principles and values, into the development of solutions to the daily life problems of God’s people.