Jordan Oliphant ’20, Spring Creek, Nev.
Major/Minors: Biology; Chemistry, Psychology

Why did you choose to attend Concordia? 

My grandparents live in Alexandria and they invited me to come back one summer to look at colleges in Minnesota and North Dakota. I was overwhelmed by the size of NDSU and UND. When I toured Concordia, I knew deep down that this was the best fit for me. My grandma came on the tour with me and kept joking that she wants to back to college now.

I loved the atmosphere on campus. I also wanted to keep running cross country and track in college. Talking with the track and field coach, Marv Roeske, was a lot of fun and I could tell that he genuinely cared about his athletes. He also emphasized how we were student athletes and pushed us to do well in our classes. He is really proud of the women’s track and field team’s Golden Cobb award for the highest team GPA. I felt that coming to Concordia I would be able to focus on my classes, participate in athletics, and be involved on campus – all of which were important to me.

You participate in both cross country and track at Concordia – what is it like being a two-sport athlete?

When you are a two-sport athlete, you are definitely busy. You have to manage your time well. I depend on my planner and to-do lists. I have a whiteboard in my room that I write out important things for the week, like when I have practice, work, tests, and other commitments. I even color code what is on my whiteboard. I set everything out the night before to make things easier on myself the next day. I learned how to say no to things, whether it is going out with friends or taking on one more club or responsibility.

Sometimes you have to do things differently than the “typical” college experience. My teammates and I have gotten up extra early to study, worked on homework on the bus, and have studied even more on Friday and Saturday nights. But I wouldn’t change it at all.

What is unique about the student-athlete experience at Concordia?

There are a few things that are unique being a student-athlete at Concordia that I am thankful for. For one, I got an opportunity to better myself as an athlete and a human being. Our cross country coach, Laura, pushes us hard at practice and expects a lot out of us. On Mondays, Laura has team meetings where she gives us prompts to journal or reflect on. Many of the prompts are looking back on what you could have done better, where you want to go, and what you have done well. I think that those team meetings have helped me become a better person.

I am also thankful for all the close friendships I have made with my teammates and other athletes. As athletes, we have numerous opportunities to give back to the Fargo-Moorhead community as well. Personally, I loved spending time with athletes from HOPE Inc. The track team hosts a few events with them, including a game night with intense games of ultimate frisbee, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair soccer. We also helped with a track meet, too. I loved seeing the smiles when they did well!

How did you get involved in SAAC, Sigma Zeta, and Tri-Beta and what have those experiences taught you?

For Concordia’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC, I had a team captain who reached out to me about joining. I was eager to do so! I was in student council in high school and SAAC sounded like student council for athletes. I kept my grades up and was also invited to join Sigma Zeta and Tri-Beta honor societies. There are numerous opportunities to volunteer with any of those clubs.

I also am involved with Habitat for Humanity. I recently was one of the trip coordinators. Last spring, I went on a Habitat for Humanity trip to Nashville and met some really amazing people.

What do you like best about being a Cobber?

I love the sense of community on campus. Even when I was touring and during my freshmen year, I noticed that people say hi to each other and hold the door. If you need help with a chemistry assignment, there is usually someone you can text or go to for help. There are also some amazing professors that really make you feel welcome. They don’t talk down to you; they talk with you. You can always go and ask questions. They genuinely care about you. Last winter I got in a fender bender while driving my roommate’s car, so I was late to lab and stressed from the day’s events. That professor went out of her way to make sure that I was OK and gave me a minute to just breathe. Our faculty are supportive and want the best for you and your future. Being so far from home, I loved feeling like I belonged here and had somewhere to go.

Published April 2020