Dr. Jeanne Jordan is Saving Women and Children One New Diagnostic Test At A Time

By: Jessica Keller

Dr. Jeanne A. Jordan is currently a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at The George Washington University School of Public Health. She visited campus on Wednesday, October 11th, to deliver the Barbara Stone Hollander ‘60 Lecture in Women’s Leadership. Her lecture was the first event in the week of special programming in celebration of Dr. Finegold’s inauguration, themed “Healthy People, Healthy Planet.” Dr. Jordan’s lecture was titled “Developing Molecular Tools for Detecting Infectious Disease: Improving Women’s and Infants’ Health Worldwide,” and was introduced by Odera Igwe, a senior studying Environmental Science with a minor in Botany.
Dr. Jordan’s talked about her past work locally in Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, and globally with organizations such as the Association of Public Health Laboratories and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. In general, her work focuses on HPV and HIV. Her research has led to the development of many points of care diagnostic tests that have already had a real impact on patients.
While many lecturers only discuss their work during presentations, Dr. Jordan was just as open about her life and career. She mentioned the sexism that still is present in scientific fields, including the fact that her credibility is sometimes questioned even after all of her experience working in her field. Since she is based in DC, she was invited to be a part of a science advisory board and has been involved with Chatham alum and mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser.
Earlier in the day, Chatham’s S-STEM Scholars received the opportunity to meet Dr. Jordan during an exclusive lunch in Buhl’s atrium. The lunch was organized by one of the leaders of the S-STEM program and a professor in the science department Dr. Williams-Hatala, who regularly organizes profound lectures and events supporting marginalized people. Dr. Williams-Hatala believes that Dr. Jordan’s journey is especially notable because Dr. Jordan has taken many risks throughout her career which she discussed in further detail during her lecture.
Chatham’s women in science were incredibly inspired to meet Dr. Jordan and to see where they could go if they follow their passions. Senior Chemistry major, Music minor, and S-STEM Scholar Krista Arena shared her thoughts on meeting Dr. Jordan.
“It is very exciting to meet such a successful woman in science who is changing the world,” said Arena at the lunch. The Women’s Institute held their own VIP Reception before the lecture, inviting students, faculty, staff, and community members to meet Dr. Jordan before her lecture.
Dr. Jordan educated her audience on many issues during her time on campus. One of her most impactful lessons came at the end of her lecture: “if you want to grow, you must get out of your comfort zone.”