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The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Kirkland Picked for the Journey of a Lifetime

Jordan Kirkland was selected for the Brad Henry International Scholars Program and will travel to Wales for a semester
Luka Messick
Jordan Kirkland (left) shares her excitement with Dr. Brenda Brown after learning that she was selected to travel to Wales.

Every year, one USAO student has the opportunity to study abroad at Swansea University in Wales through the Brad Henry International Scholars Program. Many students applied for the program this year, with many students having high quality applications, but only one student would be awarded the scholarship.

This year, Jordan Kirkland, third-year English education major, was USAO’s Brad Henry International Scholar Wednesday, Oct. 18. She is unsure of when she will leave for Wales yet, but she does know that classes begin Wednesday, Jan. 24.

“We had some excellent candidates, we could have selected any of the ones who applied and been proud to send them over,” said Dr. Brenda Brown, dean of interdisciplinary studies and humanities and coordinator study abroad. “One of the things we look at is someone who is interdisciplinary, someone who looks at the IDS courses and figures out how studying abroad will play into that foundation and then carry beyond their work here at USAO and into their future.”  

In addition to her English education major, Kirkland also has minors in liberal arts, American Sign Language, and Spanish. Kirkland said she has interests in other cultures and foreign languages, and said the program is perfect for her to pursue her interests further. After seeing Chelsea Fuston awarded the Brad Henry scholarship last year, Kirkland learned about the program and that it is an option for her to not only pursue her interests but also make her a better educator. 

“The exposure to a whole different perspective on learning and teaching, I think it could really benefit my education, like skills and my perspective could be broadened better,” said Kirkland. 

Kirkland said she is excited to travel to a new country and see the landscapes and views of the country, but also gain a new perspective into teaching. Kirkland said she is excited to see what the education system in Wales is like and to see what going to another university is like and gaining a new perspective to better her career in education.

“Jordan is going out into an Oklahoma classroom where she will have the opportunity to influence hundreds and hundreds and maybe thousands of children. She’s going to be able to tell them stories about a world beyond Oklahoma, about a world beyond the United States in those stories that she tells,” Dr. Brown said. “She’s going to open doors for them that sometimes they didn’t even know the door was there, let alone that they could open it. Her experience will perpetuate this idea of curiosity and exploration and to future generations.”


Luka Messick is a first-year physics major at the Univeristy of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. 

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributor
Luka Messick
Luka Messick, Contributing Writer
Luka is a first-year physics major from Tulsa. He loves music and spends most of his free time listening to music. Luka played the clarinet in high school and was part of his school's front ensemble for marching season and winter percussion season. Luka also plays video games with his friends. Since he has been on campus, Luka has joined SPS and PRISM.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Writer: Sept. 2023 - present