Jordan Jiosi views problems as opportunities to thrive.
He’s thoughtful, intentional and level-headed. Upon first meeting him, some may think he’s intense. Or that he enjoys talking. Or that the things he talks about go over your head. And they may be right.
But there’s so much more that many won’t see upon first glance.
Jiosi, a first-generation college student, knows exactly what it’s like to feel paralyzed by mistakes, personally unchallenged and intellectually unfulfilled.
He first attempted college about 10 years ago in a degree program that wasn’t stimulating. As a result, he didn’t put any effort into his studies and failed nearly every class he took. At age 28, after years of trial and error, he enrolled at Rowan College at Burlington County with a renewed perspective and an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
“Ten years ago I thought that college was this strict, rigid institution, but what I’ve found is that it is actually the opposite; RCBC is a place that nurtures creativity, raw talent and the unorthodox while providing access to some of the smartest people I’ve ever met who challenge me to be better than I was yesterday,” Jiosi remarked.
Jordan, of Medford Lakes, is concurrently pursuing degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. He serves as president of the Computer Science and Cybersecurity clubs and is an officer in the Mu Alpha Theta math honor society.
Generous with his time and talent, Jordan often offers to help his community through technology, whether developing apps and systems for the college, leading a cybersecurity research project for Lockheed Martin, researching error-correcting codes with cancer-fighting applications or sharing his story for others to gain insight to succeed where he failed.
Beyond his commitment to various projects and organizations, Jiosi selflessly dedicates his time and resources to help others who struggle with mathematical concepts. He works with underprivileged, mostly immigrant children in Atlantic City middle schools, helping them understand how he has been able to succeed using computer science and mathematics. He also tutors fellow RCBC students to help them remain academically competitive in their respective fields.
“RCBC helped me become a champion for myself such that I could also help others be champions themselves. This means more to me than anything, further solidifying the well-known mathematical law that some things cannot ever be proven with math at all because while I can’t prove that RCBC helped my entire family thrive vicariously through my education, I can’t help but smile and remember that there are some things in life that we will never be able to prove. And I’m ok with that,” Jiosi said.
Jiosi has benefitted from both sides of mentorship.
His relationship with Professor Chris Simber led to a position as a software engineer for Ascis Inc., a global supply chain management company in Marlton. There, he gained valuable experience traveling to Bangladesh to conduct testing for a new propane gas RFID tracking system.
However, in accordance with his academic ethos to challenge himself, he left the safety net of that position in order to conduct research and analyses on error-correcting output codes and develop supervised machine learning algorithms to help oncologists more readily recognize and combat cancer. This opportunity was extended by Professor Jonathan Weisbrod in a joint partnership between Rowan University and RCBC students with grant funding by the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics.
Jiosi also generates a modest income through his mobile and website apps, in addition to his YouTube channel. He most recently accepted a position as a substitute teacher at Lenape Regional High School, where he covers many subjects and encourages students to pursue intersectional STEM careers.
As for the future, Jordan looks forward to setting his sights on new horizons, having already reached a level that far exceeded his highest expectations. He plans to double major at the baccalaureate level before pursuing his master’s and doctoral degrees in Computer Science.
And, after many failures, Jordan has learned to succeed and is on track to graduate with honors this May. His drive and inherent curiosity will take him far, as he’s already made a significant impact on the RCBC community.