The College Tour at SUU: Jordan Simmons

Posted: May 11, 2022 | Author: Abbie Cochrane | Read Time: 3 minutes

Jordan Simmons during The College Tour at SUUJordan Simmons was very excited to be featured in Southern Utah University’s episode of The College Tour. Simmons is a graduate student wrapping up his Master’s of Fine Arts in Arts Administration at SUU. He is from Vernal, Utah and has plans to continue working in development after he graduates in September 2022. The College Tour is a new national TV series that provides a closer look at the heart of college campuses across the country. SUU is the first Utah campus to be featured.

Simmons has always had a deep passion for the arts and theater. His segment of the episode followed his experience as a master’s student in the Arts Administration program at SUU and how it has prepared him for his career. After working a contract at the Utah Shakespeare Festival located at the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts on campus at SUU, Simmons participated in an educational tour of the new play, “Every Brilliant Thing.” The one-person show traveled across Utah high schools, and told a heavy and heartfelt story about opening up about depression, facing mental illness, suicide, and the million brilliant things that make life worth living. Simmons said that this experience was extremely impactful, and it led to him working with graduate students in the Arts Administration program at SUU.

“I watched as they worked in professional arts organizations, gaining crucial experience while also earning their master’s degrees,” Simmons said. He then decided he would apply, and was quickly accepted into the program. “I never thought that I would end up at SUU, but I’m grateful for the shift that brought me here and for the opportunities that have come thus far.”

Simmons has had his hands full since The College Tour aired. C He was recently promoted to being SUU’s Advancement Office’s Prospect Development and Office Manager. His job consists of helping fundraising and development staff meet with potential funding personnel, plan events to help raise money and build solid relationships with important leaders of the state and donors. In 2022, Simmons even had the opportunity to go to Utah’s Legislative Session. He got to sit in on committee hearings, meet state legislators, and talk about the goals of SUU, as well as the needs of the University, moving forward. He was accompanied by his mentor and SUU’s Executive Director of Development and Government Relations, Donna Law.

“I witnessed Donna’s mentorship about advocacy and stewardship having direct applicability to a very important, high-stakes political arena...I’ve also learned a lot by watching Donna’s ability to build relationships and network with people,” Simmons commented about Law’s impact on his career path and his life. “To be paired with a mentor who can teach me how to view the world from a different perspective gives me an opportunity to stretch and grow beyond my comfort zone.”

Every year, the state legislature meets for 45 days to discuss and go over recently reviewed bills, pass new laws and balance the state’s budget. “Jordan was with me every step of the way for four of the seven weeks during last year's session,” stated Donna Law, Jordan’s mentor. They attended several committees to hear what could impact SUU, especially in terms of funding. “When meetings would overlap and we had to divide and conquer, I had complete confidence in Jordan,” Law continued. “Jordan became integral to my work as both a fundraiser and as SUU's representative to the Utah State Legislature. It didn't take long to completely trust his capabilities and work ethic.” Simmons will accompany Law for three weeks during the 2022 legislative session.

SUU’s episode of The College Tour aired August 19, 2021 and is available for viewing on YouTube, Amazon Prime and The College Tour website. The episode features ten students from different fields and majors offered on campus. Each student gives their own experience about their time on campus and their own story about SUU. Learn more about The College Tour students.

Tags: The College Tour Arts Administration College of Performing and Visual Arts

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