Jordan Miner: Outstanding Graduating Student

Jordan Miner of East Baldwin, Maine is the Outstanding Graduating Student in the College of Engineering. She is a biomedical engineering major with minors in electrical engineering and bioinstrumentation. Miner is a Maine Top Scholar who received two fellowships from the Center for Undergraduate Research to study Duchenne muscular dystrophy. She has been a student researcher collaborating in the laboratories of professors Karissa Tilbury and Clarissa Henry. Miner has presented and published her research findings, and received best poster honors at the 2019 Northeast Symposium on Biomedical Optics. She also has participated in three internships at IDEXX Laboratories and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. On campus, Miner has been a peer tutor and a leader in the Biomedical Engineering Club. She is captain of the Fastpitch Club that won the 201920 New England East conference championship. Miner will pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at UMaine, focused on cancer research.

What difference has UMaine made in your life and in helping you reach your goals?
UMaine has provided me with so many amazing opportunities and I am thankful for all UMaine has done for me. My first internship (at IDEXX) was brought about because the Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Department invited John Brogan of IDEXX (along with representatives from other companies) to Jenness Hall for interviews my sophomore year. Furthermore, my internship at NASA all started when I saw a poster in Jenness Hall advertising paid NASA internships. My mentor, professor Karissa Tilbury, helped me get in contact with professor Ali Abedi who then proceeded to help me fill out an application. It was that application that landed me a NASA internship for the summer of 2020. In addition to internships, my Maine Top Scholar scholarship put me in contact with my mentor, professor Tilbury, and started my research career, which has influenced me so much that I am pursuing a Ph.D. to continue researching in the future. My involvement in undergraduate research made me realize how much I love doing research and that I want to continue doing it as a career. A Ph.D. will help me achieve these goals. Furthermore, UMaine has provided me with amazing network opportunities through many different platforms. Some of these include the Biomedical Engineering Club attending conferences, the UMaine Student Symposium, and being a student ambassador for prospective students (joining Zoom meetings with the dean of engineering to help answer questions and get prospective students excited about UMaine).

Have you had an experience at UMaine that has changed or shaped the way you see the world?
My undergraduate research has been the experience at UMaine that has changed the way I see the world the most. I have always been interested in research ever since I was young (I always liked to ask why about everything). I always assumed growing up that only advanced scientists could publish or conduct research. I was mistaken. I have participated in research since my freshman year and now have a publication under my belt as an undergraduate — two things I never thought could happen until I came to UMaine.

Why UMaine?
UMaine has everything I could have wanted and more. I was able to participate in three internships and undergraduate research, which is hard to come by at other universities. Furthermore, the community at UMaine is beyond my initial expectations. I was able to develop personal relationships with many professors which has enhanced my overall experience at UMaine. The campus itself also is beautiful. I love the surrounding area and I am happy to call Orono my home away from home.

How would you define the opportunities for student success at UMaine? 
The opportunities for student success are vast at UMaine. The biggest things that helped me succeed were getting involved early, making relationships with professors and joining the Biomedical Engineering Club. These three things provided me nearly all my opportunities. Additionally, always being on the lookout for opportunities is a trait that is very valuable. I have always been told you will miss all the shots you don’t take, and that moto definitely helped in my success.

Have you worked closely with a professor or mentor who made your UMaine experience better?
Professor Karissa Tilbury, my undergraduate mentor, has been one of the most influential and helpful people I have encountered in both my time at UMaine and in my lifetime. She has been there every step of the way and helped me achieve my goals. I would not be here without her constant guidance and her determination in watching me succeed. She is always there for me, whether it is for research, guidance, internship or general life advice and genuinely cares for me and my successes. She was the one who truly pushed me to explore my limits and if not for her, I would never have applied for the NASA internship.

What advice do you have for incoming students to help them get off to the best start academically? 
My advice for incoming students is to get involved early and explore new things. UMaine has so many great opportunities and unless you take initiative and start exploring, these opportunities may not come around for you. Furthermore, UMaine has so much to offer besides academics, such as clubs, intramurals and research. Exploring these opportunities will make you a better individual and you may find something that changes your perspective on life, as I did with research, that pushes you in a direction you never thought was possible. Stay focused and stay determined and you will succeed.

Contact: Margaret Nagle,