Class of 2009, Theatre
Jordan Herskowitz had never heard of TU. The Dallas native knew that he wanted to study theatre, and originally wanted to study in New York. So, when his Plano West High School counselor introduced him to TU's Texas admission representative, Jordan was intrigued enough to visit the campus.
He was most impressed by the people and decided that TU was the place for him.
"The professors and counselors were really concerned about my needs, not about 'selling' me on the university," he recalls. "I felt they wanted me here."
Jordan confesses that he was initially a bit nervous. "I didn't know any of the 600 kids here," he says, "but by the end of the week, I'd met people who are some of my best friends now."
As a theatre major, Jordan has experienced every aspect of show business — selling tickets in the box office, performing in Julius Caesar, and working as a technician. Learning theatre from the inside out ensures TU theatre majors will have a range of show business skills.
Because of TU's small class sizes, professors understand how to help their students realize their dreams. Jordan traveled to the International Conference on Jewish Theatre in Vienna, Austria, for an independent study, supported by TU.
In fall 2008, Jordan began presented a one-man show (his Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge program project) in area high schools and colleges. Outside the classroom, he has appeared at the city's premier venue as part of an ensemble.
"We read new plays by high school students," he recalls. "The good thing about Tulsa is there are lots of opportunities in the city for performing."
He also has provided voice over work for a professor who was surveying customer service reps. "I played the part of an angry customer, and the professor measured how well the service rep responded."
During his freshman year, Jordan was instrumental in bringing together students of all faiths in various interfaith celebrations and exchanges.
"If we can get along in Tulsa," he says, "maybe we can set an example for Jews, Muslims and Christians to try peace in the Middle East."
He also organized a group of about 25 TU students from all backgrounds to travel to Dallas one weekend as volunteers helping victims of Hurricane Katrina. The students sorted donations at the Salvation Army, served meals, donated blood, and in general, made themselves available where needed.
"TU does a great job helping students find ways to give back to the community," he says.
What are Jordan's future plans? "I want to do it all," he quips. "I love everything about the theatre — acting, directing, working in the background, writing."
With the foundation he's receiving from TU, Jordan will be ready.