Jordan Coble graduated with a B.A. in Cultural Studies. He was initially drawn to UBCO’s FCCS after spending some time outside of school. In an interview, he noted: “I needed a change of lifestyle but I was born and raised in the Central Okanagan, I take pride in my community and did not want to stray too far, so UBCO was a natural fit.” Jordan was accepted to UBCO through the Aboriginal Access Program as an English Major, but soon switched to Cultural Studies.
His decision to major in this program was grounded in who he was and how he wanted to engage with his community: “[being] a First Nations person I was naturally drawn to Indigenous Studies courses but I also yearned for more. It wasn’t until my first Cultural Studies course that I figured out how I could balance my interdisciplinary way of thinking.” This FCCS program provided a productive and positive space that encouraged independent critical thought and fostered an inspiring learning atmosphere. Jordan believed that the “combination of the subject matter, the openness of the professors and how easy they were to get along with, as well as the ability to incorporate what I was studying to where I wanted to go afterwards, professionally speaking, had me hooked from that point on.” Cultural Studies provided Jordan with a new method for analyzing the world around him. He has “never listened to music, watched television or movies, appreciated cultural diversity, or viewed my surroundings the same ever since [his] experience in Cultural Studies.”
These skills helped prepare Jordan for his current position as Curatorial and Heritage Researcher at the Sncəwips Heritage Museum in Westbank, BC. Jordan believes that the diversity of courses provided by UBCO’s FCCS allowed him to widely and accurately understand the various plights that many in our society face on a daily basis. Additionally, the interdisciplinary nature of Cultural Studies allowed him to bring diverse perspectives and skills into his new position at the museum as he deals with the sweeping range of cultural, social and political issues so crucial to the Westbank First Nations and the community as a whole. Jordan believes that social activism and change require an active critical eye and a willingness to stand for causes that individuals believe are vital. He thinks ignoring important issues, or turning away from them, “is exactly the problem. My FCCS degree provided me with the tools to step forward, not just for my community but for all communities.” Jordan represents one of many success stories for students of UBC Okanagan’s FCCS. In closing, Jordan admitted: “It was because of my experience at UBCO that I acknowledged my responsibility to my community, which essentially established my identity. This is the greatest gift I received.”
This story was written by Brandon Taylor, English major in FCCS. Brandon is a Research Assistant in FCCS, contacting alumni to find out about their experiences here at UBCO.