I Am Elon with Jourdan Parham ’19

A computer science major with a keen interest in creating, Jourdan welcomes the academic challenges her Elon experience provides.

By Kim Walker

Jourdan Parham ’19 arrived on Elon’s campus as the first Maker Hub was opening in the Colonnades Neighborhood. A computer science major with a keen interest in creating, she got involved with the space within a matter of weeks. She helped to open the new Maker Hub – Downtown in 2017, participating in its planning and development, and is now using 3D printers to build a robotic arm.

Jourdan says it’s easy to pinpoint her favorite class at Elon. She took elementary Chinese with lecturer Binnan Gao during her first Winter Term. “It was a good challenge early on at Elon that set the tone that I can do and overcome anything. After struggling at the beginning of the course, I did well, and even Dr. Gao was amazed by my growth.”

Three years later, during Winter Term of 2018, Jourdan traveled to China as part of the “China: The Flying Dragon” course. There she began her undergraduate research on cybersecurity, interviewing students in Shanghai about China’s internet firewall and maneuvering around it. She presented her research at this year’s Spring Undergraduate Research Forum. 

Personal connections between students and faculty, as well as peers across diverse circles on campus, make Jourdan’s experience at Elon special. “I really enjoy the faculty involvement and availability. My professor and academic adviser, Dr. Dave Powell, for example, is so dedicated to preparing us for graduation. He invites alumni to speak to classes and just obviously cares about his students’ success. I really appreciate that.”

Jourdan is Elon and one of the many stories that are part of our “I Am Elon” series.