Azizah Jor'dan2015 Rising Alumni

Azizah Jordan

Azizah Jor’dan is passionate about improving the quality of life for older adults. Her research explores the connections between neuroscience, age and movement science. She has been recognized by her field’s flagship professional organizations such as the National Institute on Aging, the Gerontological Society of America, and the North American Society for Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. Azizah is currently continuing her work through the Harvard Medical School Postdoctoral Fellowship in Transitional Aging Research program.


Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Harvard Medical School/Hebrew Senior Life

CEHD Degree

B.S., Kinesiology;
M.A., Kinesiology;
Ph.D., Kinesiology

Who has inspired you the most during your career?

My mom, Dr. Jamilah R. Jor’dan, has undoubtedly been the most inspirational person during my career. Watching my mom complete her doctorate in research methodology and human development in 2003, after working in the community for over 20 years, was a motivating factor in my academic advancement. Her resilience along with her dedication and drive to improve the quality of early child care in low-income communities served as a catalyst in my pursuit to improve the quality of life for older adults.

What professor(s) or course(s) were most influential during your time in the College of Education & Human Development (CEHD)?

Dr. Michael G. Wade was the most influential professor during my time in CEHD. As a freshman, I participated in the President’s Distinguished Faculty Mentor Program (PDFMP) offered by the U of M’s Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence. I was paired with Dr. Wade, a distinguished faculty member in the School of Kinesiology. Although PDFMP was a two year program, Dr. Wade continued to mentor and advise me through my bachelor’s, master’s of arts and doctorate in CEHD.

What's a "fun fact" about you?

I love to bowl. My father taught me at a very young age, so it has always been a part of my life. I’ve bowled competitively throughout high school, and I even had the opportunity to teach bowling classes within the School of Kinesiology’s Physical Activities Program. My final accomplishment before graduating was obtaining my certificate as a bowling coach!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a pediatrician. It is interesting that I’m now working on the opposite end of the age spectrum!

When you have 30 minutes of free time, what do you do?

I recently took a course in mind-body medicine and learned about the many benefits of meditation. This lead to an opportunity to participate in a research study investigating the effects of meditation on brain activity, and I saw results! With 30 minutes of free time, I like to meditate, journal-write about positive life occurrences, and research my next great travel adventure!

What's your favorite memory from the University of Minnesota?

I have so many favorite memories from the U of M, that it is really hard to choose only one. However, my last favorite memory of the U comes from my doctoral graduation in 2012. In conversations with my advisor leading up to my graduation, we sought to determine if it were possible to have my mother, who also had her doctorate degree, be a part of my hooding ceremony. Through some probing, it was confirmed. I had my mom bring her doctoral regalia to the graduation with the understanding that we were going to take pictures together afterwards. However, we surprised her with a seat on the graduation stage among other CEHD faculty. My mom was able to take part in my hooding ceremony, thus creating a long-lasting memory that I will always share with her. Thank you CEHD!