Who’s Who Among Students is a national award that recognizes students who excel in scholastic achievement. At Oklahoma Christian University, 125 students reached the Who’s Who list. In an upper level journalism class, students interviewed 13 names off of the list.
By Adyson Wessel
Following a “gap year” abroad, senior Carla Jordan Bendy realized her passions for people, culture and leadership, and returned to the United States to begin her journey at Oklahoma Christian University.
Bendy, who prefers to go by her middle name, Jordan, was born May 8, 1995. Although she was raised in Houston, TX., Bendy said her family is split between Spain and Texas.
Bendy said she took a “gap year” prior to enrolling at Oklahoma Christian because she was uncertain about what she wanted to study. During this year, Bendy visited her mom’s family in Spain, where she taught English. She said her experiences in Spain had a profound impact on her interests in college activities.
When she began her time at Oklahoma Christian, Bendy majored in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. However, while researching topics for a paper in an English class, Bendy said she discovered a more efficient way to achieve her degree in a fraction of the time.
This program offered the same training in only a few months located close to her family in Europe. Bendy changed her major and became a public communication and leadership major with a business minor.
Bendy now works as tutor for Spanish classes. She is fluent in Spanish because of her immersion in the language while she stayed in Spain.
On Oklahoma Christian’s campus, Bendy plays a prominent role in Spanish chapel, as well as with debate and third culture kids — a club for students who have grown up in a culture different to their parents.
Bendy said her post-graduation plans are to go wherever her career takes her.
Q: How would you describe yourself?
A: If you want something specific, I’m an INFJ. I’d say I’m an optimist and a realist. I can be a pessimist if need be. I think that means I hope for the best, but I’m protecting myself from major heartbreaks.
Q: If you had to compare yourself as a senior in high school to a senior now, what would you say?
A: I would say my focus has broadened. Instead of just wanting to teach English for the rest of my life, I want to do something that helps people. There were so many things I was involved with in high school that I don’t do now. I know even though what I do here is a big deal right now, it won’t be after graduation.
Q: Who do you look up to currently?
A: Probably my advisor, Brian Simmons. He is so invested in his job and has a great work ethic. He also is genuinely interested in others.
Q: Why do you see yourself as a leader?
A: I grew up in a family of strong personalities. Leadership isn’t just the work a leader does, it’s a characteristic of who they are. I have been so fortunate to be mentored by them and the best way I can say thank you is by passing it on to others.
Q: What do you see yourself doing after graduating?
A: Agency work for the government. I want to do the hands-on people side, not the political. It’s more testing the waters out there for me and I see myself bouncing around while I figure out what that is. I have so many interests and I’m not really sure where I will end up because it may change.