Monday, December 13, 2021
By Jennifer Keefe
You might not know who James Jordan is, but you are most likely familiar with his work. James joined the College’s Web Services team in 2015 and has since spent his time making sure the community gets all the information it needs about Valencia, online at the click of a mouse.
James works as the lead developer and programmer for our CMS website templates and CSS styles. For those of us who don’t speak web design, that means he’s led several major collegewide projects including rebranding the college catalog website, rebranding of Faculty Frontdoor and development and migration of the Valencia College Foundation/Alumni website. He’s also helped with the development of virtual events for the School of Arts and Entertainment.
James has a big job, but he takes it all in stride.
“I spend a lot of time controlling the chaos,” he explains.
What he means is that every project he’s involved with is a high-priority project for him and for someone at the College. He has to take a lot of things into consideration when he’s building a website, including the College’s brand, the accessibility features of the site, as well as the layout.
James describes his role as being a lot of fun.
“I love the challenge,” he explains. “At the College, I’m constantly working with different expectations, different people and different deadlines.”
Craig Blazejewski, director, interactive marketing, really appreciates James’ work ethic.
“He is always honing his skills, and knows how to use his resources, whether that means taking the initiative for advanced training or collaborating with another developer to get the job done,” Craig says. “And, while he takes his work seriously, in the process you can bet he is going make you laugh.”
Scott Hood, web developer, interactive marketing, works closely with James as well. He agrees that James is an integral part of the team.
“James is smart, funny and on top of his game,” Scott shares. “He is an innovator. Always looking for new ways to make the website pop.”
Something you might not know about James is that he is an alumnus of Jones High School and Bethune-Cookman University. He’s also a graduate of Full Sail University, where he holds a certificate in audio engineering.
In fact, James hasn’t forgotten about his Jones roots. He’s worked with the school’s booster club for the past 17 years.
James’ role at Valencia isn’t his first foray into education. Years ago, when he was between jobs, he served as a substitute teacher for elementary and middle schools in Orange County.
He says he “purposefully chose to teach at low-rated schools because that’s where I came from.”
That connection to students who are overcoming obstacles in order to succeed is what brought him to the College.
“We get prospective students who are trying to better themselves and it’s awesome to be a part of that,” he explains.
James grew up right around the corner from West Campus, something he says has helped him to really see what Valencia means to our community.
“No matter what, you can achieve anything because the sky is the limit at Valencia,” he says.
His advice to anyone who is considering college but is afraid to take that first step: “There will be people who will try to pull you down,” he says. “You need to look past that and Valencia makes it all achievable — a two-year degree, a certificate or more.”
When James isn’t at work, he’s still putting his skills to use by designing websites and using his audio engineering skills at his company Grace Jordan Studios.
He also produces Listen Orlando podcasts that are aimed at the African American and Hispanic communities and is learning to use Flutter, Google’s new, app-building platform.
James also writes and performs music but says he couldn’t make a career out of it because “it didn’t pay the bills.”
James has a wife and two children who he says keep him very busy with their extracurricular activities, including drum line and dance.
Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for at least one year? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.