MSU PLS Senior Jasmine Jordan wins prestigious Gates-Cambridge Scholarship

February 8, 2021

Jasmine Jordan

Michigan State University senior Jasmine Jordan, an Honors College Political Science senior who grew up in Detroit, has been named as a Gates-Cambridge Scholar.

Jordan, a Social Science Scholar and Political Science Scholar, was also a national finalist for the highly competitive Rhodes, Mitchell and Marshall scholarships.

“I was so surprised! I am especially grateful for the professors who went through this whole process with me. I'm really glad I took the chance because now I get to study criminology for a year, with such an amazing scholarship! It still doesn't feel 100% real,” Jasmine said.

The scholarship will support Jasmine as she pursues her Masters of Philosophy in Criminological Research at the University of Cambridge. The Gates-Cambridge Scholarship is among the most competitive in the world. According to the Gates-Cambridge Foundation, more than 600 students applied for this round of awards, and Jasmine was among the 95 shortlisted as a finalist. On Feb. 8, Gates-Cambridge announced that Jasmine was one of only 24 U.S. scholars to be offered a place at Cambridge.

Jasmine is an alumna of Renaissance High School. When she first came to MSU in 2016, she garnered faculty attention almost immediately.

“A thinker of rare clarity, a gifted writer, a courteous but tenacious advocate, and a fierce defender of civil rights,” is how Dr. John Waller, director of the Social Science Scholars Program, housed in the College of Social Science, describes Jasmine.

“Indicative of Jasmine Jordan’s excellence is the fact that her selection as a Gates-Cambridge Scholar surprised no one who has taught her at MSU.”

Jasmine is also a member of the Urban Educator Cohort Program, and is minoring in Educational Studies in the College of Education. In addition, she is minoring in African and African American Studies in the College of Arts and Letters, and is an Honors Research Scholar in the Honors College. She plans to research the causes, rates and effects of incarceration across counties with a view to better understand the exceptionalism of American penal policy, and to dedicate her career to “making the U.S. criminal justice system more rational, equitable, and humane,” Jasmine wrote.

The Gates-Cambridge award was created in 2000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for students of “outstanding intellectual ability” who can “build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.”