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Jordan Ellsworth, Rising Star!


The Staff Rising Star Award from DSU

Jordan Ellsworth at his desk in DSU Online

24 May 2021

Anyone who knows Jordan Ellsworth was not a bit surprised when he was nominated for the “Distinguished Staff Member – Rising Star” award in the spring of 2021. Nor were they shocked when he was selected from the pool of 11 superb nominees in the Academic Affairs Division and singled out with the recognition on May 20, 2021.

The “Distinguished Staff Member – Rising Star” award is considered one of the greatest honors presented to a full-time staff member at Dixie State University. Nominations are submitted by peers and members of the campus community at large, but Jordan is still stymied by who put forward his name. Nonetheless, the award speaks volumes to Jordan’s tremendous impact on campus in a short (and difficult—thanks, COVID-19) period of time. In the 11 months he has been on staff as a learning designer at DSU Online, Jordan has worked on 13 courses with faculty members across campus, used CTL (Center for Teaching & Learning) grant funds to create a Virtual Reality (VR) lab for an engineering course, taught a 3D printing community education course, and presented at workshops and conferences.

Jordan earned his associate’s degree at Dixie State and loved his experience in St George, so it was an easy choice to come back and work at DSU Online after graduating from BYU Provo with his master’s degree. Originally focused on becoming a mechanical engineer, Jordan discovered that his passion and skills were actually better suited to education. His love of solving problems led him to a desire to address the problems of poor communication and education in STEM fields, and that ultimately led him to learning design. Jordan loves working with faculty to design and create effective, meaningful learning experiences in online courses—helping to solve the problems that can lead to poor online education experiences. But when asked about his favorite part of the job, Jordan immediately identifies the relationships he has built at Dixie, and the ongoing opportunity to solve fresh problems with faculty and others: “the people at DSU are my people”, he says.