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LORIEN JORDAN, New Zealand, 2016-2017
Fulbright Scholar Lorien Jordan

Fulbright Year: 2016-2017
Country: New Zealand
Proposal Type: Research Grant
Field of Study: Psychology
Proposal Title: "Indigenous and Decolonizing Psychology in New Zealand"
UGA Degree Program: PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Having visited a host of international locales ranging from the Galapagos Islands to Cambodia, Lorien Jordan says she is on a continual journey of social justice and social responsibility research. Her quest will next find her in the South Pacific.

Seeking her Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy, Lorien—who holds degrees in studio art from Arizona State University and New York University and a master’s degree in family therapy from Mercer University—will spend her Fulbright year in Wellington, New Zealand, working to complete her dissertation and volunteering at the Family Centre, a community psychology agency focused on family therapy, social policy research, and community development.

“I’m interested in this agency because their mission is closely aligned with my own identities as a therapist and a lobbyist,” she says. “The person-of-the-therapist is a political being, and we cannot ignore the way policy shapes us, our clients, and therapeutic interactions.

“The Family Centre is one of the only mental health agencies that I know to bridge mental health treatment and social policy to develop interventions responsive to diverse clinical populations, while also challenging unjust policies which impacts well-being.”

As an animal lover, Lorien says one of the things she most looks forward to is learning about the variety of animals she hopes to meet.

“While New Zealand isn’t known for its mammals except sheep, the sea life is unbelievable, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed to snorkel/dive with a penguin or two,” she says, adding that she’s also pumped about touring New Zealand, immersing herself in Maori culture, diving the Great Barrier Reef, and visiting Gauguin’s grave in the Polynesian Islands.

Upon her return to Georgia, Lorien looks forward to a reunion with her cat, Big Poppa, and will defend her dissertation. Once she graduates, she plans to seek employment as a professor in marriage and family therapy.

“No matter where I land, I will continue my international, justice-oriented research and hopefully continue to experience a world of cultures,” she says.

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