Cadet finds fulfillment in others' success
Cadet Jordan Disney of Owings Mills, Md., a senior majoring in psychology in the College of Science with a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development, sets high expectations for himself and others.
Disney has clear intentions. “I’m here to learn and work hard,” he said. “Fun is not the main thing. Fun happens along the way. Be patient with people, be understanding. But don’t compromise your integrity. That is a hard balance to achieve.”
Based on his outstanding performance this fall, Disney has been selected to serve as the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets regimental commander for the spring semester. In this position he will be responsible for leading all cadets in the corps.
Disney is currently a head resident advisor and serves as 2nd Battalion Commander. He serves as the principal cadet director of leader development training for more than 330 cadets, including physical conditioning, academic achievement, corps team-building exercises, and a variety of community service projects. Disney was recognized with the highest Corps of Cadets award for academic success for earning a grade point average of 3.75 or higher for two semesters. He is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, including membership in the Scabbard and Blade Honor Society, which recognizes the top 20 percent of ROTC students.
Most recently, Disney was honored with an Aspire! Award for service. The award recognizes students who embrace Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) as a way of life and exemplify the Division of Student Affairs’ Aspirations for Student Learning.
In his nomination for the award, deputy commandant for the 2nd Battalion Capt. Jim Snyder, U.S. Navy retired, wrote, “A strength he has exhibited throughout has been his accessibility and astute perception of issues at the personal and organizational levels. He has impressed me with his resilience, maturity, academic achievement, and his unwavering focus on others' success rather than his own.”
Disney said, “My goal in life is to better everything I am a part of – I cannot choose to not care. I believe building strong relationships with peers and actively serving them is the best way to enhance a community. I truly believe in servant leadership and will carry that leading model with me wherever I end up.”
Before coming to Virginia Tech, Disney spent a year in Israel working alongside soldiers. He said the experience matured him, and made him realize his passion: meeting people, finding out what makes them tick, and learning from different perspectives.
This year, Disney reached out to the residents in the Lower Quad, where 2nd Battalion has been relocated during construction on the Upper Quad, by organizing activities that included move-in day assistance, education about the corps and university traditions, and collegial social gatherings that nurture meaningful relationships between civilian students and cadets. Disney was a founding member of Friends of Israel at Virginia Tech and is vice president of the Chabad at Virginia Tech. In both organizations, he helped grow membership through his positive activism and coordination of meaningful, thought-provoking discussions and events.
Disney’s approach of respect to all is evident every day. He signs all his correspondence “very respectfully” – not just to his superiors, but to first-year students as well. He said, “Everyone is on the same level. Some just have more or less experience.”