About Me
Home          About Me          Photos          My Cats
 
Education and Career
Hobbies and Interests
Books Published
Papers Published or Presented
Personal Info
My Cats


Education

I graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1986 with a double-Bachelor's degree (in English and Psychology).  I also earned my Master's in American Culture at U of M-Flint, graduating in 1998.  I am still trying to publish my thesis Ellery Queen: Forgotten Master Detective.  (Ellery Queen was a famous mystery writer who had a great influence in the early days of the mystery genre, but his popularity has not endured as well as his contemporaries, such as Dorothy L. Sayers or Agatha Christie.) My thesis is available in UMF's Thompson Library and in the Papers and Publications section below.

Since completing my Master's degree I have taken a few post-graduate classes for professional development.

Career

After earning my BA I wasn't sure what to do, so I stumbled into Technical Writing.  It turns out I was pretty good at it!  I worked as an in-house writer and as a consultant for about seven years before I began teaching.  I worked at some very interesting places including a company that wrote data processing software for credit unions in Lansing, an educational software company in Diamondale, and couple of GM foundries in Saginaw.  Through these jobs I got lots of experience writing instructions, software manuals and safety procedures, and became familiar with ISO standards.

I began teaching at Baker College in 1992 and fell in love with teaching.  This prompted me to return to graduate school for a Master's degree so I could continue teaching.  While in grad. school I worked on campus as a tutor in the Marian E. Wright Writing Center and also as a lab assistant in the Marian E. Wright Computer Writing Classroom.  Upon completion of my Master's degree I was hired by the English Department and I've been here ever since!


Hobbies and Interests

Needlework and Reading

When I'm not teaching I enjoy learning about computer graphics and designing web pages.  I also enjoy needlework (especially counted cross-stitch) and reading fantasy/science fiction and mysteries. 

My all-time favorite author is Ray Bradbury, the first fantasy author I ever read. The older he gets, the more I admire his optimism and his determination to love life and keep doing what he loves: writing. I hope I age as well and as wisely as he!

My favorite fantasy novel is J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. In July 2004 I presented a paper at Mythcon 35, the annual conference of the Mythopoeic Society (a non-profit international literary and educational organization for the study, discussion, and enjoyment of fantasy and mythic literature, especially the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams). I was invited to expand and publish my paper ("Fairy Princess or Tragic Heroine: The Metamorphosis of Arwen Undomiel in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Films") in a book called Tolkien on Film: Essays on Peter Jackson's the Lord of the Rings, published by Mythopoeic Press, Jan. 2004, available through Amazon.

I love Harry Potter but don't read much new fantasy, although I am a fan of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series. There are about 20 books now, so go to her web site if you want a complete list. I also like Katherine Kurtz but gave up on the depressing Deryni series and prefer the Adept series she wrote with Deborah Turner Harris.

I love murder mysteries and whenever possible I attend a mystery conference called Magna cum Murder, held each fall at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.  I read all types of mysteries and love many authors!

The Middle Ages

I love studying the Middle Ages and am active in a living history group called the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (SCA), a non-profit educational organization dedicated to re-creating the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The midwest region is called the Middle Kingdom

In addition to the Middle Ages, other historical topics I'm interested in include the Titanic and Ancient Egypt.

Titanic

In 2002 I saw two wonderful Titanic artifact exhibits; one at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, and one at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Feb. - Sept. 2003 I volunteered one day a month at the Titanic artifact exhibit at the Detroit Science Center. Each time I got to spend the day enjoying the exhibit and answering questions about Titanic. It was wonderful! In Dec. 03 my first article, "True Course," which I wrote with Capt. Charles Weeks Jr., was published on the Encyclopedia Titanica. In Apr. 2004 I attended the Titanic Symposium at the Maine Maritime Academy and presented my current research on whether or not there were really passenger segregation gates on Titanic.

Egyptology

In 2001 I got to meet Dr. Kent Weeks, director of the Theban Mapping Project and discoverer of the largest tomb in the Valley of Kings (or anywhere else): KV 5, the tomb of the sons of Ramses II. He was visiting the Toledo art museum, which was exhibiting part of the British Museum's Egyptian collection while the British Museum was being refurbished. On a related note, in 2004 I saw the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit when it stopped in Birch Run, MI. This wonderful exhibit included a history of the Bible and other historical writing (like Egyptian hieroglyphs) to put the scrolls in their proper historical context. If you ever get the chance to see this exhibit, don't miss it! In Dec. 2006 I saw the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharoahs exhibit when it was at the Field Museum in Chicago. This is another exhibit that should not be missed! There are links to some of my favorite Egyptology sites on my links page.


Books

Report into the Loss of the SS Titanic: A Centennial Reappraisal by Samuel Halpern, Cathy Akers-Jordan, George Behe, Bruce Beveridge, Mark Chirnside, Tad Fitch, Dave Gittens, Steve Hall, Lester J. Mitcham, Capt. Charles Weeks, and Bill Wormstedt. Forward by J. Kent Layton. The History Press, 2011. Promotional web site. Available on Amazon US April 2012 (and Amazon UK Nov. 2011).

"Fairy Princess or Tragic Heroine? The Metamorphosis of Arwen Undomiel in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Films." Tolkien in Film: Essays on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings. Janet B. Croft, ed. San Francisco: Mythopoeic Press, 2004.

Published/Presented Papers

Titanic Science Presentation. Super Science Friday at the University of Michigan-Flint. May 15, 2009.

"The Light of Stars: Frodo's Elvish Air." Presented at Mythcon 37, The Annual Conference of the Mythopoeic Society. Norman, OK, Aug. 3-7, 2006. (The Mythopoeic Society is devoted to studying the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.)

"Locked Below? An Analysis of Class Separation Gates on the RMS Titanic." Presented at the Titanic Symposium at the Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, ME April 23-25, 2004. (This is a huge PowerPoint presentation of my current research project.)

"True Course." with Captain Charles Weeks, Jr. The Encyclopedia Titanica. <http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/articles/true_course.pdf> December 9, 2003. (This is a Titanic research site which also publishes new research. You do not have to be a member to use the Encyclopedia or read the articles.)


Unpublished Papers

"The Implications of E-mail for the College Writing Instructor." Eng. 516 Computers and Writing: Theory and Practice. Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Steve Krause. Fall 2002.

Master's Thesis "Ellery Queen: Forgotten Master Detective." (A critical study of the works of Frederick Dannay and Manfred B. Lee and their influence on the detective fiction genre.) Prepared for Dr. Bruce Rubenstein, Director of the Master of Liberal Studies (American Culture) Program, University of Michigan-Flint, August 1998.


Personal Info

I am married to Roger Jordan (a law professor at Baker College) and we live in Davison with our two cats. When we are not busy working we enjoy participating in the Society for Creative Anachronism, travelling, and visiting museums (as you might have guessed).

Some of my Favorites

Colors: purple, black, blue, and anything in jewel tones
Jewelry: sterling silver, dark amber, Celtic knotwork
Beverage: decaf Diet Coke (in case you hadn't noticed!)
Chocolate: Peanut M&Ms, Reese's Miniature Peanutbutter Cups
(the perfect ratio of chocolate to peanutbutter), Snickers
TV Shows: The Big Bang Theory, Major Crimes, Rizzoli and Isles, Castle, Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Downton Abbey.
I also love Star Trek (the original series),
Lost, and the new Battlestar Galatica.

My Cats

Although I love dogs but am currently dogless. Our kitties keep me busy and make sure I get lots of kitty love and attention.


Copyright 2015 the Regents of the University of Michigan. Disclaimer.

This page revised Jan. 7, 2015. Created and maintained by Cathy Akers-Jordan.

Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.