Jorge Ortiz is eager to help people after he graduates from Eastern New Mexico University with a bachelor's degree in biological anthropology this spring. He recently applied to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and is currently in the pre-employment stages of the career, which includes the taking of an exam, the evaluation of the candidate mentally and physically, an interview and polygraph test and a drug test. After completing this process, Jorge will go to an academy in Artesia, New Mexico, for a six-month training period.
"I hope to apply what I learned in the anthropology department into the workforce," says Jorge. "I want to eventually work my way up to crime scene investigation and help give a voice to the deceased and help people get the justice or peace they so desperately deserve."
"I had an epiphany after seeing my first human body [in an 'Anatomy and Physiology' class]: I did not want to become a doctor, physician or pharmacist," Jorge explains. "I want to figure out how someone died in a forensic setting."
Jorge talked to Dr. Kathy Durand in the Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology and soon decided to major in biological anthropology.
Jorge says that there were three instructors who have helped him the most: Dr. Heather L. Smith, assistant professor anthropology and graduate coordinator; Dr. Kathy Roler Durand, professor emerita of anthropology; and his former instructor Keriann Marden.
His favorite class was "Intro to Archaeology." He says that "there is so much hands-on learning and you also get science credits out of it! Dr. Smith makes archaeology so much fun regardless of your major."
Jorge would say to others looking at anthropology to take advantage of field school opportunities. "Read the journals in order to be in the loop of what others are doing in this field," he shares.
The Kappa Sigma brother and consecutive five-time Dean's List honoree keeps himself busy outside of the classroom; he was a Dawg Days Counselor for 2017 and 2018, volunteered for the Duke City Marathon in 2018, Eastern in Action in 2018 (he plans on participating again in 2019) and the Forensic Society Club. He was also involved in band.
Born in Hereford, Texas, Jorge lived in Friona, Texas for seven years before moving to Clovis, New Mexico where he and his family live today. He has two hard-working parents and two siblings: one older brother and one younger sister.
Jorge chose to go to ENMU due to its low tuition. He also says that the campus is both cleaner and safer than other campuses that he's visited. His favorite part in the Greyhound community is supporting the athletic teams. "The amount of time and effort they put into practice is admirable," he explains.
He enjoys going to the Golden Student Success Center. He studies and meets his Kappa Sigma brothers and friends there. "It's a relaxing place to study at and get my homework done," he says. When not in the GSSC, Jorge likes to casually work out.