Hall Minister Q&A: Jordan Kiokee

Mashuda Hall Minister Jordan Kiokee

The beginning of a new semester is an exciting time — but it can also be an anxious and stressful experience for some. 

In addition to the many resident assistants, each residence hall has a hall minister to provide pastoral care to and be a spiritual presence for all residents and building staff. 

In collaboration with the staff, hall ministers are charged with helping to form a residential community that expresses the university’s Catholic, Jesuit mission, while accompanying individuals dealing with stress, illness, loss, loneliness, relationships, spiritual and emotional health, and more. 

In this Q&A, Jordan Kiokee, hall minister for Mashuda Hall, talks about what he likes the most about Marquette University and Milwaukee. 

What was your undergraduate degree in? Why did you pursue that discipline? 

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in philosophy and religious studies from Cardinal Stritch University. My decision to pursue this combination of social sciences and humanities was kind of a mess, though. I started with business and changed majors three times before deciding finally on psychology. By that point, I had amassed so many philosophy and religion classes that I was able to just declare them as minors! I always had trouble deciding what to study because I wanted my professional and academic interests in social issues to have an interdisciplinary lens. 

Why did you want to be a hall minister?  

I wanted to be a hall minister because I wanted to continue the kind of campus ministry work that I was involved in at Stritch. I have many fond memories of service opportunities, prayerful reflections, and talks on social justice issues and I hope to be able to provide those experiences for others, too. Throughout my life, my mentors have been educators and leaders through my parish and Catholic schooling, and this role allows me to continue that legacy and hopefully be the mentor that I needed growing up while learning how to navigate the world. 

What makes Marquette special to you?  

Marquette is special to me because it’s at the center of my hometown. I was born and raised on Milwaukee’s south side and have always held a deep attachment to the city. Congregation of the Great Spirit Catholic Church, a Catholic parish for indigenous people, is my childhood parish. I also graduated from Pius XI High School and Cardinal Stritch University, a Catholic and Franciscan institution, respectively, on different sides of the city. Even outside of school, whether it’s at a restaurant, factory, or community center, I’ve either lived or worked somewhere on the north side or south side for all my life. Marquette seems like the perfect fit right now on my educational journey. 

What is your favorite memory made at Marquette? 

My favorite memory made so far at Marquette must be when I attended a Center for Urban Research, Teaching and Outreach event during Mission Week in the Monaghan Ballrooms hosted by Alex Gambacorta, about her work and research done to return Catholic-Indian boarding school archival records from Marquette’s library archives to the Crow Indian Reservation near Pryor, Montana. I, myself, am Indigenous from both halves of my family — Cree from my father’s side and Ojibwe from my mother’s side. And so, seeing Marquette students, staff and faculty working so hard to right historical injustices perpetrated by the Catholic Church and the U.S. government makes my time at Marquette even more special to me. 

What is one thing you’re looking forward to this academic year? 

This year I’m incredibly excited to get deep into my public service classes. All my professors are active professionals with years of experience in their respective fields so their class material is both practical and up to date. Concepts that I’ve learned so far have already applied to my work with Campus Ministry and my other job through my graduate school fellowship. I think these kinds of experiences will continue to make me grow and become a better professional after I graduate in 2025. 

Fast facts

Favorite book, movie, or podcast? 

I’ve been reading nonfiction essays from The Price of the Ticket by James Baldwin, and I’ve been loving every single one.  

Favorite location on campus? 

I’d have to say all the study spaces at the Alumni Memorial Union. I have a lot of commuter friends so that building has become our common hangout spot for coffee, food and homework. 

Favorite hobby? 

It’s honestly a toss-up between reading, hanging out with friends and playing video games. I split my free time between all three. 

Favorite restaurant in Milwaukee? 

This changes from year to year, and sometimes from month to month, but my main go-to right now is for brunch and it’s Daddy’s On Bluemound. They’re only open Tuesday through Saturday, but they serve incredible food. I order their catfish almost every time I go, which is sometimes every week. 

Favorite dessert? 

Anything chocolate. Ice cream, lava cake, a shake, you name it. If it’s chocolate, I’ll eat it or drink it.