Fireside Charla with SDSU President Adela de la Torre


 April 1, 2019

#003 Charla with Jordan Evans on the Heart of Innovation

Episode Summary:

President de la Torre chats with NASA Deputy Director for Engineering & Science, Jordan Evans, a proud Aztec. Jordan leads engineers and scientists in exploring the universe at work, and also inspires students by mentoring through the Aztec Mentor Program here at SDSU. He talks about his notable participation in many space missions, including the Curiosity Mission which determined that Mars is indeed a habitable planet, and connects how he has learned more from failure than from the success throughout his journey.

Approximate running time: 27:38
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In this episode, you will

  1. Understand what it means to be an explorer
  2. Gain insight on how leaders learn more from failure than from success
  3. Hear how alum Jordan Evans is making an impact at NASA
  4. Learn about the importance of nurturing multiple passions


“You learn more from failure than success.”-President de la Torre.

“Mentoring students has allowed me to see the creativity that is so widespread in the university.” -Jordan Evans.

About Dr. Adela de la Torre

Dr. Adela de la Torre joined San Diego State University in June 2018, as the first woman and Latina president. She brings 30 years of service and leadership roles within institutions of higher education and shares these experiences with open arms. She has two daughters who are both married, a grandson, a husband, and three dogs! Adela discusses the challenges she faced in college, her mentors, her heart-led leadership style, and her vision to help all types of students at SDSU feel confident in their goals.


About Jordan Evans

Jordan Evans is the Deputy Director for Engineering and Science at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, responsible for leading JPL's engineering and science workforce in the development of advanced robotic systems for the exploration of our universe. Regularly called on to lead the investigation of mission-impacting problems, Mr. Evans brings a healthy mix of technical experience, leadership skills, and humor to otherwise uncomfortable situations and has received numerous awards for his leadership and ability to balance risk effectively. Mr. Evans has nine NASA Achievement Awards for exceptional contributions to projects and is a recipient of the prestigious NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, one of our nation’s highest civilian honors. For his work on the Curiosity Rover, his team received the AIAA Award for Excellence and the Robert J. Collier Trophy (on display in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum).