BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2023: CLM Student Learning in Classroom, on Football Field

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

Jordan Dingle has never gotten a B in his entire life. Just straight A’s.

He also just happens to be an NFL-worthy talent playing tight end at the University of Kentucky. And two years ago, when he was trying to decide where to go to college, he looked for the place that provided the best athletic fit — as well as the best academic fit. 

He found it in the College of Health Sciences, specifically in the Clinical Leadership and Management program.

“I found a family atmosphere,” Dingle said of the College. “I knew this was the best fit for me based on education, and as far as like, playing time with football and the roster. So I decided to come on.”

The 6-4, 236-pound Bowling Green, Ky., native, chose Kentucky over Purdue, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Ohio State. He saw action as a freshman on a UK team that went 10-3 and won the Citrus Bowl, finishing No. 16 in the country.

This season, he got more playing time, catching 19 passes and three touchdowns — and he figures to be an even bigger factor next season.

But what about off the field? He has stated that aside from football, he’d like to be the CEO of a hospital. So how did he come to love CLM — and why?

As we gear up for another exciting bowl game, let’s sit down and ask five questions … with Jordan Dingle:

How did you decide on CLM?

Growing up, I was looking at a couple of different things as far as for my career, but I always knew I wanted to go into health care. My uncle is actually in hospital administration, and that got me introduced into the field. And so, once I saw that UK had that specific major, and it still allows you to do a lot of different things and keep your career choices broad. That’s what made me end up choosing.

Anything that stands out from your classes in your first two years?

These classes are preparing me for managerial roles. The teachers are helping me, even with football, they’re very supportive. And it can be a load. There are a lot of papers, but the classes are really good. Last semester, we had a class on Ethics that was really thought-provoking. And this degree is about how to be a leader, which also helps me on the field, as well. It helps me step up and take on those leadership responsibilities.

Tell me about the importance of education — because you know an NFL career won’t last forever.

That’s it right there. Football is a very hard, heavy contact sport. That career doesn’t last forever, so you need something to fall back on. And this is something I very much enjoy. I think this is the pathway I’m going to take.

The ultimate goal is to get to the NFL, be able to make money, and save that money. So, when it’s all said and done, I can just be where I want to be, maybe open up different clinics and stuff in different areas, and just let my money make money for me.

We don’t have a lot of athletes in this major. Do you feel like a pioneer?

I know some of my teammates have classes with each other, but I don’t. But I get to make other friends, which is cool. It is exciting to be different and unique.

What do you say to someone who is interested in the CLM major?

First off, I’ll explain to them what it is, because not a lot of people understand clinical leadership and management. But, really, I’d say it doesn’t limit your options. And it’s something that fully prepares you for whatever job you want.

I just really love the support system here — the teachers are all very close to me. And this degree will help you become what you want.

Top photo by Jacob Noger/UK Football