Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Physical Education
The unshakeable faith Jenn Jacobs holds in sport to nurture good human beings knows no borders. Literally.
Jacobs has seen that force in Sri Lanka, where she and Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education colleagues presented workshops on the Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility model and looked at how Sri Lankan teachers were implementing that program after learning it at NIU.
She’s glimpsed it in Belize, where she and her students trained youth sport coaches in motivating athletes – and where she returns this spring to stage a women’s sport summit.
And she’s even witnessed it behind bars.
Project FLEX (Fitness Leadership Experience), which Jacobs created with colleague Zach Wahl-Alexander, delivered structured exercise inside the Illinois Youth Center of St. Charles.
Dozens of incarcerated young men enjoyed physical activity and preparation to lead more productive lives after release. Some earned visits to the NIU campus to picture what opportunities could await them in college.
“Research says that just by setting foot on a college campus, adolescents are more likely to believe that they have what it takes to attend college,” Jacobs says. “One of these guys has already applied to NIU. We were his recommendations, and we’re really supportive of that.”