Jacobs Earns Top Honor from ATU Graduate College

Dr. Sheila Jacobs Doctor of Education

Dr. Sheila Jacobs is the 2021 Jim Ed McGee Award recipient as the most outstanding graduate student at Arkansas Tech University.

A first-generation college graduate, Jacobs holds five degrees from Arkansas Tech. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English education and was named the Margaret Young Outstanding Senior Female award winner in 1988.

Jacobs went on to obtain two master’s degrees in education and the Educational Specialist degree before completing her terminal degree, the Doctor of Education in school leadership, in 2020.

As part of her doctoral work, Jacobs contributed to a joint research project that was published in the Journal of Student Affairs.

She also offered a lecture on her dissertation, “Voices of the Mentors: An Examination of Perceptions and Meaning-making of Mentors in a Site-based Program,” during the 2020 Mid-South Educational Research Association Conference.

Jacobs has served as chief academic officer at ATU-Ozark Campus since 2019. It is the continuation of a career in education that began as an English teacher at Russellville High School in 1988 and has included service as principal at RHS.

“My ATU journey is one for which I am extremely proud and grateful,” said Jacobs. “As a young girl, I knew that I wanted to be an English teacher. My father encouraged me to pursue my dreams and many selfless teachers fueled my passion. It was ATU that helped me realize my dream of teaching high school English.

“To say I am grateful is a huge understatement,” continued Jacobs. “Although the Doctor of Education is a terminal degree, my learning is anything but terminal.”

Nominees for the Jim Ed McGee Award must have completed their graduate course work with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.75.

The award’s namesake — Dr. Jim Ed McGee — served as vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas Tech from 1973 until the time of his passing in fall 1992.

His service to Arkansas Tech before attaining the rank of vice president included time as associate professor of education, director of institutional research, director of institutional services and director of development and public relations.

For more information about educational opportunities available through the Arkansas Tech Graduate College, visit www.atu.edu/gradcollege or call (479) 968-0398.