As a scholar passionate about education, community, and students, Jacob started the Kids Are Dramatic organization in Colorado Springs- an organization that values theatre as a medium for expression, the transfer of knowledge, and equity in education. Having worked with over 2,000 students in the Pikes Peak Region, two school districts, two after school programs, and over 50 teachers, Jacob is a natural teacher for K-12 students as well as mentor for teachers and administrators looking for “something different” to engage diverse student populations in real-world problems.
Jacob’s research interests involve the economics of education and education policy. In the education department at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Jacob is working on research projects related to absenteeism and truancy, peer effects in elementary grades, school discipline, and special education via a policy perspective. His interests also include teacher education and preparation in STEM subjects and shaping STEM pathways for students and adults with disabilities.
Jacob is an avid public speaker and has delivered keynotes in Colorado Springs as well as conducted workshops with nonprofit organizations and businesses to help their employees with public speaking and anxiety.
Outside of the education system, Jacob has worked with over 20 nonprofit organizations in Colorado Springs with a speciality in social justice work and arts education. With experience in the nonprofit sector, the private sector and academia, Jacob has conducted over 20 workshops in the Pikes Peak Region, the Greater Denver Area, Washington D.C. and his home state of Texas. Popular topics for these workshops include “Increasing Discretion for Effective Volunteers,” “Dramatic Differences: Popular Education Workshop,” “Public Speaking Made Easy,” and “Arts Education in the 21st Century.” Currently, Jacob is developing workshops to help school districts build infrastructure for appropriate data analysis to assist in making policy decisions.
Recently, Jacob received the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship, a highly competitive fellowship offered to distinguished researchers in PhD programs. Jacob was also honored with the national Pi Kappa Delta All-American award and the Apollonian Award for his outstanding accomplishments in public speaking and debate, the Robin Satterwhite Prize for the Most Innovative Thesis for his research with two urban school districts in Denver, and six grants for his work in the nonprofit sector in the Pikes Peak Region. Further, Jacob served as an advisory board member on the Pikes Peak Prep Charter School Board, a member of Colorado College’s President’s Council, and a research assistant for two education research labs in Colorado.