JeanMarie Jacob is making a difference in the lives of adult learners. As the area representative for Penn State’s Continuing Education Department at Penn State Greater Allegheny, Jacob has been committed to improving the adult learner experience. For this commitment, Jacob is being recognized as the recipient of the 2011 Shirley Hendrick Award, presented by the Penn State Commission for Adult Learners. She will receive the award at the annual Faculty/Staff Awards Luncheon on March 23.
“I find my greatest joy in following students along their chosen career paths and sharing in their accomplishments,” said Jacob. “As a returning adult learner myself, I can sympathize with the many challenges and obstacles adults face in their pursuit of obtaining additional learning opportunities.”
Jacob has created noncredit courses and programs tailored to adult learners. In addition, she works with credit students enrolled in the UPMC St. Margaret Licensed Practical Nursing program at UPMC McKeesport. Jacob always makes the effort to personally seek feedback from participants in order to improve her programs and guarantee that students have the tools they need to be successful.
In addition to completion of her master’s degree in adult education, Jacob is the current vice president of the Continuing Education Association of Pennsylvania, as well as a member of the Mon Valley Providers Council, the Regional Chamber Alliance and the Monroeville Chamber of Commerce. The Shirley Hendrick Award recognizes an administrator University-wide who has contributed to the success of Penn State’s efforts to serve adult learners. The award is named in memory of Shirley Hendrick (1936–2000), the first recipient and dean for continuing education in the Smeal College of Business and inaugural chair of the Commission for Adult Learners, who advocated for continuing education.
“I hope to continue to share the vision of Shirley Hendrick,” said Jacob, “and serve adult learners in the Pittsburgh area.”