Jenn Jacobs, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Sport and Exercise Psychology


Kinesiology and Physical Education

Research Interests

  • Social justice through sport
  • Sport-based youth development
  • Transfer of life skills
  • Sport for social change


  • Ph.D. Northern Illinois University, Educational Psychology
  • M.S. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Sport Psychology
  • B.S. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Kinesiology

Recent Publications

  • Jacobs, J.M., Fuerniss, K., Richards, K.A. R., and Wright, P (2020) Experiential Learning Abroad: Experiences of University Students in Sport Majors Delivering a Coaching Workshop in Belize. Sport Management Education Journal, 14(2).  
  • Fuerniss, K. and Jacobs, J.M. (2019). A body empowerment boxing club for adolescent female youth. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action. 1-12. DOI: 10.1080/21520704.2019.1693456 
  • Jacobs, J. M., Wahl-Alexander, Z., and Mack, T. (2019). Strategies for gaining access to deliver sport programs with highly vulnerable youth. Journal of Youth Development, 14, 155-164.
  • Jacobs, J.M., and Wright, P.M. (2019). Thinking about the transfer of life skills: Reflections from youth in a community-based sport programme in an underserved urban setting. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 1-15. DOI: 10.1080/1612197X.2019.1655776
  • Jacobs, J.M., Richards, K.A.R., Shiver, V., and Lawson, M. (2017). The role of family and school culture congruence in transfer from sport-based youth development programs in afterschool contexts. Journal of Amateur Sport: Special Issue on Family Issues in Amateur Athletics 3(3), 20-43.

Recently Funded Projects

  • A Comprehensive Sport Leadership and College Readiness Program for Incarcerated Youth. (2020). Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
  • She Believes in Belize: The First National Women’s Sports Summit. Citizen Action Diplomacy Fund. (2019). U.S. Department of State
  • Project FLEX (Fitness Leadership EXperience): a comprehensive evaluation of a sport education/TPSR program for juvenile inmates. (2018). Northern Illinois Great Journeys. 
  • Fighting for Better Body Image: A Boxing Body Empowerment Club for Middle School Girls. (2018). DeKalb Township Committee on Youth
  • Alternative Spring BAE: Belizean Academic Experience for sport sciences students (2018). NIU College of Education Instructional Innovation Grant

Courses Taught

  • KNPE 310 - Psychological Aspects of Sport and Exercise
  • KNPE 582 - Psychology of Sport and Exercise
  • KNPE 583 - Psychology of Coaching
  • KNPE 586 - Sport: Culture and Society
  • KNPE 587 - Professional Preparation in Sport and Exercise Psychology Professions