Jacob Kirksey of the Gevirtz School has been awarded a 2018 Dean’s Graduate Mentoring Award from UC Santa Barbara’s Graduate Division. The chief purpose of the Dean’s Graduate Mentoring Award is to recognize graduate students who have distinguished themselves as mentors of undergraduates. The competition was very competitive, but the review committee was particularly impressed with Kirksey’s nomination package. After thoughtful review and consideration, the committee felt that he exemplified the outstanding achievements it looks for in recipients of this award.
Kirksey mentors undergraduates through his own research projects; he has had four students receive grants from the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities office. His research group consists of five undergraduates per quarter on average working on projects ranging from looking at drivers of absenteeism/truancy, effects of immigration enforcement on California school districts, and determinants of transfer student success. Kirksey and his students have presented work at the Association for Education Finance and Policy and the Conference on Social Justice in Education at CSU Channel Islands. Some of the undergrads are co-authors on a couple of manuscripts under review at journals.
Jacob Kirksey is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Education and a graduate research fellow with the National Science Foundation. Drawing from various perspectives and interdisciplinary frameworks in educational policy, Kirksey’s research examines unintended consequences in educational policy and focuses on frequently forgotten student populations (e.g. students with special needs). Trained as an economist, he primarily uses quasi-experimental methods with large, secondary datasets. As an instructor, Kirksey seeks to expand the way in which practitioners and policymakers use and interpret data in their decision-making.