JaCorey Shepherd Announced as one of KU's 2015 Men of Merit

LAWRENCE — The 2015 University of Kansas Men of Merit have been announced, recognizing a group of students, faculty and staff positively defining masculinity through challenging norms, taking action and leading by example while making contributions to university and/or the community. Among the 15 students honored this year is KU Football’s JaCorey Shepherd.
A reception will take place from 5-6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Union. A short ceremony will take place at 5:20 p.m.to individually recognize and honor each man for his campus and community contributions.
The KU Men of Merit poster campaign was created seven years ago by former KU football player Gary Green. This project is coordinated and sponsored by the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity.
Shepherd, a native of Mesquite, Texas, is on schedule to graduate in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in management and leadership with an emphasis in entrepreneurship.  He is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree and a four-time Athletic Director’s Honor Roll member. He recently was named the Lee Roy Selmon Community Spirit Award and Haier Achievement Award winner and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. He took home the Rock Chalk Choice Award for Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role and was the University of Kansas nominee for the 2013-14 Big 12 Conference Male Sportsperson of the Year. Shepherd is also active in the community through Big Brothers, Big Sisters where he has established a relationship with a “little brother” Christopher and at local schools where he volunteers as a reader and at carnivals, field days and football clinics.
On the field, the 5-foot-11 190-pound cornerback earned First Team All-Big 12 in 2014. He started all 12 games for the second-straight season and led the Big 12 with 19 passes defended, while also recording 30 tackles and a team-leading three interceptions, while only allowing two touchdown passes. Additionally, he averaged 20.9 yards on 33 kick returns.
Current research supports the important role gender plays in college students’ identity development and academic achievement. Recently, attention has been focused on men’s declining enrollment in college as well as their higher rates of underperformance and underachievement compared with women. In fact, recent students indicate that nationally, male students are less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree than female students. In addition, men are less likely to engage in volunteer activities and participate in student clubs and organizations. This growing gender gap points to the need for college campuses to address the disparity and create mechanisms for increasing men’s involvement, engagement and achievement.
This poster aims to increase awareness of the importance of education and involvement in men’s lives, inspire campus men to take an active role in their college experience and provide role models and mentors for men to be successful. Posters will be available at the reception, in the Emily Taylor Center offices, and they can be requested by contacting the office.
Sponsors and assistance with this poster include KU Marketing and Communications, the Emily Taylor Center and the Office of Diversity & Equity.
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