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GV hires Jacobson Distinguished Professor to lead Jacobson Institute for Innovation in Education


Dr. Kris Kilibarda will become the Jacobson Distinguished Professor and Director of the Jacobson Institute for Innovation in Education at Grand View University. Kilibarda was hired to lead the Jacobson Institute in a direction focused on improving teaching and learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

The Jacobson Institute for Innovation in Education was established in 2008 with a generous gift from Mr. Richard O. Jacobson, a member of Grand View’s Board of Trustees since 1997. Mr. Kent Henning, Grand View President, said, “When Dick Jacobson endowed this Institute and Distinguished Professorship, he wanted to make sure it would help prepare students to lead meaningful lives through increased efficacy in teaching and learning.” Henning said hiring Kilibarda demonstrates the Jacobson Institute’s ability to respond to critical needs across education and contribute to the national dialogue on advancing STEM education.

With undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry and a doctorate in educational leadership, Kilibarda has a unique combination of exemplary teaching experience and scholarly achievement. Dr. Mary Elizabeth Stivers, Grand View Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said Grand View has a rich history as a teaching-focused institution and Kilibarda is a natural fit. Stivers said, “The Jacobson Institute was designed to help future teachers become effective and innovative educators in all fields. Kris has proven herself a qualified scientist, dynamic teacher and academician, and educational leader. We are excited for her to join us at Grand View and lead the Jacobson Institute.”

Currently, Kilibarda is on the faculty at Central College, Pella, Iowa, where she chairs the Education Department and has held numerous faculty leadership positions. She previously taught high school science at Lewis Central and Urbandale Community Schools. Kilibarda also served as regional manager for Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s STEM Advisory Council in 2012-2013.

The Jacobson Institute for Innovation in Education is housed in the Jacobson Center for Excellence in Education on the second floor of the Rasmussen Center for Community Advancement Professions on Grand View’s campus in Des Moines, Iowa.

About Grand View University: Grand View is a not-for-profit liberal arts institution offering bachelor's and master's degrees. It is a private institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Founded more than 100 years ago in 1896, Grand View offers a high-quality education to a diverse student body in a career-oriented, liberal arts-grounded curriculum at two campus locations in greater Des Moines. With 2,300 full- and part-time students, Grand View welcomes traditional students and adult learners representing a wide range of religious and cultural backgrounds.