"I have always loved the sense of community present at the University," says Crystal Jacobson, the administrative assistant in the Department of Art at Eastern New Mexico University. "I was drawn to this position because I wanted to be a part of providing the arts to the community and students. I love the students, the talents they possess, my fellow co–workers and just being a part of something much bigger in the grand scheme of things."
The ENMU alumna says of her position, "I hope to bring the art community at ENMU to the community here in Portales, so community members are aware of all that ENMU has to offer for those interested in pursuing a degree or career in the arts."
Crystal graduated in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in university studies. She is currently working toward her master's degree in communication at Eastern. She earned her associate's in communications from the University of Phoenix in 2009.
Prior to receiving her degree, Crystal served in the United States Air Force as a security forces member. She then worked at Minot State University in the art department as a work–study student. Upon moving to Portales, Crystal worked in the district as a substitute teacher, a long term substitute at Valencia Elementary and a special education paraprofessional at Brown Early Childhood Center.
She is currently involved in the Greyhound Connection Mentor Program at ENMU as a staff mentor. She is also a newly–appointed member of the Support Staff Senate and a longtime member of the Wounded Warrior Program. Crystal previously served as a volunteer advocate for Arise Sexual Assault Services for two years. She was also part of a program called Companions for Children in North Dakota, where she acted as a big sister for a young girl for five years. While in the Air Force, Crystal received the honor of a Security Forces Badge. She also earned an award from the Y–Club for her scrapbook for the UN Youth Assembly and her press coverage of the event.
She and her husband, Nathan, have been married for 14 years. Together they have a daughter, Corinne, who is 13 years old and a son, Valo, who is 12 years old. They also have three dogs, a German shepherd named Dexter, a Pomeranian mix named Farty and a German shepherd Alaskan husky mix named Opie.
Crystal is from Dawsonville, a small town located in the mountains of North Georgia. She and her brother, Andrew, were adopted when she was 15 by her parents, Wanda and Terry Stephens. She gained two brothers, Shannon and Darrell, and two sisters, Jody and Jordan, once adopted by her parents. Her mother is a real estate broker, and her parents operate their own family welding and rendering businesses in Dawsonville.
"My mom has always been my role model," says Crystal. "Growing up in less than ideal circumstances, she showed me what it means to own your circumstances and overcome challenges within your life. She is always there with an encouraging word and motivation. Most importantly, she showed me what it means to be a stellar mother who is there to provide a helping hand or dose of reality. I hope to be as strong, independent, kind, generous and compassionate as she continues to be."
In her free time, Crystal enjoys reading, watching television shows and movies, hanging out with her family and friends, listening to music, going to concerts, shopping at thrift stores and going to museums. She makes her own jewelry, such as earrings, necklaces and bracelets out of guitar picks and customizes them with vinyl. She also loves traveling and thoroughly enjoys going to Santa Fe to visit Meow Wolf and to Dallas for their thrift stores, concerts and food.