Dr. Pola Jakacki, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration from The University of Southern Mississippi                                                                                                       

M.Ed. in Special Education – Gifted and Talented from The University of Southern Mississippi                              

Wisconsin Teacher Certification, (6-12), Codes 701 and 725 from Concordia University

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification from the Wisconsin ESL Institute (WESLI)

B.A. in Geography from The University of Wisconsin                            



She is a professional educator, researcher, director, supervisor, mother and wife. She has lived and worked in the field of education in Wisconsin, Florida, and Mississippi and has volunteered in schools in England and Jamaica. She has English as a Second Language, Special Education, Gifted, and Social Studies Teaching Experience in grades K-12.  She was a Graduate Assistant in the ELSC department, graduated with Ed. L. and Ph.D and now is proud to work as an assistant professor in the department. Dr. Jakacki is a teacher, program supervisor, and now Interim Director of The Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies. In her free time, she spends time with her family and friends while enjoying traveling, going to the beach, watching movies, and cooking and baking.



Jakacki, P. & Karnes, F. (2014). In progress. “The History and Current Status of Gifted Education Teacher Certification.” Roeper Review.

“Adolescent School Mentors and Late Adolescent Resiliency.” The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg MS.  (2011).



Counseling Needs of Gifted Learners. Mississippi Counseling Association Conference.  November 6-8, 2013, Jackson, MS. (2013).

Characteristics of gifted children, under identified populations and the screening and referral process.  A presentation and handout for the faculty at Perkinston Elementary School in Stone County School District. (2013).

“Adolescent School Mentors and Late Adolescent Resiliency” Presentation at the 4th Annual Student Research Colloquium, Hattiesburg MS. (2010).



  • Florida Education Association
  • National Education Association
  • National Association for Gifted Children
  • Wisconsin Alumni Association
  • Member of the School Counseling Search Committee at The University of Southern Mississippi (2013-2014)
  • Review, Critique, and Edit questionnaire for Advanced Research Course for Specialist student at William Carey University (2013)



  • Scholarship Awards Committee Chair for the ELSC department at The University of Southern Mississippi (2014)                                                              
  • Graduate Assistantship at The University of Southern Mississippi (August 2009 - August 2011)
  • Dr. James H. McPhail Professor Emeritus Scholarship Endowment from The University of Southern Mississippi (August 2010 – May 2011) 
  • Graduate Senator, By-Law Committee Chairperson at The University of Southern Mississippi (May 2010 – May 2011)
  • Advisory Committee to the Dean, Chairperson of Awards at The University of Southern Mississippi (2010) 
  • Congressional Youth Leadership Council, Honorary Member, Washington, D.C. (2009 – 2010)
  • Golden Apple Teacher Nominee, Collier County Schools, FL (2002-2009)
  • Social Studies Teacher of the Year (2006)
  • Macy’s Teacher of the Year Nominee (2005)