Former Mrs. US America Chooses SHSU

Terri JaggersWhen Sam Houston State University’s new Master of Arts program in communication studies began at the University Center in the Woodlands this fall, among the its six students was a “celebrity."

Former Mrs. US America Terri Jaggers, wife, community leader and mother, said that the convenience and fresh possibilities that the new SHSU master’s program offered at the University Center determined her choice to attend graduate school.

“I am a leader, and the fact that it was a new program was appealing to me,” said Jaggers. “The program’s convenience is a huge plus for someone like me who is older, owns a business and has other priorities.”

As the titleholder of Mrs. US America from 2007-2008, Jaggers is often invited to be a guest a speaker at various locations across the country.

“Having classes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday leaves the rest of my week open for other priorities,” she said.

Jaggers’ main motivation for earning a graduate degree came when she was asked to write a book on foster care in America. She felt that earning her master’s degree in communication studies would gain her more credibility in the foster care industry. Jaggers’ philanthropy in the foster care industry has been the platform for many of her achievements.

In addition, Jaggers has been offered the executive director position at the National Foster Care Association.

“I feel that I will be more qualified for that position after I receive my graduate degree,” Jaggers said.

Her advocacy in the foster care system has earned her many esteemed awards including Houston’s 2007 Jefferson Award and the 2008 Ambassador of Purpose Award from the Arrow Project. Jaggers was also Mrs. Texas United States from 2005-2006.

After earning her master’s degree from SHSU, Jaggers hopes to become more involved in the foster care system nationally and internationally.

Jaggers said she admires all of the professors in the communications studies department.

“I think highly of all of my professors. They make me feel comfortable in the classroom,” she said. “I have already gained a wealth of knowledge from all of them.”

SHSU’s 30-hour, plus thesis, and 36-hour non-thesis programs emphasize family and interpersonal communication.

“This is a great program for SHSU to offer because communication skills are essential for a person to have,” said J.D. Ragsdale, communications studies department chair.

Those interested in applying for the program should do so through the Graduate Studies Office at 936.294.1971 or The application deadline is Dec. 1 for the 2009 spring semester.



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SHSU Media Contacts: Steven R. Nelson
Nov. 5, 2008
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