CPASS graduate overcomes personal challenges to compete in Pittsburgh Marathon

Professional photo of Jackson Terry Jackson, SEP graduate, likes to talk about how running helped change his life.

“After I earned my undergrad degree, I ended up putting a lot into perspective.I felt lousy, physically and mentally; I just needed a change. At the time I didn't have a job lined up so I started running around the block.A half mile became a mile, then I ended up running a 5K and finally a marathon,” he said.

Jackson competed in the Pittsburgh Marathon on April 30, finishing the race. “In the end, the full marathon was the culmination of my transformation. I ended up shedding over 150 pounds and really changed my outlook on life. I became a more positive person and totally changed my lifestyle,” Jackson explained.

Jackson, senior program coordinator with WVU Admissions outreach events and recruitment, has become a fan of the Pittsburgh Marathon since he found out about it and credits it with his transformation.

“The Pittsburgh Marathon always meant a lot to me. I was born in Pittsburgh and watching the May event was always a highlight. I was amazed that someone could actually run that far in that little time. Two of my friends, who actually convinced me to start running, ran the race in 2013. 

“After spending the day in the city, following them around and witnessing the crowd, I was hooked. I don't think I ever witnessed so much positive energy in one place,” Jackson explained.

Jackson plans to start his graduate degree in the WVU Integrated Marketing Communications program and expects to graduate in spring 2018. “I'm excited to take this next step academically and professionally. The IMC program is the right fit for what I do in admissions. I oversee our events team and communications expert,” Jackson concluded.

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