Oak Ridge, N.J.
The Reese name is well known around the UT Martin campus. Jerry ('87, '88) and Gwen Reese ('88,'93) are UT Martin alums and former UT Martin employees. Since 2007, Jerry has been the vice president and general manager for the New York Giants. Now, following in her parents' footsteps, Jasmyne Reese has returned to UT Martin to continue her education as she chases her dream of becoming a first grade teacher.
In 2013, Reese earned her associate's degree in education from a junior college near her hometown of Oak Ridge, New Jersey. It was there that her passion for teaching was reinforced.
''I took an early childhood education class. I absolutely loved it and liked creating lesson plans,'' Reese said. ''All the jobs I've ever had have been in daycares or teaching. I have a lot of teachers in my family, and my mom is good with kids. It kind of just trickled down on me. So, I just want to teach.'' She laughed, ''I'm a big kid, myself.''
Even upon returning to UT Martin, she recognized and was excited to find that the daycare she attended as a small child was still on campus. Though she has spent the majority of her life in New Jersey, she still finds a sense of home at UT Martin, especially when she attends Skyhawk football games.
''I enjoy going to football games,'' she said. ''I've got my Skyhawks and my Giants.'' Jerry was at one time the assistant head coach for the Skyhawk football team and was poised to one day become the head coach, until an offer to work for the Giants was called to his attention.
Reese's education may be focused on teaching young children, but she still finds time to put her knowledge of football to good use. She said, ''My roommates don't know anything about football, so I've had to explain it them. They say, 'You're such a know-it-all! Why do you know this?' and I say, 'I grew up around it.'''
Between going to football games and keeping her TV tuned specifically to ESPN at all times, Reese makes her studies a priority. She says that the best advice her father gave her before she left for UT Martin was ''Work hard, play later.'' He told her to find a balance in her schoolwork and her social life but that her academics need to remain at the forefront of her mind.