Jennifer, a 1996 graduate of Bartlesville High School was a three-sport star. She was a three-year starter on the basketball team where she was a teammate of fellow hall of famer Rene Roberts. She was also named to the 1996 All-State volleyball team. However, it was track and field where she really excelled. Jennifer was a state champion in 1994 and 1995 in the 400M. In 1996 she was state champion in the 200M and the 400M. Her school records in the 200 and 400M still stand today.
Jennifer attended the University of Oklahoma (OU) on a track scholarship where she was a two-time All-American in 1998 and 2000. In 1999, she was named the Owen Hewitt Award winner, the highest honor a Sooner track and field athlete can receive. In 1999 and 2000 she was named the Women’s MVP. Jennifer also was an outstanding student. She was a multiple Sooner Scholar Award winner and was named to the All Big-12 Academic team. She graduated in 2001 with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
In 2000, Jennifer married Shannon Atkinson. Shannon was an outstanding athlete for the Sooners as well. He was an All-American sprinter and a member of the Sooner football team. He served as an assistant track coach at OU for eight years and currently is the head track coach at South Moore High School. Jennifer has worked as an engineer for the Federal Aviation Administration since 2001 where she supports multiple radar systems. Shannon and Jennifer have two daughters, 11-year-old Jada and Jordan who is seven.