February 14, 2013

Sterling Jackson earns NSBE Exxon Mobil award

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale engineering student Sterling Jackson is one of just 10 national NSBE ExxonMobil Scholar award winners for 2013.

Jackson, a sophomore civil engineering major from Peoria, will receive a $2,667 scholarship during the 16th annual Golden Torch Awards ceremony at the convention of the National Society of Black Engineers.  The event will take place March 30, at the Indiana Convention Center.

“I was overwhelmed with excitement to hear I had won the scholarship.  It is the highlight of my sophomore year,” said Jackson, the son of Annette and Steven Jackson.

ExxonMobil presents the corporate scholarships annually to sophomore or junior NSBE members within the engineering field to encourage academic excellence and leadership development among African-American college students, according to the NSBE website.  A GPA of at least 3.5 is a requirement to apply.  The application packet also must include an essay on a specified topic and letters of recommendation. 

Jackson is an asset to the University, the College of Engineering and the Minority Engineering Program, according to the program director, Tarnisha Green.

“He has been a mentor to a number of students and a friend and tutor to others.  He has been a positive role model for all students who follow in his path.  Above everything that I have mentioned, Sterling has shown excellent time management, a strong work ethic and academic stability,” Green wrote in her recommendation letter. 

Jackson is a member of the executive board of SIU’s NSBE chapter.  He served a summer internship with Infrastructure Engineering Inc. in Peoria, also earning praise for his abilities, communication skills and eagerness to learn, from Thu Truitt, project manager. 

After graduation, Jackson’s goal is to obtain employment in a large industry where he can use his engineering skills and abilities. 

Sterling is the oldest of identical triplet brothers attending SIU.  Spencer is a sport administration major while Sedrick is an electrical engineering student.  All three graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class academically.