Jackson earns engineering alumni society's Diversity and Inclusion Award

4/11/2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – SherryDawn Jackson, manager of the Department Electrical Engineering Academic Affairs Office, has been awarded the 2016 Penn State Engineering Alumni Society Diversity and Inclusion Award.

This award recognizes a staff member who has demonstrated a commitment to the College of Engineering’s goal of being a diverse and supportive community that provides a climate of sensitivity, open-mindedness, and respect.

“SherryDawn respects people of different races, ethnicities, religions, and cultures. She believes that we are more alike than different,” said electrical engineering department head, Kultegin Aydin. “She often says that if everyone could work in a position where they met people from other countries, there would be much more tolerance and understanding in the world.”

Jackson has worked at Penn State since 1976, when she began in the College of Agricultural Sciences. She joined electrical engineering in 1979, working as a staff assistant in a computer lab until 1986. She took three years off when she had her son, returned to Penn State working part-time for 13 years in Forest Resources, moved to the undergraduate program in mechanical engineering, then to the undergraduate and graduate programs in astronomy and astrophysics and returned to electrical engineering in her current role in 2007.

“What I enjoy most about my job is helping students,” said Jackson. “When international students come here for school, they’re so far from home, and I always think that if my son was so far away and needed help, I’d hope someone would be there for him. I’m glad I can be that person for these students.”

Something that has always moved Jackson is when students bring their families to her office. It means a lot to her that part of the campus tour—students showing their families how and where they’ve spent their time in graduate school—includes meeting and getting photos with Jackson.

Jackson is, after all, the person who makes sure students are on the right track to graduation. From the start of a student’s graduate career in electrical engineering, Jackson is there to help them. Whether its reading through admissions applications, making financial offers, ensuring students get into the right classes they need, helping them fill out the paperwork for assistantships or setting up committees for Ph.D.s and candidacy exams, Jackson is a key player in the graduate careers of about 200 students.

“SherryDawn thinks of herself as an ambassador for our department, the college, and the University, and she tries hard to make everyone who she meets, either in person, on the phone or through email, feel like they are special. She has expressed her joy in learning about different cultures, religions and customs, not simply because of her job, but because she thinks people are amazing and interesting,” said Aydin. “SherryDawn is the kind of person who makes it special to be at Penn State.”

 

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Rebekka Coakley

rac29@psu.edu

SherryDawn Jackson

“What I enjoy most about my job is helping students,” said Jackson. “When international students come here for school, they’re so far from home, and I always think that if my son was so far away and needed help, I’d hope someone would be there for him. I’m glad I can be that person for these students.”
 
 

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The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was created in the spring of 2015 to allow greater access to courses offered by both departments for undergraduate and graduate students in exciting collaborative research in fields.

We offer B.S. degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering and data science and graduate degrees (master's degrees and Ph.D.'s) in electrical engineering and computer science and engineering. EECS focuses on the convergence of technologies and disciplines to meet today’s industrial demands.

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