Minority Students Succeed through ExxonMobil and LSU's College of Engineering's Unique Partnership

Currently, there is an increasing need for greater diversity in science, technology, engineering and math careers, and ExxonMobil and the LSU College of Engineering are working together to encourage and assist talented minority students to complete a degree in engineering and continue to a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) career. To date, the company has committed $750,000 to the ExxonMobil Scholars Program, a mentorship-centered approach to scholarship that provides students from underrepresented groups access to a network of industry professionals who are committed to ensuring their time at LSU is a success.

“ExxonMobil's continued investment in the third phase of the ExxonMobil Scholars Program champions our diversity initiatives to place more talented and diverse graduates in STEM-related fields,” said Rick Koubek, dean, LSU College of Engineering.

This year, aspiring African-American students have joined the next class of ExxonMobil Scholars at LSU’s College of Engineering. In addition to financial support, ExxonMobil Scholars like Brianna Lee, a junior majoring in Chemical Engineering, benefit from ongoing one-on-one mentorship from ExxonMobil employees.

“The ExxonMobil Scholars Program is especially unique because it allows me the opportunity to have a personal mentor in industry who has already overcome all of the challenges I am facing,” said Breanna Lee, ExxonMobil Scholar. “It is extremely encouraging to talk to my mentor, Ashley Harvell for advice in handling classes, internships, my future career, and even daily life.

ExxonMobil Scholars consistently identify the mentor-protégé relationship as key to their success at LSU, and they welcome the opportunity to give back once they embark on their professional careers.

“As a mentor, I enjoy being able to help each protégé become their own individual success story,” said Ashley Harvell, adhesions contact engineer, ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Chemical Plant.

Additionally, ExxonMobil contributes to professional and personal development programs and events through the college to help the scholars gain a better understanding of skills used by engineering professionals.

“The ExxonMobil interviewing seminar provided me with a lot of useful information about the interviewing process, resume writing, as well as techniques for a successful interview,” said David Jordan, a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

Scholars are selected from a pool of applicants and awarded based on proven superior academic background, early engineering or science exposure, leadership participation and community outreach efforts. Preference is given to African American, Hispanic or Native American students, and they must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average to remain in the program.

ExxonMobil's long-term investment in the program has allowed 51 students to pursue degrees in STEM-related careers through mentorship and financial support. Scholar graduates have earned a 3.44 cumulative GPA, and five of the scholars are now full-time employees at ExxonMobil Corporation, with many others working in their chosen career field at firms across the country.


For more information contact Mimi LaValle, LSU College of Engineering, mlavall@lsu.edu, 225-578-5706