North­eastern Uni­ver­sity senior Logan Jackson has been named a Rhodes scholar, the first time in uni­ver­sity his­tory one of its stu­dents has received the pres­ti­gious scholarship.

Jackson, a civil engi­neering major, is one of 32 Rhodes scholars for the Class of 2016. The win­ners, who were selected Sat­urday by the Rhodes Trust, were chosen from 869 appli­cants endorsed by 316 col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties. The schol­ar­ships cover all expenses for two or three years of post-​​graduate study at Oxford Uni­ver­sity in Eng­land, where the scholars will begin their studies next October.

It’s pretty sur­prising,” Jackson said by phone Sunday night from Mary­land, where she is cur­rently working on co-​​op. “I’m still get­ting used to the news. I’m looking for­ward to going to Eng­land next year.”

The Rhodes schol­ar­ship is among the most pres­ti­gious awards an under­grad­uate stu­dent in the United States can receive. The stu­dents must demon­strate aca­d­emic excel­lence. Other impor­tant cri­teria include showing great promise of lead­er­ship, being com­mitted to make a strong dif­fer­ence for good in the world, and having great per­sonal energy, ambi­tion for impact, an ability to work with others and to achieve one’s goals.

Jonna Iacono, director of Northeastern’s Scholars Pro­gram and Office of Under­grad­uate Research and Fel­low­ships, described Jackson as a nuanced and sophis­ti­cated thinker who has dis­played a great pas­sion for learning.

She’s amazing,” Iacono said of Jackson. “She’s intel­lec­tu­ally vora­cious and aca­d­e­m­i­cally curious. She has a dis­tin­guished aca­d­emic record in a very rig­orous cur­riculum. Every part of her aca­d­emic expe­ri­ence, from her research to her co-​​op expe­ri­ences, has been chal­lenging at the highest levels.”

At Oxford, one of two master’s degrees Jackson plans to pursue is in evidence-​​based social inter­ven­tion and policy eval­u­a­tion. Through this pro­gram, she hopes to gain skills she can com­bine with her engi­neering back­ground to work in policy. She’s par­tic­u­larly inter­ested in bringing greater diver­sity to the fields of sci­ence, tech­nology, engi­neering, and math, or STEM.

Jackson has served in sev­eral roles with Northeastern’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engi­neers, including pres­i­dent. She is also a vio­list in the North­eastern Sym­phony Orchestra, and helps lead com­mu­nity ser­vices in her home state of Ken­tucky. During her time at North­eastern, she’s also received the Robert J. Shillman Award for Engi­neering Excel­lence and was named to the Hunt­ington 100, an annual recog­ni­tion bestowed on a group of select stu­dents for their accom­plish­ments and impact on campus, in the com­mu­nity, and across the globe.

At North­eastern, Jackson has focused her work on struc­tural engi­neering. She has worked as an under­grad­uate research assis­tant and helped develop a fiber-​​optic sensor to detect indi­ca­tors for a poten­tial building col­lapse. Prior to her cur­rent co-​​op at Hensel Phelps, she com­pleted co-​​ops at two other world-​​leading con­struc­tion firms: Suf­folk Con­struc­tion and Skanska USA Civil Inc. This summer, she also did an intern­ship at Intel in Oregon, working as part of a team trying to find ways to imple­ment lean man­u­fac­turing techniques.

Co-​​op has been really useful,” Jackson said. “You learn so many skills you’d never think to learn or might not be exposed to in classroom.”

She added: “I feel like when I grad­uate, I’ll be get­ting two degrees—a civil engi­neering degree, and a work-​​experience degree.”

Written by Greg St. Martin and Joe O’Connell.