February 9, 2018
Jackie Letzter named 2018 Knight of St. Patrick
Congratulations to Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering senior Jackie Letzter for being named a 2018 Knight of St. Patrick! The annual award is given to students who represent leadership, excellence in character, and exceptional contributions to the College of Engineering. It’s one of the highest honors received by a student from the college and presented to about 8 to 15 students annually.
“It’s really exciting that I’m being recognized in such a big way for the time and effort I’ve put into the programs I’m involved in. However, I wouldn’t do it any other way because I love that what I do here is positively impacting other students, especially underclassmen,” Letzter said.
The West Chicago native credits her father for developing her interest in engineering. He encouraged her to think about how things were made and how they could be improved upon. She remembers fondly the time she spent with him as a child, such as watching him design plastic injection molds on Saturdays.
Like many Chemical Engineering students, Letzter enjoyed and excelled in chemistry and math in high school. Her chemistry teacher worked in industry prior to teaching in high school and introduced her to chemical engineering. Letzter participated in a “Little Sisters” weekend recruiting event as a high school senior and ever since then, she’s been a member of the Society of Women Engineers student group at Illinois. For the last two years she has served on its officer board and is currently its recruitment chair.
“It’s such a great, friendly group. I had a blast during the recruitment weekend. I felt like part of the community even before I got here. And when I walked into my first class, there was a friendly face.”
For two years, Letzter worked as an Engineering Learning Assistant (ELA) for Engineering 100, the introduction to engineering course for freshmen. As an ELA, she served as a mentor, instructor and resource for new students. During the summer, she worked a teaching associate and advisor for the Summer Scholars program of Illinois Engineering First Year Experience (IFEX), an eight-week program for incoming freshmen that involves students taking courses, attending workshops, building leadership skills, and more.
Letzter plans to work in industry after she graduates in Fall 2018 and is currently seeking employment in process engineering.