Six earn scholarships from petroleum engineering society

February 11, 2011

STARKVILLE, Miss. –Six Bagley College of Engineering students are shaping their futures with support from the Mississippi section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE-Mississippi).

At its January meeting, the organization presented each student a $3,000 scholarship to support his or her education.

Jim Stephens, SPE-Mississippi scholarship chairman and a 1975 Mississippi State graduate in mechanical engineering, explained that the organization seeks to support students who wish to join the energy industry.

“We have given scholarships for many years in an effort to recognize students who are interested in pursuing careers in the oil and gas industry,” Stephens said. “We typically award two-four scholarships a year, but this year we are proud to be able to support six deserving students.”

Each recipient was nominated by the college and asked to write a one-page essay about the petroleum industry, which to Rebekah Armour was time and effort well spent.

“Earning this scholarship was very important to me because I am financially responsible for my education and living expenses,” she said.

Joe, her brother and a fellow scholarship recipient, added, “This helps give me the ability to pay for college without going into debt, plus it provides a valuable opportunity to make connections with engineers in the petroleum industry.”

Coming from a family of engineers, the siblings never doubted that it was the right field for them. They each discovered a passion for the energy industry through MSU’s cooperative education program. Now, with the support of SPE-Mississippi, they can wrap up their education and prepare for the future without the added pressure of mounting student loan debt.

The complete list of 2011 SPE-Mississippi scholarship recipients includes (by hometown):

CEDAR BLUFF—Senior David Easley, a mechanical engineering major and son of David and Marilyn Easley. As a co-op student he has worked with Chevron Corp. in Pascagoula. While on campus, he works as a teaching assistant in the department of aerospace engineering. Following his December graduation, he plans to work in the oil industry and eventually pursue higher education.

LAUREL— Seniors Joe and Rebekah Armour are the children of Steve and Debbie Armour. Joe, a chemical engineering major, has worked as a co-op employee for the Dow Chemical Company at its California, Texas and Louisiana locations. Following his May graduation he will start a full-time job with Albemarle Corporation.

Rebekah has worked as a project engineer with Ergon, Inc. in Jackson and a student researcher with Mississippi State’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems. She will begin a job with Exxon Mobil Corp. in the fuels marketing division following her August graduation.

LUCEDALE—Senior Clint Diamond is a chemical engineering major and the son of Rosemary Bishop. He has worked as a co-op engineer for Dupont De Nemours and currently with Exxon Mobil. Following his May 2012 graduation he hopes to either transition into a full-time position or attend law school.

PASCAGOULA—Chemical engineering major John Edmond Wright is the son of John and Harriet Wright. He has worked for Exxon Mobil as an intern and hopes to transition into a full-time employee following his May 2012 graduation.

TUPELO – Junior Josh Tucker is a chemical engineering major and the son of Bruce and Leslie Tucker. He has worked as an intern for Albemarle Corp. As a member of the MSU track and field team he was honored for having the highest GPA in the men’s division. He plans to work in the energy industry following his graduation.

For more information about the Mississippi Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, visit

More information about the Bagley College of Engineering can be found at