Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Filling the Gap: Pittsburgh Promise recipients share their success stories
MEMS grad student Jackie Sharp featured in Pittsburgh Business Times.
Jackie Sharp, a full-time graduate student researcher in the Sound, Systems, and Structures Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, also works part-time at Qinetiq, which makes robots for the Department of Defense. Sharp, 24, said that without the Pittsburgh Promise, college wouldn’t have been possible for her. (Joe Wojcik/Pittsburgh Business Times)

Lots of people can claim that education saved their life, but in Jackie Sharp’s case, it's literal.

As a high school freshman, Sharp was struck by a car running a red light two days before Christmas. Most of the impact was absorbed by the school laptop she carried in her backpack. Its screen was shot and, it turned out, so was playing hockey competitively. Doctors checking out Sharp post-accident discovered she was missing part of a vertebrae in her neck that wraps around a blood vessel going to the brain. A puncture or hit from playing contact sports could cause that to burst. So Sharp was sidelined.

“Hockey was the love of my life, and I was devastated,” she said. “A really good friend said, ‘Why don’t you join the robotics team?’ And I fell in love with engineering.”

Read the full story (with subscription) at the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Author: Patty Tascarella, Senior Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times , 11/27/2018

Contact: Paul Kovach