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Sterling Bay, Chicago State University Partner to Support Equitable Growth of Chicago’s Life Sciences Industry

Sterling Bay today announced they are expanding their efforts to secure Chicago’s future as a global destination for life sciences with the Sterling Bay Scholar Program. The program is a partnership with Chicago State University (CSU) and will offer local students from diverse backgrounds the financial and professional support required to pursue careers in this fast-growing industry.

“Sterling Bay is deeply committed to opening doors for Chicago area students who are interested in pursuing careers that will build up our city’s growing life sciences sector,” said Dr. Suzet McKinney, Sterling Bay Principal and Director of Life Sciences.“Through our Sterling Bay Scholar program, we hope to support many emerging local life sciences leaders, like our inaugural recipient, Ms. Jillian Tyson, who come from diverse backgrounds and have the potential to create a more inclusive medical and scientific workforce of tomorrow.”

The Sterling Bay Scholar Program provides financial and professional supports for one student each academic year as he/she/they explores a two-year education in the life sciences. Jillian Tyson, a sophomore at Chicago State University majoringin Pre Nursing, was selected from a pool of talented candidates for her commitment to a career in pediatric nursing. She is a lifelong resident of Chicago’s Auburn-Gresham neighborhood where she was homeschooled for the entirety of her elementary and high-school education. Growing up with two younger brothers, one of whom has a developmental disorder, Ms. Tyson was inspired to pursue a career in pediatric medicine after witnessing the life-changing opportunities that targeted medical care and occupational therapy can provide to children in need.

Dr. Suzet McKinney, left, and Jillian Tyson. (Photo credit Sterling Bay)
Dr. Suzet McKinney, left, and Jillian Tyson. (Photo credit Sterling Bay)

“I am thrilled and honored to be selected as the inaugural Sterling Bay Scholar,” Tyson said. “This scholarship and the financial opportunity it provides will allow me to spend more time focusing on my studies so that I can make a greater impact in my career as a future healthcare professional.”

As a Sterling Bay Scholar, Ms. Tyson will receive a two-year, full tuition scholarship to complete her undergraduate degree in pre-nursing. Upon graduating from CSU in 2023, she plans to attend Rush University where she will pursue her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in pediatric medicine.

In addition to the financial support provided by the scholarship program, Ms. Tyson will also benefit from direct access to Dr. McKinney who will serve as a professional mentor to Ms. Tyson, offering one-on-one career guidance and connections to leaders in Chicago’s healthcare industry.

“Sterling Bay shares Chicago State University’s commitment to creating meaningful access to careers. The Sterling Bay ScholarProgram is designed to reward, encourage and assist a students’ ability to lead in life science careers by providing targeted professional and financial supports,” said Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott, Esq., Chicago State University President. “Together, Sterling Bay and Chicago State University are strengthening the pipeline into an increasingly important industry.”

Sterling Bay’s ongoing work in elevating Chicago’s reputation as a global destination for life sciences innovation is most visible today at ALLY at 1229 W Concord Place, a brand-new medical research and creative office building coming soon to Lincoln Yards. This eight-story, ultramodern facility, which broke ground last fall and is scheduled for completion early next year, exemplifies the firm’s commitment to creating a brighter future for Chicago by investing in its next generation of life sciences innovators who will require highly amenitized, highly flexible research spaces to facilitate discovery.

Ms. Tyson will begin as a Sterling Bay Scholar in May 2022.


Sterling Bay is an experience-driven real estate company that places people at the center of design. Known for creating innovative, connected, and collaborative spaces for world-class companies such as Google, McDonald’s, WPP, Pinterest, Dyson and Tyson Foods, Sterling Bay is consistently recognized for award-winning projects that transform space, enhance communities, and strengthen a company’s culture and brand. Sterling Bay’s team of more than 185 professionals is responsible for a portfolio exceeding $5 billion, and a development pipeline of more than $12.4 billion. For more information, visit


Chicago State University, founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. The University’s five colleges offer over 70 undergraduate and graduate degree-granting and non-degree programs. CSU is committed toequity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution inIllinois and ranked by a Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting our graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting a multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. The University is located near public transit that provides convenient access to the campus. For more information, visit

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