Rex Jackson  and Blake Lyon

Tasting success

Rex Jackson and Blake Lyon's Story

Monmouth College chemistry majors Rex Jackson and Blake Lyon have found interesting careers at the Northbrook, Ill., company Bell Flavors and Fragrances, Inc., a century-old company that “creates and delivers flavors, fragrances, botanical extracts and specialty ingredients that captivate the world's taste buds and stimulate the senses.”

Jackson works with customers to develop and engineer flavors that suit their needs. “There are other times when I'm able to create flavors of my choice that would fit a product,” he said. “This would be like developing a peach flavor for licorice, a raspberry flavor for chocolate, or even a cinnamon flavor for a drink.”

Said Lyon, “My responsibilities are to take on projects and use our flavors to create beverages for the market. These may include original products or matching products already on the market.” He is also responsible for communicating with customers and suppliers to figure out how to make projects work.

“My liberal arts education made it easy for me to work with people from a variety of different backgrounds and helped me move up in my career,” said Jackson. “The dedication of Monmouth's science professors to delivering a valuable education and paying attention to their students is what helped me achieve the career I have today.”

“The chemistry professors definitely helped mold me into the person I am today,” agreed Lyon, who said he not only works with a variety of different people, but also with different cultures. “I don't just do projects for companies inside the U.S., but some companies around the world, which is neat because I get to study and play around with different tastes and different cultures, all from my lab in Illinois.”

  • Help a brother out
    Two years after Jackson began working at Bell Flavors, he helped Lyon secure a position there. Both were members of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Monmouth.
  • A taste for music, too
    At Monmouth, Lyon was involved with the Fighting Scots Marching Band and the all-male a cappella group, The Scotsmen.
The dedication of Monmouth's science professors to delivering a valuable education and paying attention to their students is what helped me achieve the career I have today.


Rex Jackson and Blake Lyon ’11
Major: Biochemistry/Chemistry & Chemistry