Skip to content
  • Print


Powell Scholars Program
Callison Hall
Courtney Lehmann, Ph.D.
Program Director
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211


Dinelle Davis
Program Assistant
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA 95211

Living the Nine Dimensions

Essential to the Powell Scholar experience is the ability to venture beyond familiar territory in order to explore opportunities that expand our ideas of the possible. Living the Nine Dimensions is something we ask of all Powell Scholars. You’ll see below examples of rising juniors and seniors who, along with recent graduates, have embraced this challenge by studying abroad, engaging in research, sponsoring national speakers, and leading by example.

Emilie Jenkins

This past summer, Powell Scholar Emilie Jenkins (Graphic Art) was fortunate enough to participate in an internship with an established design firm in Ireland. She called Dublin home for the two months she was there and was able to strengthen her design skillset, as well as gain exposure to the realities of a design career, while interning with DesignWorks in the heart of the city. Emilie worked closely with senior designers and creative directors to develop a handful of projects. Most notably, her two largest undertakings were both for the National Gallery of Ireland. The first was an exhibition called “Renailssance”—Emilie was responsible for mapping out the entire installation and overseeing media production. After it’s launch in July, Emilie worked on creative concepts for an initiative driven by the National Gallery to help introduce young adults to museum itself and potential future creative careers in the arts. Referred to as “Primer,” Emilie developed a brand identity and design system for the program, which she applied to a slew of print media and digital platforms. Her internship culminated in her presenting her concepts to the board of directors at the National Gallery of Ireland. Of course, Emilie took every opportunity she could to travel around the country on the weekends, and she even made it to Northern Ireland and Scotland, deepening her knowledge of the culture and history all along the way. An enriching and priceless experience, she feels extremely privileged to benefit from the Study Abroad Funding provided by Rob and Jeanette Powell through the Powell Scholarship. Emilie will always have a piece of her heart in Dublin.

Luiza Macedo

Coming to Pacific, I understood the significance of being a Powell Scholar by just looking around at my peers, each one pursuing unique and transformative experiences. In hindsight, I know now that being surrounded by this caliber of students encouraged and challenged me to seek out my own experiences.

In Fall of 2016, I joined a local campaign to make Michael Tubbs the first African American mayor of Stockton and the youngest mayor of a large city in the nation. Since his campaign, I have been fortunate enough to find a place on his team, eventually working my way into the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, the nation’s first city-led basic income initiative. In my role as Community Engagement Consultant, I have the opportunity to work where the rubber hits the ground. It’s not just a policy anymore, it’s real people who are tangibly impacted by the decisions we make. I look forward to exploring economic insecurity and inequality, and the structural issues within our economy which have contributed to the intergenerational poverty we see in Stockton. Oftentimes, decades of systematic negligence among our policymakers or purposeful lack of resources for certain communities is the underlying cause of inescapable poverty – not the individuals themselves. In this position, I aim to empower the residents of Stockton to seek change within their communities and the economy as a whole. The first step in creating change is understanding how we got to where we are. This opportunity has made me a confident leader, advocate, and change-seeker, and has made Stockton my home.

Megan Waller

When I entered the Powell Program as a freshman, I was presented with a worksheet containing the 'Nine Dimensions of a Powell Scholar.' As I read it over, I was concerned that I may never actually achieve all nine. Fast forward to three years later, and I feel like I've actually lived up to the expectations of a Powell Scholar.

I chose to study abroad the summer after my sophomore year, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I utilized Powell funding, making the experience affordable and very meaningful to me. The experience studying abroad (in Prague, Czech Republic) left me with memories that will stay with me for a lifetime and offered me the chance to be something other than an engineer for a bit. I took an art history course, and due to Prague's rich history, most of the time was spent out of the classroom. I was given the opportunity to see history, instead of just read about it. I needed to exercise different parts of my mind - not just the mathematical, logical side, and appreciate the themes and the historical dramas that made the art what it was. The value that the interdisciplinary course brought me was something that I would not have found at home. I hope that positive experience will encourage me to engage in other creative experiences.

University of the Pacific has also given me great opportunities, provided that I make the effort in the first place. There are many things that I have pursued due to stepping out of my comfort zone and talking to people. I am excited to say that one of these opportunities is bringing a Powell speaker to campus in Fall 2018. The speaker is Mr. Al Bowers, the Chief Scientist for NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. Mr. Bowers is a passionate and engaging speaker, as well as a major supporter of students, especially in STEM fields. I have developed a strong relationship with Mr. Bowers and asked him if he would come speak at University of the Pacific this Fall. He agreed, and I now have the task of arranging his visit. Working with the Powell director, Dr. Lehman, as well as School of Engineering and Computer Science deans has brought me into an area I did not anticipate being in: leading and organizing a high-profile speaker visit. I am extremely excited to develop meaningful experience in this area, as well as bring an excellent speaker and mentor to UOP.

Ashley Abraham

When I came to Pacific, I knew I was fascinated by human health – most particularly, the disparities present in health care access and resources around the globe. I wanted to explore before committing to medicine. At Pacific, I majored in bioengineering because I knew that medical devices and technologies have a huge impact on healthcare.

I was lucky enough to start working in Dr. Tara Thiemann’s lab my sophomore year. I worked on a project that characterized the feeding patterns of 3 mosquito species in Lake County, CA. At the end of the year, I knew that I enjoyed the research process and found disease vectors extremely interesting. I was not, however, a huge fan of bench research. Hours in the lab running experiments was only fun when my fellow researchers were present, but then I found myself often missing steps because I was too absorbed in conversation!

In the end, however, I chose to apply to medical school because I realized personal interactions give me meaning and purpose. I transitioned to clinical research with the CREST Network of Kaiser Permanente under the mentorship of Dr. David Vinson for my final two years at Pacific. I collaborated on a case report about Crohn Disease and psoas abscesses. I was also lucky enough to present our research on submassive pulmonary embolism at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Annual Meeting in Indianapolis in May 2018. I deeply enjoy clinical research, and learning about the way to best treat patients. This work also reinforced my decision to pursue medical school as a way to influence healthcare.

Excitingly, I got to incorporate the research from my sophomore year into my bioengineering senior project. With my team members Liana Stoddard and Phoebe Wetherbee, I created a mosquito collection device that produces the sound of the frog these species primarily feed upon. It will be used in testing in July of 2018 to hopefully capture these species using positive phonotaxis.

The Powell Scholars program provided funding for me to attend the SAEM conference and encouragement to pursue these interests. I have got to explore and consider how best to use my skills to participate in research. This July I will be starting at UC Davis School of Medicine as a first-year medical student. I aspire to continue to research to discover the best way to protect and restore wellness to patients, but also our world. I am ecstatic, especially because of UCDSOM's student-run clinics. I will be able to start working with underserved and underinsured populations starting this fall! I am carrying with me from bioengineering an understanding of processes, a love of problem solving, and an appreciation for the complex systems that contribute to human health.

Sabrina Grace Boggs

The Powell Scholar Program has given me a plethora of opportunities to explore my interests and challenge myself to reach new heights. During my freshman year, I helped contribute to the Verdevis project by creating my first website from scratch. It was exciting to delve into HTML and CSS to create something that would be used for community education about microgreen growing systems. During my sophomore year, I led the initiative to bring Vijay Gupta, LA Phil violinist and co-founder of the Street Symphony, onto our campus. He gave a masterclass to Conservatory students, as well as a lecture to the community about being a civil-artist and connecting with troubled communities through music—a talk that still inspires me to this day. This event taught me important skills like team management, large-scale marketing, and more; it also contributed to my newfound passion for Arts Administration and helped me earn an internship with the Wintergreen Music Festival. During my junior year, I spent a semester abroad in Vienna, Austria. There, I studied with a master violinist named Barbara Gorzynska, descendent of Frederic Chopin and winner of the International Wieniawski Violin Competition. Learning under her pushed my playing to a new level that I would not have thought possible in the short span of a semester. None of this would have been possible without the support of the Powell Scholar Program, which has shaped me into a well-rounded person unafraid to explore new dimensions in leadership.