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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

Eighth Dimension

Obtain hands-on experience in their field through internships or other avenues

Emilie Jenkins in Ireland

In the summer of 2019, 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.

Cassidy Johnson

Scholar Cassidy Johnson (Applied Mathematics and Computer Science) attended the Grace Hopper Conference and interned at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

As Powell Scholars, we're encouraged to reach for the stars and apply for prestigious internships and fellowships that interest us. For me, working for the government and exploring cybersecurity had been a dream of mine ever since I started my first Computer Science courses at UOP. In my sophomore year, I had the awesome experience of attending the Grace Hopper Conference for women in STEM and meeting all sorts of representatives from universities, companies, and organizations looking for interns. It was there that I was first introduced to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. I was hired as a Computing Intern for the summer of 2019 and I was fortunate enough to work with computer scientists at the Lab on a project relating to Docker Container Security. While my project was my main focus for almost 3 months, the Lab also allows interns to participate in tours, workshops, and lectures from all fields. I was able to see some of the world's fastest supercomputers and attend lectures on quantum computing, which is thought to be the future of computer science. My summer internship at the Lab was so valuable to me that I asked to stay on part-time during the academic year and was ecstatic when my boss encouraged me to keep working while I'm in school. I feel really grateful to be part of a group of people who care so deeply about advancing our field. LLNL has truly broadened my understanding of and love for computer science.

~ Cassidy Johnson

Jon Arrow

Scholar Jon Arrow (Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences) interned as a Inside Sales Representative with the Sacramento River Cats.

The Powell Scholar Program immensely helped me develop skills that I have since been able to take with me into the professional world, both in finding worthwhile internships as well as finding the dream job for me before I am even graduating. Through the Powell Scholar Freshman seminar, I greatly developed my leadership skills as well as my potential to think critically about complex systematic processes, which allowed me to pursue extensive leadership experience here at Pacific. With my training from the Powell program, I have been the president of two different organizations on campus and have had to navigate real world, organizational issues that have allowed me to better foresee and handle the issues that will come up in my career. Through my time in the Research Proposal Class with Dr. Lehmann, I both learned how to formally propose and defend an argument as well as speak eloquently and comfortably in what most would see as high pressure situations. I had the opportunity to present my research to both a group of professors in a final workshop as well as to a room full of University Regents, Deans, and Administration. As an Inside Sales Representative with the Sacramento River Cats, I have to close sales in high pressure situations while remaining comfortable enough for people to trust me to run their credit card for multiple thousands of dollars. The experience both working and speaking in high pressure situations has allowed me to excel in my position and achieve the high sales total of all new Inside Sales Reps in the organization.

~ Jon Arrow

Megan Waller in front of the SR-71 Blackbird that carried experiments for NASA Armstrong

Megan Waller with the flight simulator for SOPHIA, a Boeing 747 used to study the atmosphere

Scholar Megan Waller (Mechanical Engineering) interned at HP, Inc., NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Daimler Trucks North America.

As I near the end of my four years at Pacific, I have found that my experience has been the thing that has allowed me to become the person I am today. I have also found that experience builds experience. I worked hard in high school so I could become a Powell Scholar and work just as hard in college. My work earned me an internship at HP, Inc., NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Daimler Trucks North America (Freightliner Trucks). While experience is necessary to be an excellent mechanical engineer, my experience at NASA was also one of the highlights of my collegiate life.

Growing up, being a rocket scientist or astronaut at NASA was my dream. I knew that I was a good student who worked hard, but I never saw myself among the best or being capable of landing a job at NASA. I convinced myself that, just like applying to college, it was good to have a "reach" option among the more practical option. However, I was one of the lucky few who's reach option became reality. I received the job at NASA because I had continually worked hard my entire life to be where I am now. I also received it because, despite my modesty and knowledge of my own faults and shortcomings, I WAS a good engineer. NASA was all that I had dreamed it to be - I met rocket scientists, astronauts-to-be, and the man who helped engineer the SR-71 Blackbird. I heard sonic booms, watched fighter jets practice maneuvers, and helped set up test equipment for quiet supersonic technology. Above all, I built my knowledge in areas that weren't in my expertise and talked to everyone I could to make the most out my time there.

If there's anything I can recommend regarding this dimension of being a Powell Scholar, it is to keep working hard and take all the opportunities you can - you never know where they will lead!

~ Megan Waller

Courtney Banh (Left) on the Set

Scholar Courtney Banh (Computer Science) worked on the set of a local independent feature-length sci-fi film called Before the Dark in June 2016. She was initially brought on as a set PA (production assistant), but I was then assigned as the best boy grip in the lighting department. Her main responsibility was to assist the gaffer with lighting scenes.

Before the Dark was filmed in several locations in northern California such as Elk Grove, Roseville, Dixon, Fair Oaks, and Auburn. In February 2017 it premiered at the State Theater in Auburn to the crew, cast, and their family and friends as well as the public.

Michael Feliz

Samuel Costigan

Scholars Michael Feliz (Computer Engineering) and Samuel Costigan (Mechanical Engineering) designed and built a touch-top table system they dubbed the Happy Touch.

Rosana Abeyta-Torres

Scholar Rosana Abeyta-Torres (Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences) interned at Dameron in physical therapy.

My name is Rosana Abeyta-Torres. I am in my third year at Pacific studying Sports Medicine. I aspire to become a physical therapist and will be applying to physical therapy graduate schools in the fall. Last semester I had the opportunity to observe in the outpatient and inpatient physical therapy at Dameron Hospital as part of the course Clinician in Sports Medicine (SPTS 157). I completed 35.5 hours in the outpatient clinic and 70 hours in the acute care inpatient setting in the hospital. I experienced the different aspects of physical therapy and saw a variety of cases in both settings. I also observed some occupational therapy. I was able to experience and analyze the differences between inpatient and outpatient physical therapy care and treatment. I shadowed the physical therapists and physical therapist assistants as they performed evaluations or routine physical therapy sessions. They would explain to me what they were doing, and taught me several things. I was limited to merely observing the therapists since I'm only an undergraduate without a degree or much training. However, after awhile I was able to perform ultrasound and place the electrical stimulation on some of the patients in the outpatient clinic.

I saw more severe cases in the hospital than in the outpatient clinic. I got to experience therapy for patients in ICU and CCU. I learned the differences in therapy techniques and how the goals differ for each setting. After observing in both settings I realized that I prefer outpatient physical therapy and want to work in an outpatient clinic if possible. With inpatient physical therapy you only see the patient for a couple of days usually, and the main goal is to improve functionality so they can leave the hospital and return home or go to a skilled nursing facility. For some patients it is a big improvement just to be able to sit on the edge of the bed. Whereas, with outpatient you would normally see the patient for at least 4-6 weeks, and therefore can have more long terms goals. I like this setting better because you have more of a chance of actually helping the patient progress from the beginning until hopefully resolution of symptoms. Part of the reason why I initially decided to go into physical therapy was because I like the idea of helping people through physical activity, and I think it would be more rewarding for me if I were able to see the patient progress throughout the whole treatment program rather than just get them ready to be sent home or to a rehabilitation facility. I enjoyed observing in both settings, and after observing for two and a half months, I have refined my career preferences and have a new insight into the profession.
~ Rosana Abeyta-Torres