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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

Powell Group Projects

Powell Scholar group projects are a large undertaking, always requiring the involvement of multiple Powell Scholars across various majors. Any project the Powell Scholars Program adopts is chosen because it highlights a combination of the Nine Dimensions of a Powell Scholar.


From 2014 through 2016, the Powell Scholars undertook a project to design an intensive microgreen growing system for clients at the Calaveras Food Bank and Toyon Middle School. This project was chosen based on the shared interests and combined talents of Powell Scholars, as well as the desire to help a community damaged by forest fires.

Verdevis Design Team Planning

Several students volunteered to form the initial project team: Nasser Saleh (Mechanical Engineering), Brandon Lindner (Music Education), Courtney Bahn (Computer Engineering), and John Livingstone (Business Administration). Working with both the food bank and school system in San Andreas, the team was able to refine the design to better suit the needs of the community. Nearly every Powell Scholar contributed to the project in some way: designing the invention itself, co-authoring the book that accompanies the growing system, presenting it to the food bank and middle school, or developing the website - Pacific's Newsroom ran an article on the system, and the Pacific Review had a short feature in their Summer 2016 issue.

Unveiling the System at Toyon Middle School

In order to assist the San Andreas school system in using the system, the Powell Scholars authored a book, which is available for purchase on Amazon or can be downloaded on the Verdevis website. Students also presented the system to University administrators at a presidential luncheon. The project culminated in the unveiling of the system at Toyon Middle School.

Presidential Luncheon Unveiling

Assembled System

Dimen, China

From 2012 to 2014, the Powell Scholars Program taught English as a second language to elementary school children in the small village of Dimen, China. Inspired by Pacific Professor Marie Lee's work in this rural area, Powell Scholars collaborated with the program director, Dr. Cynthia Wagner Weick, to develop a five-phase plan for success.

The Village of Dimen in Guizhou Province, China

In the first year of the project Powell Scholars conducted a feasibility study. Three Scholars, Samuel Costigan (Mechanical Engineering), Lindsey Cunningham (Education, Mathematics), and Shelly Zeiser (Music Therapy), traveled to the village with the program director, Dr. Cynthia Wagner Weick, and her husband, Dr. Brian Weick.

Group and Music Teacher

Saturday Meeting

Learning How to Juggle

Learning from Songmaster Woo
Scholars Teaching Numbers

The second year of the project focused on curriculum development followed by implementation in the summer. This year more Scholars participated in the project, with five members traveling to Dimen: Sarah Wong (Pre-Dentistry), Shelly Zeiser (Music Therapy), Samuel Costigan (Mechanical Engineering), Michael Feliz (Computer Engineering), and Madelaine Matej (Music Performance: Voice).

Vocabulary Lessons

Number Relay Races
Regent Dr. Dianne Philibosian Teaching Colors

The third and final year was dedicated to continuing the curriculum and gathering data on program effectiveness, which resulted in an article published in Honors in Practice. A member of the Board of Regents, Dr. Dianne L. Philibosian, also traveled to Dimen this final year along with Dr. Cynthia Wagner Weick and six Scholars: Colleen Motoyasu (Bioengineering), Jennifer Iverson (Diversified Education), Katie Teague (Environmental Science), Jackson Campbell (Biological Sciences), Allison Kobayashi (Athletic Training, Exercise and Sport Science) and Lindsey Cunningham (Education, Mathematics).

Colleen Motoyasu Teaches Two Dong Girls

Group Awarding Certificates

Jackson Campbell Teaches Flash Cards

Group at Dance Recital