Welcome to the Powell Scholars Program!
Powell Scholars are recipients of the university’s premier academic scholarship. We seek high achieving students from across all majors who demonstrate leadership potential, pursue creative endeavors and innovative research, and become game-changers in their communities both locally and globally. Powell Scholars are one-of-a-kind students, and it is a privilege to share in their personal and intellectual growth.
More than just a scholarship, the Powell Scholars program is a ticket to life-altering experiences. In order to support their research and creative pursuits, Powell Scholars have access to funds for projects as well as for study abroad. Cultural enrichment is another central feature of the program. Our students not only participate in field trips to world-class arts experiences — they also bring high profile speakers, artists, scholars, and entrepreneurs to Pacific. Powell Scholars enjoy a dedicated study lounge, seminar room, and brainstorming space in Callison Hall, an ideal setting for exchanging ideas, engaging in collaboration, and refining individual and group projects.
In their freshman year, Powell Scholars take a seminar that explores leadership paradigms and features invited guests who have played significant roles in their respective fields. In order for Powell Scholars to receive funding for original research and creative work, they must enroll in the Powell Project Proposal Seminar, which guides them through the process of developing a compelling project idea while fostering close mentoring relationships with faculty members in their discipline. Our students have earned prestigious graduate and postgraduate fellowships, including the Fulbright, the Goldwater, and the Boren Award, as well as the Middlebury Critical Language Fellowship in Arabic. They have also been initiated into the nation’s leading national honors societies, including Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. Powell Scholars have gone on to distinguish themselves in top graduate and professional schools as well as in industry.
My college experience was incredible. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I undertook a rigorous course of study in their honors program, graduating Summa Cum Laud, Phi Beta Kappa, and with highest honors in English, while minoring in Anthropology and Art History. I also had the great fortune of playing soccer on four Division One NCAA championship teams with legends Mia Hamm and Kristine Lily. (I was even lucky enough to score the final goal in the 1990 National Championship against UCONN — I had my five seconds of fame on ESPN2!)
I have been teaching Shakespeare, Sports Literature, Revenge Tragedy, Ethics, Film Studies, and Gender Studies at the University of the Pacific since 1998. I’ve also held a variety of leadership positions over the past twenty years, including Director of the Pacific Humanities Center, Founder and Director of the Pacific Humanities Scholars Program, Chair of the Academic Council—Pacific’s faculty senate—and Co-founder and Interim Director of Media X, the University’s exciting new program that combines the study, performance, and production of media (from theater to VR) with entrepreneurialism and data science. In 2016, I was fortunate to receive the Distinguished Faculty Award. The highest honor that a faculty member can earn at Pacific, this award recognizes outstanding teaching, research, and service to the University and its local and global communities.
Pacific is special to me not only because of our exceptional students but also because this is the place where I met my husband, Jim Hetrick (Physics/Data Science). We were married in the Morris Chapel on campus and we have two children who have grown up as Tiger fans. The final member of our family is Lulu, a super-sized but playful German Shepherd who likes to herd humans.
Something most people might not be aware of is that the greater Stockton community is home to beautiful wildlife reserves in the San Joaquin Delta, where boaters can travel all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf in the San Francisco Bay. Our city is extremely diverse, with no fewer than 97 languages spoken. And although my husband and I are east coast natives, we love Northern California’s remarkable natural beauty and rich human geography. Stockton is one of the friendliest places I’ve ever known and, like the University, it is a warm and welcoming community that has become a second home for me, just as the Powell Scholars program is for our students.
For further inquiries and questions, please feel free to contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at (209) 946-2609.
Courtney Lehmann, Ph.D.
Director, Powell Scholars Program
Tully Knoles Professor of the Humanities
Profesor of English
University of the Pacific
Stockton, CA 95211