Exploring Science Technology Engineering and Math

People » Courtney Powell


My name is Courtney Powell, and I’m a senior Chemistry (Biochemistry Track) major at the University of Central Florida. In 2012, I graduated from Liberty Christian Academy in Virginia. My favorite class I’ve taken at UCF was Molecular Biology 1. I enjoyed the course and was very interested in the material. Studying the intricate molecular processes led me to pursue graduate school and helped narrow down my research interests. Some of my favorite professors include Dr. Heider, Dr. Miles, and Dr. Kolpashchikov all from the Chemistry Department. They are all exceptional lecturers and are committed to helping students succeed. During my first semester at UCF, I took Dr. Heider’s Chemistry 1 course. It quickly became my favorite class, and I looked forward to the lessons, especially the occasional hands-on mini labs. Shortly after completing the course, I changed my major to chemistry. The following year, I had Dr. Miles for Organic Chemistry 1 and 2. Most students dread these courses, but Dr. Miles did a great job teaching the difficult material and encouraging every single one of his students. I have been a part of Dr. Kolpashchikov’s lab group for the past two years, and I have learned a great deal while working for him and taking his biochemistry course. I decided to get involved with STEM Ambassadors, so I could give back to my community while promoting my field and gaining teaching experience. I’m hoping to encourage local kids of all backgrounds to pursue a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics by creative, engaging demonstrations on STEM concepts. I would encourage STEM students at UCF to not be discouraged by difficult courses and remind them that their hard work will be rewarded with a degree in a field full of opportunities. In my free time I enjoy going to the beach, hanging out with friends, being active, and traveling.