By Stephanie Sokol
Stephen Powell was recently awarded a $2,000 academic scholarship from engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi, for the 2014-15 school year. Powell studies mechanical engineering at Oakland University.
Contestants submitted essays, letters of recommendation, volunteer experience and class standing both in the engineering school and department, in order to be considered for the award.
“I was very excited to find out that I had been awarded the scholarship because Oakland had recently raised its tuition for upperclassmen, and I knew that I could use the extra financial aid,” Powell said. “Since I plan on attending graduate school, any kind of financial assistance in my undergraduate years is appreciated.”
Mechanical Engineering was something Powell became interested in back in high school, after discovering his passion for math and physics through advanced placement courses.
He is currently a senior, studying within the Honors College, and has industry experience from his work at General Motors and United States Steel.
“My favorite part of the mechanical engineering program is my interaction with the professors,” Powell said. “The small class sizes allow the professors to get to know you on a personal level. This makes attending office hours much more enjoyable and allows me to learn better.”
Powell got his start with TBP in October 2013.
Through the society, he has had the opportunity to help others, and meet more engineering students and professionals.
“I have very much enjoyed working with TBP for many reasons,” Powell said. “One reason is because they are very involved in volunteer work and giving back to the community. Many people may recognize us as the ones who host the bake sales at the entrance to Dodge Hall a few times every semester. We usually donate all funds we raise at the bake sales to Gleaners Food Bank.
“Overall, I enjoy doing volunteer work with my classmates and friends within the organization.”