For junior Samantha Powers of the Webster University softball team, the diamond is a chance to get away from some of the stress she experiences in the classroom.
Powers, a biology major, was awarded a Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship — one of only 15 in the nation — from the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) on March 15. Powers said earning this fellowship was “super important” to her.
“It wasn’t something that I expected to get,” Powers said. “It was kind of one of those things just to get experience putting in a research proposal. When I ended up getting it, I was super excited.”
Powers has a 3.85 GPA. She will work in the plant lab at Washington University in St. Louis during the summer for the fellowship. One of her main areas of study will be seeing how auxin hormones move throughout the plant.
Powers, a right-handed pitcher, ended 2013 with a 3.96 ERA in 53 innings for the Gorloks. Halfway through the season, she became the Gorloks’ No. 2 starter after freshman Rachel Franck suffered a stress fracture in her right arm. Even with the challenge of opposing batters during games, Powers also challenges herself in the labs and classrooms. She said two of the most difficult classes she’s taken so far at Webster were physics and organic chemistry.
“I think a lot of it comes down to time management,” Powers said. “You’ve just got to know what you’ve got to get done and just do it.”
Powers said she wants to work in a laboratory setting for a career researching either plants or cancer.
Runner-up: Trisha Thompson, softball
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