March 31, 2021 at 10:39 am

Class of 2021 | Noah Powell Headed to Baylor College of Medicine

Noah Powell, portrait

Noah Powell

Noah Powell earns his B.S. in Biological Sciences – Cellular and Molecular Biology this spring. Then he’s headed to the Baylor College of Medicine’s cancer and cell biology program to get started on his Ph.D.

“Following my Ph.D., I will either remain in academia as a postdoctoral fellow or move into industry as part of a biotechnology company,” he says.

Q: What stands out in your mind as you think about graduating despite COVID?

A. How fast the four years went by. When I think back to my freshman or sophomore year, it does not seem like all that long ago, and I cannot believe I am already about to leave OHIO.

Q: Who were your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life? 

A. My favorite professor that I have had is Dr. Soichi Tanda. I took both his introductory biology course as well as his developmental biology course. One of the key things Dr. Tanda taught me was application. Applying the knowledge that you learn in the classroom is paramount for success and impact in the field, and Dr. Tanda engrained that aspect of biology in me during my first semester at OHIO. This was eventually one of the driving factors that lead me to get involved in research, which has now culminated in my own undergraduate thesis project.

Noah Powell in the lab

Noah Powell i

Additionally, I was an incredibly shy person my freshman year, and Dr. T was the first professor I was able to have conversations with and connect with on a personal basis. He helped me feel more comfortable and at home at OHIO. I am incredibly grateful to have met him so early on in my academic career.

Q: What was your ah-ha moment at OHIO—that point where you said to yourself, “I’ve got this!”?

A. Up until the second semester of my sophomore year, I was painfully shy and nervous about everything from getting to class on time to having conversations with people I did not know. However, during my sophomore year, I landed an RA position in Luchs Hall. During my time there, other staff members reached out and made me feel welcome. I gained confidence in my social abilities due to the interactions I had with residents and housing staff members. Now, I feel empowered in my ability to interact professionally with others in my field as well as casually with my peers once I graduate from OHIO.

Q:  What was the hardest hill you had to climb (not counting Jeff Hill) at OHIO? And how did you overcome challenges or obstacles in your path?

A: The most difficult challenge that I have faced is writing my senior honors thesis. Due to COVID, the labs closed down for a long period of time. During this time, I had hoped to progress on my planned experiments, but the closure made it impossible. Once I regained access to the lab, I ran into numerous road bumps in my planned experiments. I had to push through the setbacks and find alternative ways to achieve the same goal. This taught me to be flexible and adaptable in both the lab environment as well as in day-to-day life.

Q: What are your favorite OHIO memories?

A. My favorite OHIO memory is going to Strouds for hiking and kayaking. I have gone on numerous occasions, and it is always a fantastic way to unwind and have a bit of fun with friends. Hiking up at the Ridges is also one of my favorite activities, especially in the summer.

Q: What’s the one thing you would tell a new OHIO student not to miss? 

A. I would tell new students not to miss the little things. It is very common for new students to skip out on their freshman year convocation, involvement fair, class picture, homecoming football games, or even little events that their RAs put on. These opportunities are once in a lifetime. When you get to your last semester here, you are going to look back and wish you had participated in them.

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