She was all set to pursue her studies as a musician, arriving at ACU on a music scholarship and playing violin with the ACU orchestra. Her plans changed, however, after she injured her shoulder one Christmas break.
Emily could no longer play the violin. That meant she couldn’t be in the orchestra – or keep her music scholarship.
“When I got the news, I had three weeks to rethink my future,” she said. “I’m paying my way through school and I’m a driven person, so having no idea if I was going to be able to stay at school or what I was going to major in was really scary.”
Emily did find that way forward by taking a path you might not expect: the sciences. Emily’s parents attended ACU, and her mother was a chemistry major, passing along her passion for science to her daughter during homeschooling. Emily decided to follow in her footsteps and changed her major to chemistry that January.
Her love of science was solidified and developed through ACU’s Department of Chemistry, most recently in an eight-week summer research internship.
“I got to work with Dr. Cynthia Powell, where we did research on osmium, an inner transition metal, and it was amazing,” she said. The chemistry internship also had an element of legacy to it: her mother was a peer of Dr. Powell’s. “Working alongside professors my mother worked with when she was at ACU really makes me feel like I’m part of a family here,” she said.
The internship was just what Emily needed to imagine a new way forward.
“My experiences in the lab, making friends and doing research, helped me me refocus my life,” she said. “I was able to get grounded again in what I want to do – it gave me the motivation I needed to make a new way forward.”
During the challenging transition, the ACU community gave Emily the love and support she needed to make a change.
“My friends and professors have been really amazing to help me through this, praying with me and talking to me,” she said. “So many people had an impact on my life that, even if I was not able to stay, I would still cherish them and they still have shaped my character.”
Thanks to the support of generous donors like you, Emily has a bright future at ACU – in May, Emily received the Sandie and Wayne Propst Endowed Scholarship.
“I was really fearful of having to leave because of financial issues,” she said. “I am so grateful to the people who helped me stay at ACU and finish my degree.”
“This place changes lives, and it’s an amazing place to be. Thanks to the love and support of the ACU community, I’m going to make it.”