Meet Two CofC Honors Freshmen from the Class of 2023

Grace Powell, center, with her U.S. 18U futsal teammates.

Meet Grace Powell from Daniel Island, South Carolina. She spent her high school career doing the things most high school students do – studying, volunteering, playing sports and hanging out with her friends. But that’s only part of her story.

For the past three years, Powell has been playing futsal on the international level. Futsal is a hybrid of soccer that’s played indoors on a hard surface with a slightly smaller ball and only five people on a team. This summer, she was a member of the U.S. 18U futsal team. As the team’s goalkeeper for the past three summers, she has traveled around North and South America to compete.

In early August, she and the U.S. team played three matches in Argentina. Two summers ago, Powell represented the U.S. in a tournament played in Medellin, Colombia (the team finished 3-0), and during the summer of 2018, she traveled with the team to compete in a tournament held in Costa Rica.

At the College, Powell will be an Honors College student and plans to major in biology. She’ll also be playing on the women’s soccer team, which will require an important transition.

“I play goalie in futsal, but in soccer, I’m a forward, so I’ll have to make the adjustment,” she says.

Nonetheless, Powell says she’s excited to start practicing and playing with the team – and taking classes. “I can’t wait. I know it will be a good experience.”

Troy Brennan

Troy Brennan is from Allegany, New York, a small town in the western section of the state. Initially uncertain about going to college so far from home, Brennan says he made connections through the computer science department over the summer and that’s been a difference maker for him.

“I’m participating in the Paradigm Shift Global Hackathon (through the CofC Honors Hub) and so are a few other incoming students,” he says. “That has enabled us to get to know each other online, but it also connects you with professors and student mentors.”

At the College, Brennan intends to study Russian and cybersecurity. He says his long-term goal is to establish his own cybersecurity firm.

“In today’s age,” he says, “cyber attacks happen everywhere, from an invasion of a personal account to the breach of an entire company. I think it’s important that students have the ability to combat these types of attacks.”

Ultimately, Brennan aspires to be a citizen-scholar.

“People such as myself who have certain skills can teach others how to protect themselves, teach them to recognize a threat, and educate them regarding what to do about their online security so that they can protect their company or just their personal data,” he says. “And students with a liberal arts and sciences background who do this will have a real advantage. That’s where I see myself going.”

Story by Dan Dickison. For the full story, check out The College Today!
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