« Baseball 2018

Jordan Powell

School

University of Rhode Island

Position
Centerfield
Major
Environmental Science & Management

Classroom

An environmental science and management major, Jordan Powell is a dean’s list student with a 3.19 cumulative GPA. His passion for learning within the field has led him to pursue multiple opportunities outside of the classroom. In 2016, he took on a volunteer internship with the Nature Conservancy. In that role, he created and monitored oyster reefs to help improve biodiversity and increase the reproduction of oysters along the Rhode Island coastline. In 2017, he participated in a Science & Engineering research fellowship at URI, where he completed lab and field work while also attending career-building workshops. He also spent time working as an Invasive Species Greenhouse Attendant, growing multiple species from seed while conforming to USDA APHIS standards for quarantined specimens.

Character

Powell entered his junior year as one of the Atlantic 10’s top prospects for the 2017 MLB Draft. However, just one week into the team’s fall practices, he broke his hamate bone, which required surgery and ended his fall ball season. Despite being unable to play, the team co-captain still attended practices and helped out however he could, often serving as an umpire or base coach during intrasquad scrimmages. One month after surgery, in November of 2016, Jordan was hospitalized with an unrelated but extremely dangerous bacterial infection that nearly cost him his athletic career. He spent weeks in the hospital battling mono, pneumonia and the rare Lemierre’s syndrome, which, on its own, can be life-threatening. He underwent numerous antibiotic treatments, leaving his body weak and ravaged. Given the time he had missed both on the field and in the classroom, many would have opted to take a medical leave of absence from school and baseball, but he wouldn’t even entertain that thought. He completed school work and took exams from his hospital room, finishing papers while fighting off symptoms of the illness. In the face of adversity, he never backed down. He remained positive and motivated and was an inspiration to teammates and coaches. He finished the fall semester with a 3.30 GPA and, upon being released from the hospital, immediately began working to rebuild his strength and stamina. He went on to have his best season yet in 2017. Head Coach Raphael Cerrato had the following to say about Powell: “Jordan is one of the most respected student-athletes I have ever coached. He is not only a leader on the field but also in the classroom and the community. Jordan is going to be remembered as one of the most talented and productive players in program history, but he has meant so much more than that to the growth of our program.”

Community

Powell has made a major impact in both the URI and local communities. On campus, he serves as an academic tutor as well as the baseball team’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative. He also has been a Lambs-to-Rams student-athlete mentor, helping incoming freshmen adapt and adjust to the transition into college, and he is active with URI’s Bystander Intervention Program, which promotes the prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. He has strong connections with faculty and staff members across campus, many of whom visited him in the hospital or sent cards and kind words of encouragement during his healing process last fall.

Within the local community, Powell co-led a Malaclemys Terrapin Restoration Project in East Greenwich, R.I. He spent the summer between his junior and senior years researching diamondback terrapins, which are on the state of Rhode Island’s list of rare species due to their declining population. His job was to figure out why the terrapins were not producing many hatchlings. Through the surveying and monitoring of soil, vegetation and tidal elevation, his team designed and created cages to protect terrapin nests from predators. The project was deemed a success as they had 13 terrapin hatchlings make it back to the water.

Competition

Rhode Island’s starting centerfielder since his freshman year, Powell has been one of the Rams’ most consistent and clutch players over the last three seasons. He is a career .336 hitter who has committed just five errors in 158 career games. He is a two-time All-New England First Team selection as well as a two-time Atlantic 10 Second Team honoree. As a freshman, he collected Atlantic 10 All-Championship accolades. He also played a significant role in leading Rhode Island to the 2016 Atlantic 10 Championship, as well as the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament win a week later at No. 6 South Carolina.