Florida Tech Scholar-Athlete Spotlight Recognizes Swimmer Camden Bell
By Jerry Durney, Florida Tech News Bureau // May 8, 2023
bell is majoring in Electrical Engineering
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther men’s swimmer Camden Bell, a sophomore who is majoring in Electrical Engineering.
Making the trip to Tech from Orlando, Bell’s top performance this past season saw him take fifth place in the 200 Fly in October’s meet against Lynn thanks to a time of 2:07.18.
Following his freshman season in 2021-22, Camden was named to the State Conference Commissioner’s and Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
As Camden’s second year at Tech comes to a close, we asked him what was it about the school that appealed so much to him and what he loves about being a part of Panther swimming.
■ What’s your major at Florida Tech and why did you choose this? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do?
So I’m an electrical engineer here and not always, but I would say probably around seventh or eighth grade, I had a science fair project and made basically you will surge board with just a few switches turned on different lights, different mountain lights, different positions, all that.
My dad helped me make it and ever since then, seeing all the little components, all the wires, light bulbs and everything, piqued my interest in electrical engineering.
I kind of dabbled a little bit in computer science and computer engineering and said no thanks to coding. I may be alright on it but no thanks to coding, (laughs) I lost an entire weekend on it, I’m good.
■ What was it about Florida Tech that made you want to be here?
Well, one, the facilities and everything looked a lot better than the other colleges that I had been touring. A lot more geared towards science, STEM in general.
Also, the fact of you’ve got a few more options here with the Space Coast and everything, working with potential rocket scientists, for lack of a better term. But yeah, just a few more options here, better academics, the swim team is also good here, and just about everything I’ve wanted here.
■ How do you plan to use your degree after graduation?
The ideal scenario is to somehow get an internship at Lockheed Martin and get a job there. If not, just explore my options, try to stay around here in Florida because there are a good amount of options here for electrical engineering and all that. But the ideal would be to try and get into Lockheed.
■ What are some of the exciting projects that you’ve been able to work on in classes here?
Oh boy, freshman year was the first one that I can remember. It was basically Simon Says with an Arduino, which is a little computer chip thing. Basically, coding with it combined with also wires and all that.
I worked with my roommate George, had a blast there, and spent an entire night working on it, but it was one of the best nights I’ve had.
A lot of coding assignments in the beginning which I thought I was gonna get away from that but oh well, I’ve done this type of stuff before, didn’t have too much of a problem with that.
Recently in the lab, I’ve been working on different waveforms for power supplies and all that and circuit theory 2 right now.
■ Swimming season usually spans nearly five months with plenty of road trips and practices in between, how do you keep everything balanced once the season starts?
First things first is that you’re going to have earlier mornings than usual, which means you’re going to be a little bit more tired. It’s just kind of something you have to push through but you have in the about anywhere from two and a half hours to an hour and a half that’s taken away.
So, when it comes to balancing that with school, you’re just gonna have to realize that ‘hey, maybe I should get ahead on some work,’ so that way, if something pops up, and we’re on a swim meet that’s taking the weekend, I have a little bit of a buffer and to be like ‘alright, now I can catch back up’ without taking your full week to catch back up.
■ How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and what do you take from the pool that you apply to your studies?
Time management is the biggest one. I mean, having to constantly juggle with school and swimming and managing your time there, accepting that you’re gonna have to sacrifice some free time in order to get everything that you need to do.
That’s probably the biggest one that I can think of right now.
■ What advice would you give to an athlete coming to Florida Tech that has an interest in Electrical Engineering?
Definitely look a little bit into coding because I had to teach my roommate George, the same one that helped me with my project, a little bit of how to code because he had never coded before. It’s basically learning a new language like Spanish or something, so much goes into coding.
So, if you’re interested in that, you definitely want to learn how to code just a little bit, even if it’s a very basic course in Pipeline or something. On top of that, being able to stay determined and to keep working because sometimes, homework and things like that will take a lot longer than you were expecting it to, but you just have to push through.
■ What was your favorite memory of this past season?
The one that stands out is definitely [the Sunshine State] Conference [Championships]. Conference is the most fun time, just going on a massive road trip and hanging out with everyone without any school to really worry about as long as you get everything done on time.
But to just go there, swim, put everything that you’ve done into the season into a few fun races, cheer on the relays, cheer on other people’s individual events, it’s all a blast, we typically lose our voice by the second day!
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS