Catching up with Dany Perez, a year after her big surprise in the Ferrell Center
It’s been almost exactly a year since Baylor President Linda Livingstone surprised incoming freshman Dany Perez with a full-tuition scholarship on the court at a Baylor basketball game.
At that time, Perez was a senior at C.C. Winn High School in Eagle Pass, Texas, right on the U.S./Mexico border, with a GPA in the top 5% of her class and an SAT score that ranked among the top 10% nationwide. Today, she’s more than halfway through her freshman year at Baylor. What have the first six months at BU been like for this biochemistry major?
“My English professor asked us what was something that surprised us about being in college,” she says, “and I told him that professors are actually a lot nicer and more caring than high school teachers said they would be.
“All of my professors have been really great, but Professor [Brandon] Rickabaugh who taught Faith & Reason has been really amazing. It was a small course, so he really focused on making sure that we were growing spiritually and really learning all the subject matter so that we could get closer to God or we could get what we wanted out of the course. He would emphasize office hours so we could talk to him about whatever we needed, which was really great because I wanted to get into that class because I had questions.
“That was one of the top things that I really wanted to explore here at Baylor — how science and my faith could coincide and how, just because I believe in science, how faith could be incorporated into that. It was really amazing.
“One of the most influential parts of my semester was me joining AMWA (the American Medical Women’s Association). They have different committees that you apply to be in, and I applied to be in their service committee; I got accepted to that, so that was really great. I got to get some leadership experience where I was in charge of some service events. I got to do lots of community service at the Family Abuse Center and Pack of Hope. That was my favorite part and also the biggest part of my semester.
“My biology class was the toughest class that I had last semester, but I really liked my professor. She was strict in that she wanted to make sure that we were really prepared for the what we’re heading into — the pre-med field.
“I took the Principles of Health Professionals course last semester. I got to do an interview with one of the [teaching assistants] who was doing peer mentoring, and she told me about different clubs that I could join and different volunteering opportunities. It was really great because I did that at the very beginning of the year, then when I went to the first AMWA meeting I saw that she was actually president of the organization. It was great because I had already talked to her and knew her. She was really welcoming, and I was able to get close with a lot of the officers in the organization which has really helped because a lot of them are upperclassman and they’re all pre-med so it’s really nice.”
Sic ’em, Dany!