Student Spotlight: Marialejandra Perez
Hi everyone! My name is Marialejandra Perez and I am currently a junior in the Bachelor of Health Science program. I recently transferred in the summer from my hometown Miami, FL, where I earned my pre-nursing AA at Miami-Dade College. In December of 2016 I decided to apply to the College of Public Health and Health Professions. As a recent transfer student, it has taken me time to adjust to the pace of such a big university like Florida. Throughout my Transfer Preview process, I met great people who shared a common interest with me. Those people, along with others I met in my program introduced me to the “Swamp” and helped me adjust to the gator atmosphere here at UF. One of the ways I have met a great group of friends has been through sharing my passion of dance and health. I began dancing at 3 years old when my pediatrician diagnosed me with ‘Metatarsus Varus’. This is also known as “pigeon feet” which is a syndrome that enables an infant’s feet to face inwards. In my case, this syndrome became reversible when I began to dance. Little did I know, that dance would become a big part of me. Later on in my dance career, I grew a greater interest in health and how dancing can promote a healthy lifestyle. After I graduated high school, I grew a deeper passion in teaching dance. I became a local dance teacher in my hometown for 3 years. I learned to work with children and how to promote a healthy daily activity through dance. In the fall, I joined Danza Dance company which is a student-run dance company at UF. As a Danza member, I performed in the annual homecoming parade and along with my teammates created our semesterly Danza showcase which is free to the public. Danza has been a great way for me to rekindle with friends from the past as well as meet new ones. Thankfully at UF, I am able to partake in both dance and health at the same time. As a future health care professional, I am dedicated to embody a health care system that focuses on children and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
My current track is Health Science with a minor in public health. Over this winter break, I was able to participate in a clinical observation back in Miami. I was granted the opportunity to experience Gastroenterology. I shadowed a well-known gastroenterologist name Dr. Jose Ferrer Sr. M.D., GI, and his son Dr. Jose Ferrer Jr. M.D., GI. During my experience, I was able to observe their daily practice of endoscopies and colonoscopies as well as their daily interactions with patients and their fellow health coworkers. I also learned and observed from the rotating RN’s and CRNA’s. This was by far, an enhancing and informative experience that I hope to encounter again one day. Luckily, I have been granted another amazing experience. This summer I will be shadowing a prominent OB/GYN at Weill Cornell Medicine in NYC. I am thrilled to learn more about the delivery room and the ins and outs of newborn patient-care at Weill Cornell Medicine. My career goal is to one day be a nurse. I believe that these opportunities have and will grant me a stronger desire to continue in the health field and potentially allow me to become a motivated and dedicated professional.
After my summer experience, I will apply to the Nursing College at UF where I hope to receive acceptance for the Accelerate Bachelors in Nursing. I hope to stay at UF for my second Bachelor’s degree. I look forward to meeting new people and encountering new experiences throughout my time at UF. Thus far, I have loved all the courses of the BHS program, as well as the dedicated and passionate faculty and staff that only push us to our fullest potential. I would like to thank my family and friends, for always reminding me that the sky is the limit. I certainly would not be at UF, if it weren’t for their constant guidance and motivation. I wish I could be a student forever, but I honestly can’t wait to educate, motivate, and provide patient-centered care throughout my professional career as a health care provider. I like to thank my previous institution and furthermore UF for paving the road to my future. Needless to say, UF is my home away from home. As always, GO GATORS!