Four of Dyson’s Class of 2021 graduates have plenty to say
about their Pace Paths, journeys to graduation,
and bright futures ahead!

 

 
Joana Krause Massaguer
BS in Biochemistry
Hometown: Premia de Mar, Barcelona, Spain
“Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone! Failure is essential to learn and grow.”

Learn about Joana's plans for after graduation ▼

Who was your inspiration throughout your academic career at Pace?

“My parents, because they have taught me that success looks different for everyone and have always encouraged me to follow my passions and dreams. My teammates on Pace’s women’s swimming and diving team, because I have seen them work extremely hard every day, both in the classroom and in the pool, and that is very inspiring. And the many powerful women in STEM who inspire little girls to become scientists. ”

What on- or off-campus activities were you involved with as a student?

“I was part of the women’s swimming and diving team, serving as team captain my senior year. I also worked as a peer tutor at the tutoring center, and I was a mentor for incoming international students. ”

What are you most proud of about your journey at Pace? What challenges did you face and overcome?

“I have learned to go out there and look for opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to me. I am proud of how more confident I am in myself today compared to when I started college. I went from barely speaking English my freshmen year, to defending my honors thesis on how DKK1 inhibition increases neuromas size in the zebrafish lateral line, my senior year. ”

What are your aspirations for the future/what is next for you?

“In July, I started working as a research associate in the Roussos Lab, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Our work focuses on understanding the genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and bipolar disorder. I would like to pursue a PhD and expand my scientific knowledge. ”

What advice do you have for current students?

“Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone! Failure is essential to learn and grow.”

 

 

 
Gregory Rivera
BA in Political Science, Master of Public Administration
Hometown: Yorktown Heights
“Never give up and remember that you can almost certainly push yourself further than you thought possible.”

Learn about Gregory's plans for after graduation ▼

Who was your inspiration throughout your academic career?

“The motivating and encouraging Pace University professors and staff were my greatest inspiration for my academic career. I was extremely fortunate in both my undergraduate and graduate years to have had great mentors who believed in me, even when I doubted myself. Interim Director of the Center for Community Action and Research (CCAR) Heather Novak's mentorship had the greatest impact in my decision to pursue an MPA. She introduced me to the Westchester Children's Association, where I completed my capstone research project. I strongly believe in giving back and serving my community, traits which are embodied by numerous professors and faculty guidance.”

What on- or off-campus activities were you involved with as a student?

“I was involved with the Urban Male Initiative, which as a group, had powerful and thought-provoking conversations, and shared collaborative ideas on how young men of color can better themselves and learn career and life concepts. I also participated in CCAR events, including the mobile food drive program andI volunteered with the Pace Food Drive preparing and distributing meals to Pace students and faculty. Lastly, I participated in Pace Makes a Difference Day and worked as a student aid for Pace’s Document Services under the supervision of its director, Winston Vera, who was a great mentor. ”

What are you most proud of about your journey at Pace? What challenges did you face and overcome?

“My most meaningful takeaway is to never give up, and to remember that you can almost certainly push yourself further than you thought possible. I am proud of completing my MPA, considering I had not planned on pursuing a graduate degree. It is because of Pace faculty who believed in me, along with the unwavering support from fellow classmates and faculty, that I was able to complete the program with such success. Remote learning presented unique challenges, and my final semester at Pace was undoubtedly my most demanding. I was tackling multiple courses, while simultaneously working on my master’s thesis research paper, which I completed, thanks to the guidance and support of my excellent advisor, Professor Gina Scutelnicu.”

What are your aspirations for the future/what is next for you?

“I hope to work in government either for an elected official or on the bureaucratic civil service side. I completed my MPA (government track) and it is my intention to work in a capacity that allows me to serve constituents and be a part of helping communities to grow and thrive.”

What advice do you have for current students?

“I advise current students to work hard, not be afraid to take risks, and develop relationships with other students, faculty, and staff on both an academic and personal level. I would tell them to take advantage of everything Pace offers, such as conferences, workshops, and programs that have guest speakers, get involved in school activities, do as many internships as possible, and never be afraid to ask for help. ”

 

 

 
Stephanie Nazario
BS in Public Relations
Hometown: The Bronx
“Don't be afraid to take risks. You got this!”

Learn about Stephanie's plans for after graduation ▼

Who was your inspiration throughout your academic career?

“My family is my motivation and inspiration in any and everything I do. They push me to do more of what I love, and they encourage me to be the best me I can be. ”

What on- or off-campus activities were you involved with as a student?

“From working as an orientation leader, all the way to becoming the executive vice president of Student Government on campus, I was very involved. I loved being a part of change on campus. I mentored students as a peer leader and encouraged many to become orientation leaders, tour guides, and student ambassadors. As the diversity ambassador, I believe I impacted students by implementing changes and helping them find the right resources. I worked on the ten-year anniversary of Danroy "DJ" Henry's memorial. We in student government wanted to keep his story and legacy alive. By walking from the football field to the memorial clock, and allowing participants to express how DJ's story has impacted them, students came to understand his importance. It created a conversation and I believe the biggest changes start with a conversation. ”

What are you most proud of about your journey at Pace? What challenges did you face and overcome?

“The most meaningful takeaway was learning how to grow as a person. Interim Dean for Students Rachel Carpenter once told me "in order to grow, you must be comfortable with getting uncomfortable," and this stuck with me throughout all four years. It helped me in my leadership positions that often became challenging while balancing academics, social life, and leadership responsibilities. At one point in my sophomore year, I got so comfortable with being comfortable that I felt there was no growth for me. My goals started feeling out of reach, but I remembered what Dean Carpenter said and started participating in activities I didn't normally participate in; for example, going to different club meetings or even something as simple as eating by myself. This was crucial to becoming who I am today. ”

What are your aspirations for the future/what is next for you?

“My aspiration has always been to be happy in what I do. I hope to become a publicist by the end of my career. What's next is to build a foundation to do this. ”

What advice do you have for current students?

“Don't be afraid to take risks. Risks help you learn who you are and what you are capable of. Reach for the stars but always aim for the moon. You got this! ”

 

 

 
Amberlynn Foote
BS in Biology
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida
“Follow your passion and do what makes you happy!”

Learn about Amberlynn's plans for after graduation ▼

Who was your inspiration throughout your academic career?

“My inspiration was undoubtedly my mom. She has numerous health issues, and throughout my college career, she overcame two separate battles with cancer and was diagnosed with several autoimmune diseases. Despite everything, she remained brave and exuded strength in the face of adversity, and did it with a smile on her face. Although her health issues persist today, she continues to inspire me to become the greatest physician that I can be so that I can care for her one day as my patient.”

What on- or off-campus activities were you involved with as a student?

“On campus, I was a resident assistant, a campus tour guide, the president of the National Biological Honor Society (Tri Beta), and a member of Kappa Delta sorority. Through Tri Beta, I worked with pediatric patients at nearby hospitals in Manhattan and built health packs that were distributed to impoverished communities across New York City. Through Kappa Delta, I worked with the Girl Scouts, Prevent Child Abuse America, and its local chapter, The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. ”

What are you most proud of about your journey at Pace? What challenges did you face and overcome?

“I take the most pride in my ability to persevere like my mom and remain triumphant academically despite a bumpy road throughout my undergraduate career. It was extremely tough coping with everything that my mom was going through, from so far away in Florida, while still trying to maintain good grades and be involved in extracurricular activities. I also maintained five jobs throughout my college career, as my mom’s medical bills were astronomical. I wanted to relieve my financial burden from my family’s shoulders and put earnings toward my medical school applications. I am grateful for all the opportunities that I had and the success that I achieved. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Pforzheimer Honors College and won an award for my thesis on breast implant illness. ”

What are your aspirations for the future/what is next for you?

“I am incredibly excited to begin medical school at St. George’s University this August. I have had the honor of working alongside my mentor, Dr. Sergio Zamora MD FACS, at his private plastic and reconstructive surgery practice over the last five years. My dream is to join him in practice as a reconstructive plastic surgeon, and I would like to evolve my non-profit organization into a source of funding for pro-bono surgeries. ”

What advice do you have for current students?

“My biggest piece of advice to current students is to follow your passion and do what makes you happy. My mentor always says, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” and that is the absolute truth. If you aren’t exactly sure what your passion is yet, that is totally okay. Take different courses, join different organizations, and explore opportunities off campus in a wide variety of fields and disciplines until you find what speaks to you. Also, make sure you are enjoying yourself and doing what is best for you during this process, because college is such a transformative time in your life! ”