Growing in Confidence
Rosemary Ribera visited Wayland unsure that the smaller school would be able to prepare her a future in dentistry. The Canyon native came to the campus with her mom at the suggestion of friends and the rest was WBU history.
“From the moment we stepped on campus, there was this peace that came over both of
us. From the students we met to professors, everyone seemed personable and accessible,”
recalls the 2011 graduate. “This seemed like a place where I could grow and pursue
my dream of becoming a dentist, which I have wanted to do since the fifth grade.”
Growing and learning
While the Riberas found the cost of private education somewhat of a concern, they
saw God provide scholarships at Wayland, provided by donors like you, to make the
journey affordable. It turned out to be a wise investment for Rosemary, who earned
her Doctor of Dental Science degree in 2015 from the Baylor College of Dentistry.
“I got involved in a lot of different organizations on campus and not only grew spiritually and academically but also in every single way, as a leader, as a person and as a student,” she says. “Each faculty member challenged me and pushed me to my potential. I’m very grateful for the education I got from them and that very personal touch.”
One of Rosemary’s key experiences involved the unique undergraduate research program in math and science. Her chemistry professor, Dr. Gary Gray, approached Rosemary with an offer to join an ongoing project involving breast cancer research on mice using native plants to the area, and she jumped at the chance to be part of a challenge that would also prepare her even further for her career and the role of lifelong learner.
“Research really built my confidence. They give you a lot of freedom to actually do the work on your own, even though you are under their wing. I loved that, and having that freedom made me build confidence in myself and in my skills and in my potential for learning and for growing and for the work,” she says. “It’s a great reward knowing I did this and did not have to be hand-fed every step of the way.”
That experience weighed heavily in her dental school interviews, but it also set her
up for great success once she got to those graduate classes. Rosemary also got to
shadow Plainview dentist and WBU graduate Dr. Gary Abercrombie, who encouraged her
and shared glimpses of the dental profession in action.
Another highlight of Rosemary’s Wayland experience was going on several mission trips, one of which allowed her to use her dental training and see how she could use her future profession in ministry, which was a lifelong dream as well. Donors make this possible for many students.
“I see God a lot in what do, not only in the people I see and the relationships I build but also in the physical part of dentistry and meeting people’s needs. He reveals himself to me in what I do and that’s a cool thing,” she says. “That all started in that core foundation that I started to build at Wayland.”