Dr. Rosemary Ribera
Wayland a Place to Grow and Dream
CLASS OF 2011
When Dr. Rosemary Ribera first visited Wayland, she was unsure that the small school would be able to prepare her a future in dentistry. However, her fears quickly faded as she encountered the friendly environment and met with knowledgeable professors.
“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.”
While the cost of private education was a concern for her family, scholarships were provided by Wayland to make her dreams of higher education affordable. It turned out to be a wise investment for Ribera, who earned her Doctor of Dental Science degree in 2015 from the Baylor College of Dentistry—an achievement made possible by the lessons she learned at Wayland.
“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.”
As an undergraduate, Dr. Ribera excelled in the math and science research program where she worked on breast cancer research using native plants from the Texas panhandle. This challenge—an experience that weighed heavily in her dental school interviews and prepared her for great success in graduate classes—brought her closer to her career goals and inspired her to become a 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.”
Although Ribera was studying pre-dental courses, the unique faith-based education allowed her to blend a career with a passion for ministry. While at school, she participated in 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.
“I see God a lot in what I 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 that all started in that core foundation that I started to build at Wayland.”