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Sac State, and here's why: Anthony Perez

Anthony Perez, a master's candidate in Chemistry who is from Modesto but considers Sacramento home, has excelled at Sac State, becoming one of the Chemistry Department's top students and helping with important research. (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)

For Anthony Perez, a community college student looking to further his chemistry studies, Sacramento State checked all of the important boxes.

It offered the curriculum he desired, smaller classes than other institutions he was considering, and professors who had reputations for caring for their students in and out of the classroom. Plus, it was in the city he considered home even though he spent his early years in Modesto.

"The environment here was something I really wanted," said Perez, a graduate student who for the past four years has conducted lab work under the supervision of Chemistry Professor Katherine McReynolds. "Everything I heard about Sac State was positive."

The University has not disappointed, he said.

Perez, a master's candidate, has excelled in his studies and flourished with the help of professors who have kept him focused and showed him grace and understanding when he found himself in the midst of a family crisis.

"I knew I had made the right choice when I got dire news in my family," said Perez, who considered dropping out, but pushed forward with support from faculty and staff.

"I was given the space and time to process and deal with things," he said. "That meant a lot to me."

Perez emerged as one of the Chemistry department's top students. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University in Spring 2020.

"The environment here was something I really wanted. Everything I heard about Sac State was positive." -- Anthony Perez

During his time at Sac State, he has been working with McReynolds and other students to study therapeutic agents that could be used to attack potential future pathogens.

In January, he brought home the prestigious Don Eden Graduate Research Award from the annual CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology.

Perez is considering pursuing a Ph.D. and envisions teaching science to community college students.

"My main focus is to be able to talk about science in a way that is accessible to everyone," said Perez, who has taken another step toward that goal through his work as a teaching assistant.

"Chemistry is hard and can be intimidating," he said. "I love seeing the light bulb go on for students who have been struggling."

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About Cynthia Hubert

Cynthia Hubert came to Sacramento State in November 2018 after an award-winning career writing for the Sacramento Bee. Cynthia believes everyone has a good story. She lives in East Sacramento with her two cats, who enjoy bird-watching from their perch next to the living-room window.

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