Cameron Braz ’17 found a family at Brandeis
While Cameron Braz '17 was a little late in finding Brandeis, he says he's found a community that's embraced him and all his aspirations.
The Monson, Massachusetts native transferred to Brandeis during the summer of his freshman and sophomore years in search of more interdisciplinary opportunities in neuroscience.
Since arriving in Waltham, Braz has taken on a neuroscience and philosophy double-major while competing with the Brandeis Judges Swimming and Diving team and serving as a senior interviewer for the Office of Admissions.
"I always said that I would have most definitely applied to Brandeis in the first place if I had found it during my original college search," said Braz. "I fell right into Brandeis and took to the community really quickly. It felt as though I belonged more in a social niche here."
Braz, who competes in the 50m, 100m, 200m and 500m freestyle events in swimming, said the Judges and their coach – Michael Kotch – played a huge role in bringing him to Brandeis in the first place.
"I was looking for a positive team environment and I found a lot of online materials on athletics here, so I contacted coach," Braz said. "But he also had the team contact me, and I started talking with a lot of them over Facebook messenger even before I came to campus for the first time."
When Braz finally arrived, the Judges were eager to help him outside the pool as well. Though adjusting to a new course load was challenging, Braz's teammates would offer their help on schoolwork – everything from checking for correct grammar in his papers to tutoring him on science assignments.
As a senior student-athlete, Braz is looking forward to competing with Judges during the winter sports season, and is firmly on the premed track.
In fact, he's in the thick of applying for medical school and well en route to achieving his lifelong dream of practicing medicine. Much of what Braz has accomplished since transferring to Brandeis has been due to his mentors, peers, teammates and coaches – or as he calls them: family.
"I become close to people I'm around all the time," Braz said. "They are my family. And family, for me, is something that doesn't have to be blood. It can be a tight, emotional bond. So I have a lot of family here at Brandeis."