Priya DeBerry ’17 discovered community and opportunity at Brandeis

Scientist. Italian speaker. Musician. Priya DeBerry '17 engages with the world.

priya deberryPhoto/Mike Lovett

Priya DeBerry

Priya DeBerry ’17 graduates from Brandeis this May and looks back at her collegiate experience fondly. DeBerry, a Brooklyn, New York native who majored in Biology and Health: Science, Society and Policy, found Brandeis to be a welcoming place that afforded her an exciting and eclectic mix of opportunities both in and out of the classroom.

While studying the sciences, DeBerry maintained her mastery of the violin via Brandeis’ performing arts programs and also managed to learn Italian, which enabled her to study abroad in Siena.

BrandeisNOW caught up with DeBerry to learn more about her four years on campus:

BrandeisNOW: Why was Brandeis the right fit for you?

DeBerry: There were actually a lot of moments when I knew this was the right fit. When I visited Brandeis during the weekend of Springfest, I found the atmosphere to be amazing. Everyone here is so super friendly. Even though I didn’t know a lot of people, it still felt welcoming. There were so many activities and all the students were together, happy, collaborating and enjoying the sun. I knew that I wanted to be here and that this was the place for me.

BNOW: How has Brandeis empowered you?

DeBerry: It’s given me flexibility across different academic and social opportunities. I am a student in the sciences and in the public health field, but I am a musician as well. Brandeis allowed me to do both. The science programs here are amazing, but I was also free and encouraged to engage with music through my violin.

BNOW: Who has been your biggest mentor?

DeBerry: Definitely my Italian professor, Paola Servino. I love Italian, though originally I wanted to take French. I decided to take Italian because my friends said it was an amazing language and that Professor Servino was incredible. In her classes she always says all you need is “super energia!” She encouraged me to study abroad in Siena, and she has always been there when I’ve needed a push. She has a force, but it’s a loving one.

BNOW: How do you describe Brandeis to your friends and family back home?

DeBerry: It’s an amazing place. Very different, very diverse. It’s filled with different cultures, attitudes, foods and personalities. You never know what you’ll find because everyday is a new day. You meet new people and gain new experiences each day. It’s definitely a fun and interesting place.

Categories: Arts, General, Student Life

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