April 11, 2014
Samantha Perez chose to attend Millsaps because of opportunities for success both on and off the basketball court.
“As soon as I visited, I knew that this was the right place for me to grow as a person,” said Perez, a junior from Miami, Fla. “Millsaps has allowed me to reach my full potential doing the things I love and am passionate about.”
Basketball is one of her favorite sports, and rightly so. Perez is captain and point guard of the Millsaps College women’s basketball team, a team that went to the conference championship two years in a row and won the regular season conference title during her sophomore season. During the most recent season, she led the team in minutes, steals and assists and was second in scoring.
Perez was named the all-conference second team and was second in the nation in assist/turnover ratio. In February, she was also a member of the Division 3 Hoops national team of the week.
While basketball means hours of practice and games, Perez also finds time to volunteer in the community and fit in work-study jobs on and off campus.
She serves as a resident assistant in Becky Bacot Hall, home to students involved in community engagement as part of the Wellspring Living and Learning Community. Next year, she will be a resident hall director of Sanderson Hall.
Perez also works as an intramurals supervisor and assists the Millsaps sports information director by taking photos and videos ad keeping up with statistics at athletic events. “These jobs have allowed me to make money and still be around something I love, sports,” she said.
She spends time at a nearby children’s home as part of a work-study job. “Working with the children for the past three years has truly opened my eyes and shown me how many opportunities I have been blessed with in life, and I no longer take any opportunity for granted,” she said.
A member of the 1 Campus, 1 Community leadership team that volunteers with a variety of various projects in the Jackson community, Perez also belongs to Psi Chi psychology honorary, Alpha Epsilon Delta pre-health honorary, Phi Eta honorary for freshmen, Sigma Delta Pi Spanish honorary and Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honorary.
A psychology major who plans to earn minor in biology and Spanish, Perez studied abroad last summer as part of the Psychology of Fear and Terrorism course taught by Dr. Kurt Thaw, associate professor of psychology at Millsaps. A grant from the Judy and E.B. Robinson Jr. International Fellows Program assisted with her expenses.
“It was my first time out of the country, and I was able to travel to London, Paris, Munich, and Rome,” she said. “It was an unforgettable experience that would not have been possible without the Robinson’s generosity.”
Perez, who plans to attend physical therapy school after graduation, currently has an internship at the Mississippi Sports Medicine Clinic. “I would like to attend the US Army physical therapy program at Baylor University and then continue with a career path in the army as a licensed physical therapist,” she said.
In every activity at Millsaps, Perez said she has felt a strong sense of community.
“Support goes beyond the classroom at Millsaps,” she said. “There are not many institutions where the college president and his wife will invite you over for dinner or the dean will personally email you congratulating you on all your hard work and achievements. Little things like that make Millsaps unique and the experience worthwhile.”