Second year dental student at the VCU School of Dentistry.
Striving & Thriving at VCU asked Manny 50 questions about himself, his experience in dental school, and what he does during his free time.
50 questions with Manny
1) Do you drink coffee?
Yes, I love coffee.
2) Vintage or new?
3) What is your favorite color?
4) What is inspiring you in life right now?
5) What is your biggest regret?
I don't have any.
6) What book did you finish recently?
I finished the last Harry Potter book.
7) iPhone or Android?
8) Window or aisle seat?
9) What is your biggest strength?
10) What is a cause that is important to you?
Health disparities in rural areas.
11) Biology or chemistry?
12) Did you enjoy taking organic chemistry?
I surprisingly loved it.
13) What is the most adventurous thing you have done in your life?
I rode on a helicopter before.
14) What did you want to do with your life at age 12?
I wanted to become an artist.
15) What do you usually eat for breakfast?
16) What do you usually eat for dinner?
17) What is the cutest thing on planet earth?
18) What about dentistry are you most interested in?
I am interested in the health disparities aspect and also drawn to the aesthetics aspect. Improving someone's smile.
19) When you are on this campus, where do you prefer to study?
I prefer to study in the Perkinson Building.
20) Where do you prefer to study when you are at home?
I really like to study on my bed actually.
21) Who is someone in STEM that you look up to the most?
I look up to all my professors at school. I take the best aspect of each professor and incorporate it into my own approach.
22) What does it mean to you to be a student in STEM?
It means a lot to me because I really enjoy learning everything. I love all my classes.
23) What is your favorite food?
I really like hot chicken sandwich, fried chicken, and spicy chicken.
24) If you could work with one STEM pioneer who would it be?
There are too many to pick just one.
25) What advice would you give to incoming STEM students?
It is definitely not easy. You must have motivation and inspiration to succeed. With that drive you can do whatever you want.
26) How do you enjoy spending time with your friends?
I like to eat so usually we go out to dinner. Sometimes I cook dinner.
27) How many languages do you speak?
I speak two, Spanish and English.
28) What is one of your favorite stress relievers?
I really enjoy playing soccer. I go to the SCOR, the soccer complex in Richmond, and play there about once a week.
29) What does it mean to be in STEM?
Self-pride. I am proud of myself. Hopefully I can be an inspiration to others as well.
30) Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years hopefully I would have graduated and be either doing a residency or already working in private practice.
31) Do you think your past self from five years ago would look up to you now?
Absolutely. I do not think that five years ago I would have ever imagined being where I am now.
32) What is the longest you have gone without sleep and why?
The longest I think is a little over a day. I had to do shadowing, study for the DAT, and had final exams going on in undergrad. I had to many things to do with too little time.
33) What is your ultimate pet peeve?
I don't have one.
34) What is something you cannot go without?
I cannot go without my dogs. I love my dogs, a blue heeler and a pitbull.
35) Describe your personality using a sound.
An explosion noise because I am sporadic.
36) What is your favorite STEM course that you have taken?
I really enjoyed physics.
37) What has been one of your most memorable moments in your graduate school career?
I really enjoy learning about diseases, how they develop, and how they progress. I like understanding the physiology and mechanics of a disease.
38) What would you say to incoming STEM students from minoritized backgrounds?
Give it your all, you have made it this far. Keep on pushing because you can achieve anything.
39) Texting or Facetime?
40) Do you go to the gym?
I try to.
41) Favorite Disney movie?
42) What is a random fact you have learned?
Some people's teeth never develop. It's called hypodontia.
43) What is your favorite time of day?
44) What is your typical coffee shop order?
Black iced coffee.
45) Do you like surprises?
I love surprises.
46) What is your Zodiac sign?
47) What is your favorite place in Richmond?
I really like Belle Isle.
48) What do you do in the first 30 minutes of your day?
In the first 30 minutes I like to brush up on some readings while I drink some coffee.
49) What clubs and orgs where you involved in during undergrad and now as a dental student?
Right now I am a member of the Student National Dental Association and the Hispanic Student Dental Association. In undergrad I was in the pre-dental club.
50) What was your favorite VCU event that you attended and why?
We have an event in dental school called Thrive and it is for students of underrepresented backgrounds. Basically it is an orientation. We get to know each other and meet professors that are also from the same backgrounds as us.
"I come from Southwest Virginia and there is a shortage of dental care in that area. I experienced that first hand. So my mission is to go back home and help those that need help."