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Neida Janet Perez becomes third James and Elizabeth Whatley Scholar

Neida Perez

By: Dr. Andrew Yox, Honors Director

In her first year at NTCC, Neida Perez became a standout among standouts.  As a top-ranked Presidential Scholar, she has earned this fall one of the two most lucrative foundation scholarships granted through the college’s honors program. She will be the college’s James and Elizabeth Whatley Scholar for 2023-24.

This scholarship came into being as part of a record-breaking 1.7 million-dollar gift to Northeast Texas Community College in 2007 by the Whatley family.

“What I have found very singular about Perez,” notes Honors Professor, Dr. Andrew Yox, “is her steadfast adherence to creative conceptualization.  Her willingness to gain a handle on a 200-year war between Texas and pathogens, led to a second-in-the-state, $300 Caldwell Essay Award in the upper division.  Perez won the single most significant Caldwell Award in our college’s history in the sense that it was a solid intervarsity victory, against university juniors and seniors (details here).”

She had a number of other extraordinary attainments in her 2022-2023 year at NTCC.

Perez was the winner of two $100 Eckman Awards, having the highest seminar average in both of the two, learning communities of Honors Northeast for first-year students. She was the winner of the $200, 2023 Dr. Charles Florio Award for academic leadership.  She was the only student at NTCC last year, and perhaps in the college’s history, to make nationals in two different fields.  This November, Perez will present her work on the Texas struggle with microbes in Chicago at the meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council.  She also qualified to present work in Orlando through TAFE, the Texas Association of Future Educators, designing a poster involving the teaching of the circulation system.

Perez is looking forward to her second year at NTCC. She will serve as vice president of Psi Beta, NTCC’s chapter of the national collegiate association of psychology, and will be NTCC’s candidate for student representative of the Great Plains Honors Council.  She aspires to be a dentist. She took two General Chemistry courses at NTCC this past summer, and is looking forward to courses in Organic Chemistry with Dr. Murphy in 2023-24.

Neida is the daughter of Luciano and Ana Perez.  The family resides on the Camp County border with Titus, and Perez was a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School.


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