From Puerto Rico to Pace, Cristina Rosario Pérez ’23 has overcome incredible odds in the wake of Hurricane Maria. She’s a passionate student-athlete with an interest in marketing, and she doesn’t let anything stand in the way of her goals.
Cristina Rosario Pérez ’23 is a first-year international student eyeing marketing as a major, and she traveled from Puerto Rico to come to Pace. “I had always wanted to study in the US, but it seemed [like] a really far away dream,” she told us. Pérez was facing more obstacles than most; Hurricane Maria made landfall in September 2017, and it is now considered to be the worst natural disaster to affect her home in recorded history. “I had no electricity and no water for months after [the storm] hit, and I was scared about my future.” She dedicated herself to helping her community rebuild, temporarily shelving her hopes of pursuing higher education in the States.
And yet, her dream didn’t end there. “I want to say that after a hurricane literally comes a rainbow,” Pérez said. She was offered a scholarship to study in California for her senior year of high school. Everything began to fall into place, and with her parents’ enthusiastic support, she began to tour a variety of colleges in hopes of finding the perfect fit—and in particular, the perfect team.
“I felt such a strong connection with the people from Pace,” Pérez explained, having visited for one of the PLV Campus tours. “I told my parents that I had an amazing experience and that I loved the swimming team [...]. Everyone was so [eager] to help me, especially the swimming coach, Alexis Chocianowski.”
Chocianowski ’15, who was named head swimming and diving coach last year, started out as a student-athlete at Pace too before moving up the ranks. Her passion for the sport is clear in her dedication to the team, a trait Pérez indubitably shares—and that passion began very early for her. “I started swimming when I was five years old,” she said.
Motivated by her desire to one day receive a college scholarship, Pérez trained vigorously until she earned her spot on Pace’s swimming and diving team. But what motivates her now that she has achieved the goal that once seemed impossible to reach? “Representing [my team] with as much pride as I can,” she told us. The most important thing to Pérez is “giving my best at practices so I can give my best to the team.”
For all she’s already accomplished, though, Pérez has laid out a number of goals for her time here at Pace. Not only does she want to train harder, she has her eye on even more leadership opportunities. “I will work hard to become a Residential Assistant (RA) for my sophomore year,” she explained, going on to add that, “I [want to] earn as much knowledge as I can to prepare myself for [a] career.” Being an RA is a great way to develop the skills necessary to become an excellent communicator, as well as an organized manager.
“I love meeting people from all around the world,” she enthused, another important trait for any would-be RA to possess. Combined with Pérez’s infinite passion and dedication as a student-athlete, we’re certain she will go on to hold many leadership positions here at Pace—and beyond.
Interested in being featured? Submit for an interview! We’d love to share your Pace Path story.
- Academic Programs
- Academic Calendar
- Academic Advisement
- Advising Center for Exploring Majors
- Athletics and Recreation
- Career Services
- Center for Community Action and Research (CCAR)
- Class Schedule
- Colleges and Schools
- Computer Labs
- Dining Services (NYC)
- Dining Services (PLV)
- Disabilities and Accommodations
- Extended Hours for Students
- Financial Aid
- Global Pathways
- Health Services
- Housing and Residential Life
- ITS Help Desk
- International Students
- Learning Center
- LGBTQA Center
- New Student IT Resources
- NJ Transit Monthly Pass
- Office of First Year Experience
- Office of Multicultural Affairs, NYC
- Office of Student Assistance (OSA)
- Pace One Card
- PaceAlert System
- Pforzheimer Honors College
- Safety and Security
- Scholarships and Grants
- Sexual Assault Resources
- Student Development and Campus Activities (NYC)
- Student Development and Campus Activities (PLV)
- Student Grievance Procedures
- Student Handbook
- Student Health Insurance
- Student IT Resources
- Student Organizations and Clubs
- Study Abroad
- Summer Session
- Transfer Student Services
- White Pages
- Writing Center
- Student Resources
- Emergency Notifications
- Schedule Explorer
- Textbook Lookup Utility
Rachel Vetterman ’22 transferred to Pace to pursue a combined degree: a BA in Childhood Education and an MSEd in Special Education. She’s passionate about supporting all the students she’s worked with, but it was one moment on the job that really changed her perspective.
The Passionate Educator
Gabriela Wojcik ’21 is a first-gen American who transferred to Pace eager to explore all the opportunities her Communication Studies major offered. She’s the current vice president of Tau Sigma, and she hopes to guide other transfer students, too.
The Vice President
On Tuesday, October 20, Emmy Award-winning actor and political activist Richard Schiff will talk all things politics with Pace President Marvin Krislov. Schiff will also discuss his role in the hit drama series The West Wing, and how life often imitates art.
Talking Points with Richard Schiff