by Joy Esiemokhai
Going West means following the path to one’s dreams, even if that path leads one 5,000 miles away from home. That is the journey that took Daniel Sanchez Carretero from his hometown of Barcelona, Spain, to the University of West Georgia in 2010 at the age of 17, and it has been one of self-discovery and boundless achievement.
Danny, as friends know him, chose to attend UWG upon the recommendation of a Barcelona math academy that trained several of his friends who eventually attended the Advanced Academy at UWG. Danny himself came as a freshman, albeit one younger than most. He immediately threw himself into his studies, declaring a major in physics and minor in economics, and becoming an honor student.
“I have always loved science so declaring physics as my major was a no-brainer,” says Danny. “Both departments were perfect for me because they had great professors, tons of resources and challenging curricula, yet they were small enough that I could get the academic help I needed conveniently.”
His hard work and dedication show results. This spring, Danny will graduate with a B.S. in physics at the age of 20, as well as receive the James Emory Boyd Award for physics at the 2014 Honors Convocation. The award is given to outstanding students of the various departments in UWG’s College of Science and Mathematics. He also received an Academic Excellence Award at the 2014 Multicultural Achievement Program Awards ceremony, held on March 25, 2014. “Am I allowed to feel proud of myself?” Danny asks bashfully.
Along with having a full academic load, Danny became active in the International Student Club on campus. Last fall, he was elected the membership chair of the club and in February 2014, he hosted the 29th annual edition of International Night. “I came to UWG at the age of 17 and it was quite weird for me to be so far away from home,” Danny says. “I needed a support system and found that with ISC.
Danny recently got accepted into the Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D program at the University of Delaware and is due to start in the fall 2014 semester. With this achievement, he bypasses the traditional route of obtaining a master’s before a Ph.D. “I could not have done this without the encouragement of my professors,” he asserts. “Without their help, I might not even have considered going to graduate school.
“ISC gave me a chance to show pride in my culture and learn more about the world we live in. I have met incredible people and made lifelong friendships that I will always cherish.”
Following his Ph.D studies, Danny plans on working to bring renewable energies to remote areas where it is difficult and expensive to get electricity. “UWG gave me the opportunity to discover myself and what I want to do with my life and I cannot be more grateful for every learning experience I received at this incredible institution,” he says. “I’m on the way to living my dream and the credit for that largely goes to UWG.”