Goodnight Scholars Program Spotlight | Briany Santos-Villalobos

Transfer Goodnight Scholar in the Class of 2023, Briany Santos-Villalobos found a unique way to become familiar with the NC State campus after transferring from Central Piedmont Community College….scavenger hunts! Briany and a friend walked over 12,000 steps multiple times per week to learn about NC State statues, different colleges, libraries, and traditions through fun and interactive scavenger hunts. Read about Briany’s path to transferring to NC State from community college, and her future plans in our special #NationalTransferStudentWeek Goodnight Spotlight!

Goodnight Scholars Program: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Brainy Santos-Villalobos T’23: My name is Briany Santos. I’m a transfer student from Charlotte, North Carolina currently majoring in biological sciences with a concentration in molecular, cellular and developmental (MCD) biology and a minor in microbiology. In my free time, I tend to enjoy listening to music and going for a walk to relax. Since coming to NC State, I have been trying to read more often!

Describe your personality in one sentence.

I am a person who can persevere through anything.

Tell us about an accomplishment leading up to NC State that you are proud of.

When I was at my community college, I was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad! The scholarship covered everything to go to Peru and I was able to see Machu Picchu and volunteer at a hospital. At the public hospital in Peru, I volunteered with kids in the oncology unit. I was in charge of creating activities for them, entertaining them, and teaching them some Spanish so that they would not fall behind in school. It was awesome to be around the kids, and make their hospital experience better. So, that is really something I am proud of leading up to my time at NC State.

What community college did you go to, and what was your favorite memory from being at community college?

I attended Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. My favorite memory from my time at community college was being very involved on campus. I was involved in several on campus activities and organizations, and I was able to create a great support system. I owe a lot of my success to that.

What is one challenge that you think transfer students face or maybe that you faced as a transfer student, and how have you overcome that challenge?

I think the biggest challenge I have faced is just trying to find a sense of community. I transferred into a program where everyone in my major had already chosen classes together and I was kind of popping in towards the middle. I have been really successful in discovering a community here on campus by going to events on campus, and currently I serve as a University Ambassador, so I give tours of NC State to potential students and their families. So that was a challenge I faced, but I have been doing a lot to overcome that challenge.

What has been your most fond memories so far at NC State?

My most fond memory was last year when I transferred to NC State. I transferred alongside a good friend from my community college, and we spent a ton of time together doing scavenger hunts on campus to learn more about NC State. I think at one point I was getting 12,000 steps a day for five days a week. We explored Centennial Campus and Main Campus. I think we actually got featured on the NC State housing Instagram several times from our adventures. But, it was just a lot of fun exploring campus when it was slightly empty.

What Goodnight Scholars programming event are you most excited about the semester or year?

I am really excited about the Chinese Lantern festival event next month! I am also really excited for the All Goodnight Meeting part two happening this Friday. It will be nice to see everyone in person instead of Zoom.

Looking down the road about a year and a half from now at graduation, who is the person you want to see walking across the stage?

A year and a half from now, I feel like I want to see a person that better knows what they want to do in the future. Right now based on credits, I could graduate in a year, but I really want to experience more on campus and take more classes. At the same time though, I want to take care of my little brother and sister as they go off to college. So I am really hoping to figure out if I want to go to medical school or go towards a PhD, or both. I hope closer to graduation I have settled on a path.