Dane Paris: From First-Generation College Student to Early Med School Acceptance

Dane Paris, a junior biology pre-med student in Kent State University’s Honors College, has already left his mark at Kent State despite facing challenges along the way. His outstanding leadership has not gone unnoticed, and he credits the support he has gotten through Kent State for his growth and successes. 

As a first-generation college student, Paris experienced some obstacles along the way while transitioning from high school to college.

“Especially going into the healthcare route, it was kind of a scary thing coming to college, but I just thought, ‘Okay, I’m moving onto the next step, and we’ll just take it as it comes and figure it all out,’” Paris said.

He expressed that his involvement in the Honors College helped him find his initial footing on campus, and to find the resources he needed to succeed during his freshman year.

“When I got here I met so many great faculty members at Kent State in the Honors College and found a good foundation of friends that were going through the same thing,” Paris said. “Through that, I was able to find out the steps I needed to take and started to get more involved.”

Paris got involved with Phi Delta Epsilon, an organization for pre-medicine students, during the spring semester of his freshman year. He currently serves as the social and service chair, planning events and coordinating volunteer opportunities, and many of them have been virtual this year.

“The organization has helped me so much because I automatically had this network of other pre-med students that have shown me along the way and let me know what I needed to do,” Paris said. “It’s been a great resource to have the support of my mentors and friends that I can go to.”

Paris was selected to serve as a Flashguide with Student Success Programs (SSP) during summer 2019, where he helped more than 4,000 incoming freshmen find their footing and become part of the Kent State community.

“I met a lot of great student leaders through the Flashguide program, and it helped me develop my own leadership skills, too,” Paris said. “I learned how to relate to so many different people through the different scenarios and situations. I had just finished my first year, and I was ready to step up and help someone else make that transition.”

He has continued his involvement with SSP, working on the welcome crew for welcome weekend, and now works as a student worker in the SSP office. He says that SSP has been an integral part of his success at Kent State thus far.

“As a Flashguide, I was trying to help students open up more and grow, but I definitely did that for myself, too,” Paris said.

Paris also had the opportunity to travel for free to Israel last year through Hillel to learn more about the conflict between Palestine and Israel. Students who hold leadership positions on campus are able to apply for the trip, which is designed to help students learn about the conflict so they can come back home and educate others.

“We got to see so many amazing things throughout Israel, hear amazing speakers and really interact with the people and experience the culture,” Paris said. “When we came back, I did a series on advocacy training with Hillel and worked as a follow-up intern for that trip with them.”

The future for Paris is bright. He was recently accepted into the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) early assurance program and plans to attend NEOMED after graduation in fall 2021.

“I have a lot of ideas of what I want to practice, and I’m really interested in emergency medicine, trauma surgery, or cardiovascular work,” Paris said. “I’m going in with an open mind knowing I want to practice medicine and help others, so as I go through med school, I’ll be able to see what I really want to do.”

For more on Kent State’s Honors College and Student Success Programs, check out https://www.kent.edu/honors and https://www.kent.edu/success.

Header Pictures:

(Left) Paris in the Dead Sea during his trip to Israel with Hillel

(Center) Paris (center) and fellow Flashguides during Destination Kent State 2019

(Right) Paris (left) and his “big brother” at Phi Delta Epsilon’s philanthropy banquet for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

POSTED: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 3:21pm
UPDATED: Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 4:15pm
Katie Null