Four alumni to attend same medical school this fall
May 21, 2010

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Four Bryan grads—David Villanueva ('09), Jana Villanueva ('09), Andrew Sweeney ('10), and Trent Gay ('10)—have been accepted to begin medical school this fall at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Jana and David's engagement photo
   
David and Jana Villanueva were both biology majors and soccer players during their time at Bryan. "Bryan’s biology department is known as the most challenging major at Bryan by most students; but if you survive it, you will be prepared for whatever you want to pursue in the scientific realm," Jana said. "The biology faculty is committed to excellence and is clearly motivated by their sincere love for our Lord Jesus Christ. Over our four difficult, yet rewarding years, the biology curriculum was the crucible in which God shaped our minds, hearts, souls, passions and dreams."

David and Jana got married just one week after graduating last May and postponed their med school applications a year while they lived in North Carolina and taught at Faith Christian School.

David and Jana explained that they applied only to VCOM "because we were set on osteopathic medicine’s holistic view of medicine and VCOM’s unique emphasis on serving the underserved, even overseas."

Dr. Stephanie Hartz has full confidence that they will do well in their endeavor. "There are certain qualities that in general most pre-med students have, such as being bright, ambitious, disciplined, and having the ability to excel academically," Dr. Hartz said. "What distinguishes David and Jana is their humility, compassion, and genuine desire is to point others to Christ. I’ve been greatly encouraged by their “other-centeredness.” It excites me to think about opportunities that may arise for them to demonstrate the love of Christ to the physically hurting."
  
Andrew and Trent's first glimpse of VCOM from their truck on the morning
they drove on the campus for their interviews.

The Villanuevas will move to Blacksburg, Virginia, over the summer in preparation for classes which begin in August. They will be joined by fellow Bryan graduates Trent Gay and Andrew Sweeny who made the trek to Virginia for their interviews at VCOM several months ago while they were still completing their final semester at Bryan. " It was probably the coldest morning I've ever experienced," Trent said. "Andrew and I prayed before leaving his truck in the VCOM parking lot, wished each other luck, and went to our interviews." 


Trent Gay (left) and Andrew Sweeny after
the May 8 Commencement Ceremony.





They both found out they had been accepted exactly a week later and plan to be roommates. "In the end, I could see God's hands all over it," Trent said. "I am very excited to be sharing an apartment with someone I already know well, and I'm looking forward to seeing the Villanuevas in the school hallways again. I think the next four years will be very challenging, but I'm glad I get to share it with such godly, academically solid people, all of whom Bryan professors played a crucial role in crafting."

The Villanuevas are also excited to begin the journey: "We know that we cannot prepare for or predict the challenges that we will experience for the next four years of medical school, but we know where our strength is found. It has been God alone that has brought us this far and only by His will and His grace will we reach our goals of graduating as medical doctors."