Science was always the top subject for UNT Dallas student Brian Valero. And gaming has always been his favorite hobby. He excelled at both over the past three years at UNT Dallas. Now, he is celebrating unlike any other graduating senior.
Not only will Brian walk the commencement stage to accept his Bachelor of Science in Biology diploma, but he was part of the UNT Dallas esports team that won the university’s first-ever championship victory just a few weeks ago.
“It was very enriching and rewarding,” Brian said, referring to the historic win in the Overwatch competition held by the National Association of College Esports (NACE).
The teamwork, comradery and growth of the esports team made it the highlight of Brian’s UNT Dallas experience. “It opened up social avenues to meet like-minded people. Gamers are not usually extroverts, but esports brought us together. We understand each other,” Brian explained.
Esports was the perfect complement to Brian’s academic studies because he shares a passion for both. The common denominator between them is fun. “I remember having a lot of fun in my first biology class,” Brian recalls, looking back at his early education. Fast forward to now, and he refers to UNT Dallas assistant professor of natural sciences Nicholas Lorusso this way, “He makes it (science) fun and interesting.”
Brian views himself as a “lifelong student” who will focus his career path on STEM-oriented professions. After attending the Trinidad “Trini” Garza Early College High School in Dallas, he finished college in three years. And he is planning to attain another bachelor’s and/or a master’s degree, possibly at UNT Dallas.
As for what else the future holds, Brian is thinking about becoming a college professor. “I might stay in education,” he said, noting that he was inspired while learning from Lorusso. Someday they might even inspire students (and gamers) together.
As Spring 2023 commencement nears, we are proud to celebrate Brian’s accomplishments. He is the definition of a Trailblazer. And he exemplifies the university’s mission of empowering students, transforming lives and strengthening communities.