Cast in Bronze
Kyle Field Statue modeled after SPH Alum
Some Texas A&M students may feel that their time on campus has been immortalized in their memories, but few end up having their likeness immortalized into a statue as recent graduate Crystal Perez was.
The statue, which is placed in front of Kyle Field, is of twelve students with locked arms in a portrayal of the Texas A&M’s tradition of ‘saw-em-off’, singing the Aggie War Hymn. The appearance of each of the students in the statue was determined by a contest, in which twelve students from the student body were chosen. Perez was one of the winners.
“It’s an amazing honor,” Perez said. “After I applied, I didn’t think I would be chosen. It really feels like I’m a part of something bigger than myself.”
Perez, who served in the Corps of Cadets during her undergraduate education, appears near the middle of the statue. She is the only female cadet in the statue.
“I was chosen to be a representative not just of the Corps of Cadets, but specifically of female cadets,” Perez said. “It’s incredibly exciting.”
During her time as a graduate student, she was the President of the Texas A&M Public Health Student Association (TAMPHSA), the School’s largest student organization. Perez was the first president who previously had served in the Corps of Cadets.
Perez’s interest in public health has been heavily impacted by her youth, when she lived in a rural town in Texas.
“In rural towns like my hometown of San Isidro, you have less access to health services,” Perez said. She noted that because people in rural towns are often very far away from hospitals and doctors’ offices, many people simply stay home when they are sick, often compounding health issues.
Perez plans to pursue a PhD in public health with a focus on nutrition and hopes to eventually become a research consultant, working with organizations like the USDA or the World Health Organization.
“I want to focus on how food aid is distributed, food security and safety, and lack of access to proper nutrition,” Perez said. “I’m also interested in how big federal policies like the Affordable Care Act affect populations at a community level around the nation, like my own hometown.”