Melissa Pérez, M.S. ’12, RN, WHNP-BC, has spent the last three and a half years working as a labor and delivery nurse in an eight-bed unit for high-risk pregnancies at Boston Medical Center (BMC). Among her patients are women who are addicted to drugs or inmates from area prisons, a population with which she is grateful to work. “You are taking care of people who will hang on your every word and appreciate the education and the resources. It’s nursing as an art and science,” says Pérez.

After earning her nursing degree at Villanova University in 2009, Pérez continued her education at Boston College, receiving her master’s degree in nursing in 2012, specializing in women’s health. She taught maternal and child health at the Connell School on a part-time basis in the 2012–13 school year, and now returns as a clinical instructor in that field. Besides giving classroom lectures, Pérez will oversee six to eight students as they train at BMC and other area hospitals. “I am really going to miss my patients,” she says, “but they’ll still be with me through my students.” Pérez has done extensive volunteer work in the United States and abroad, and dreams of leading a group of Boston College students on a relief mission to Central America.

—Timothy Gower, photograph by Caitlin Cunningham