Dedman College Scholars:
Building on Success In and Out of the Classroom 


Part Three: Preparing for the Future

Two Dedman College Scholars look toward the future as they prepare to graduate.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 44 seconds

Current Dedman College Scholar, Joe Di Pane, is passionate about research, and he credits Dr. David Doyle and Sally Spaniolo with facilitating a connection to Dr. John Wise in the Biology department. Dr. Wise first introduced him to research and has served as a mentor throughout his college years. In addition to his work with Dr. Wise, Di Pane has also studied in Dr. Santosh D’Mello’s lab, who has served as a mentor for many of Di Pane’s research projects.

“I discovered how much I really enjoy research, and this is a result of Dr. Doyle and Sally’s guidance and influence, as well as the accessibility of the faculty as a whole. Dr. Wise has been integral in my research, which has been the foundational experience of my education. The research that I’ve conducted as an undergrad and developing my skills as a researcher has had a huge impact on the way that I think and approach problems.” 

Di Pane was awarded a 2016-2017 Goldwater Scholarship, making him one of only 252 second and third year college students selected nationwide. Studying within Dr. D’Mello’s lab, he explored the molecular basis of neurodegeneration. He continued this research in 2016 through Engaged Learning funding. Following graduation, Di Pane hopes to continue his research, pursuing an M.D. and Ph.D., in part due to the experiences he had in the lab here at SMU.

For others, involvement with the DC Scholars Program helps them discover new interests and pursuits. Yashas Singri, a fourth year student, began as a physics and philosophy major with his sights set on medical school. However, after connecting with physicians and faculty through the DC Scholars Program, Singri began to realize just how complex the medical landscape was becoming.

“There have been so many shifts in medicine—huge, structural changes to how care is delivered—and I began to realize that my real interests lie in a more macro view of healthcare. Sally and Dr. Doyle sent information about consulting, and I realized that so many of the skills necessary to address these larger issues were the same as those needed to be an effective physician: analytical aptitude and strong interpersonal skills. I ended up changing my major to health and society and adding a business minor. Dedman College’s basis in the liberal arts and the involved faculty have made it possible to merge and explore my interests, while taking risks to push myself,” he explained.

After graduation, Singri plans to begin work at a consulting firm and hopes to eventually make an impact in both the medical world and fashion, perhaps through eventually developing a line of clothing for people with medical devices, merging his love of fashion with his passion for improving healthcare.

Singri concluded, “Sally and Dr. Doyle are incredible advisors, willing to help us make our goals possible. The DC Scholars Program has opened the door to new opportunities and experiences throughout my time at SMU.”

As the newest class of Dedman College Scholars begin their time on the Hilltop, they face a horizon of growth, exploration, and change, though they will not be without guidance, insight, and mentorship from Dr. Doyle and Spaniolo, as well as faculty across campus.

For more information about the Dedman College Scholars Program and how you can support or become more involved in the program, please contact Mary Lynn Amoyo, Director of Development for Dedman College, at mamoyo@smu.edu or 214-768-9202.

To read more, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the series.