Grass Valley native and Bear River High School graduate Daniel Price is among the 32 students nationwide awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, which grants full financial support to study at the University of Oxford.
“I’m really excited. It’s been a phenomenal weekend, receiving heartwarming calls from friends and family,” Price said. “I’m really excited and honored.”
Price is currently a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, and plans to study bioengineering at Oxford in 2013. His research has focused on medical devices, a self-proclaimed career passion, which he studied using the Magnetic Particle Imaging Center at Berkeley.
“We’ve been working on development and all the mechanisms and everything that goes into this imaging processing,” Price said.
He said he spent last summer studying at Johns Hopkins University, focusing on robotics inspired from nature in order to improve a robot’s ability to react to the unexpected.
“We can make good robots, but if the unexpected happens, errors happen,” Price said. “I spent the whole time studying a type of fish to see what its neuromechanisms are when it reacts to unexpected stimuli,” Price said.
According to the Rhodes scholar website, the scholars are chosen for outstanding achievement, character, commitment to others and to the common good and for potential in leadership.
Price graduated from Bear River in 2009 and not only excelled academically during his time there but was also involved in multiple clubs, including being captain of the varsity snowboarding team his senior year and participating in tennis and jazz band, which required being at school at 6:30 a.m.
“The Rhodes Scholarship looks for well rounded applicants,” Price said. “I couldn’t have gotten it just through science.”
Price said his teachers at Bear River were essential in inspiring and fostering his learning.
“The teachers I had at Bear River were very important in posturing my passion,” Price said.
Price’s history teacher of three years, David Morehouse, said Price never used excuses and took the difficult path in order to challenge himself.
“He always took the hardest road, not the easiest path,” Morehouse said. “That’s what got him to where he is.”
Price received an “A” in Morehouse’s class and passed the advanced placement U.S. history test, even though history was not his area of expertise.
“He’s just the real deal and took what you said to heart and really learned from it,” Morehouse said. “I’ve been doing it for so long, and most kids will look for any excuse or avoid difficult subjects, and he looked at it as a challenge, took it head on and defeated it.”
One of Price’s English teachers, Steve Hansen, also said Price excelled despite his other areas of interest.
“It always struck me because he’s a math and science guy and I’m an English teacher; and he was also able to master English,” Hansen said. “He’s just a real pleasure to have in class and kind of the ideal student we all think about when we started this profession.”
Price was born at Stanford Hospital and lived in Fremont, Calif., until he was 4 years old and his family moved to Grass Valley when, he said, his parents wanted to get out of the city.
“I think I’m a similar way,” Price said. “I enjoy living in the city, but my heart lies in Grass Valley and Tahoe.”
Price’s father, Eric, who is an engineer, said his son has prepared to go to college and succeed.
“He’s an interesting kid and was always training in this direction,” Eric said. “He was excited when he was accepted into Berkeley and is even more so right now.”
Eric Price said his son was always able to balance work and play, while mastering both.
“He uses his time wisely and blends it,” Eric Price said. “When he was in high school, he’d come home and get his homework done and go play but never didn’t get his homework done.”
Price’s mother, Dana, spoke of what a great opportunity Oxford will be for her son.
“We’re very proud of him,” Dana said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity, and we’re very excited for him.”
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4230.