As my second year of pharmacy school wraps up, I’ve been reflecting quite a bit on my experiences at USG over these past four semesters. A large part of what has made my time at USG so wonderful thus far is the supportive staff and faculty here on campus. One person who I am especially thankful for having met is Gordon Price, Coordinator in the Office of Student Services (OSS).
Last year’s SMdPHA/SGA Public Health Roundtable was the first big event I had organized myself. Coordinating this roundtable involved inviting many U.S. Public Health Service officers, booking a location, figuring out catering, creating a program, and advertising. As a first year student completely new to event planning, I was overwhelmed to say the least. But luckily, there was Gordon who was more than willing to help me navigate the process. Over time, I’ve also learned that Gordon is super easygoing and fun to talk with about practically anything!
I’m sad that Gordon will be leaving USG next year to go back to Oregon, where he’s previously lived for 15 years. While he did grow up in Montgomery County, he and his wife raised their children in a small town in Oregon. While there are so many exciting things going on here, they miss the slow pace and friendly community left behind, so making the move back to the West coast is the best decision for Gordon and his family.
Yesterday afternoon, as Gordon drove me and my friend Larissa to pick up some supplies needed for this year’s Public Health Roundtable, I decided I’d take this opportunity to learn a little more about him. Gordon happily agreed to my request for an interview.
QN: So Gordon, what brought you to USG? GP: Well, I was moving back to D.C. from Oregon and I applied to several places in the area. I had two interviews, one with USG and one with George Washington. I had my interview with GW the morning after I drove across the country to get here, and I knew I didn’t do very well on that one because I was falling asleep. Shady Grove is a unique place and I’m glad I ended up here. My background is in student services — working with students, student life, organizations and things like that.
QN: What are you going to miss the most about USG when you leave? GP: The students, for sure. I remember the Leadership Bistro OSS held within the first week I was here. I remember sitting with a student from Palestine and a lady from Ecuador. I was excited to get to sit with and learn from students from all over the world. USG has a great diversity of international students. So that’s what I’ll miss the most. And the staff too – the people in OSS are great. And this is such a unique institution we have with its 9 different universities.
QN: What’s been your proudest accomplishment here at USG? GP: I started a student leadership program from the ground up based on the social change model which is all about getting students involved, changing the world, creating a world that they want to live in. So I built the curriculum, taught the lessons, and it culminates with the Student Appreciation Cook-out where we’ll be awarding students for completing the program. Students actually participated and finished the program! We started with 15 students and 7 stuck with me throughout the whole year. They also had to complete a community project. As a group, they came together and did a food drive for a local community. So that’s been pretty cool. QN: That’s amazing. Congratulations on making that happen!
QN: Lastly, what is one piece of advice you’d like to give students? GP: Get sleep. Take care of yourself. You put so much time into your studies and your work. But I think students forget to take care of themselves and if they don’t, everything will start to fall apart. So you have to take the time to replenish yourself and take care of your mental health and your physical health. I think that’s crucial. And also, follow your dreams! QN: That’s great advice! It looks like we’re here and that wraps up the interview. Thank you so much, Gordon. GP: It’s my pleasure.