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Honors graduate pursues medical career in Air Force

Grand Valley State University graduate Andrew Gordon always knew he wanted to be a doctor.

"Truthfully, I didn't see myself doing anything else," he said. "It's something I've worked toward all through high school. I didn't change majors at all in college. Everything I did, I knew I was trying to get into medical school."

Now, that dream is even closer to reality. This fall, Gordon will enter the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing on a full Air Force scholarship. Shortly after graduation, Gordon was sworn in as a second lieutenant in the Air Force, and after he graduates from medical school, he will spend four years on active duty and another four on active reserve.

"I am very excited about it," Gordon said. "The military was on my mind for a long while. When I was trying to decide which undergraduate university to go to, if it weren't for the scholarships that Grand Valley offered me, I would have gone into a ROTC program. Because I got enough scholarships I needed to pay for my undergraduate work, I didn't need to do that."

When Gordon was looking at universities, he considered several Big 10 schools, including Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Northwestern. He applied to all of them, but ultimately he chose Grand Valley State University.

"Grand Valley suited me best," Gordon said. "Grand Valley feels like home to me. It is very focused, and that's something that really appealed to me."

The results show that it was a good fit. Gordon graduated cum laude in April 2010 with a degree in biomedical science and a chemistry minor. He was also a part of the Meijer Honors College program.

Gordon said he found much support at Grand Valley. He cited one of his chemistry professors, Felix Ngassa, as a key mentor, and he found the Honors College experience transformative.

"I think the Honors College prepared me better than anything else," Gordon said. "My major was all hard science, whereas the Honors College really helped shape me beyond remembering facts and regurgitating them. They took the way I saw things and helped me assimilate everything in a much larger picture than what I was learning my hard science."

While at Grand Valley, Gordon studied abroad in Ghana, and for his Honors College senior project, he developed an annotated bibliography of potential readings into the history and culture of Ghana for the college's service learning initiative.

Gordon looks back fondly on his Grand Valley experience.

"I don't want to leave this place. I have had way too much fun here, made to so many good friends and memories that is much harder to leave here than I thought it would be," he said.


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