Graduation Spotlight: Douglas Gurdak

Douglas Gurdak
Major: Biology
Minors: Spanish, Women’s & Genders Studies, Chemistry

Why did you choose to pursue these areas of study ?

I chose to major in biology because of my long-standing interest in genetics and my desire to gain experience in wet laboratory biology. As I continued my studies at CWRU, I found myself increasingly drawn to the humanities and social sciences. This, combined with my aspiration to become bilingual, led me to pursue minors in Spanish and women’s and gender studies.

What are you doing following graduation?

As a finalist for the Bolivia Multi-Country Award through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, I will spend a year conducting public health research to better understand the cancer-care model in Bolivia and Peru. Afterwards, I hope to serve in the Peace Corps to work toward fluency in Spanish and gain greater international experience prior to pursuing a graduate degree in genetics.

Why did you choose CWRU?

As an Ohio native from the small town of Cortland, I wanted to attend an institution with excellent research opportunities in biomedical and social sciences located in a metropolitan city with a rich LGBTQIA+ community.

What is one of your favorite CWRU memories?

I enjoyed serving as the 2022-2023 mentorship co-coordinator with my research mentor & friend Sarah as well as the 2023-2024 president of oSTEM@CWRU.

As a new graduate, what’s one thing you’d like to share with incoming freshmen?

Never be afraid to explore new intellectual interests, especially in forms of experiential education. True learning happens outside the classroom!