GWU Alumnus Pursues Graduate Degree in Osteopathic Medicine

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Gabriel Nold ’17 Appreciates Professors Who Are Dedicated to Student Success

Gabriel Nold at CommencementGabriel Nold’s talents as a lineman gained him a spot on the football team at Gardner-Webb University. Besides the chance to play in Division I, the 2017 alumnus from Tampa, Fla., also wanted a college with a strong science program to prepare him for medical school. He accepted the GWU athletic scholarship after visiting the campus. “What truly sold me was the people,” Nold affirmed. “Everyone talked about how it was a family, and you could feel that from the moment you stepped on campus. While the football scholarship and athletic facilities drew me to the University, it was the people who convinced me that Gardner-Webb was the right fit for me.”

Nold majored in biology and minored in chemistry and mathematics. He served as a residential advisor and worked as a teaching assistant in the lab. He was also president of Sigma Zeta (mathematics, natural science and computer science honor society), treasurer of Beta Beta Beta (biology honor society), and secretary of Gamma Sigma Epsilon (chemistry honor society).

“Gardner-Webb prepared me extremely well for continuing my education and my pursuit of a career as a physician because of the rigor of the classes in the natural sciences department,” Nold assessed. “The classes were a good transition from high school, and the intensity increased throughout the four years to better prepare me for graduate school and ultimately now medical school.”

Nold finished the Masters of Medical Sciences Pre-Professional Program at the University of South Florida. He is now enrolled at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in Auburn, Ala. According to VCOM, osteopathic medicine includes using the most current scientific knowledge to promote health and prevention and to diagnose and treat patients with disease. Osteopathic physicians prescribe medications, perform surgery, and use osteopathic manipulative medicine as a tool to diagnose and treat patients.  Doctors in this field also seek to serve people with limited access to healthcare.

Gabriel Nold as a lineman on the football team
Gabriel Nold (66) was a lineman for the Runnin’ Bulldogs.

“The first reason I chose osteopathic medicine as my path to becoming a physician is the explicit goal of serving the underserved,” Nold asserted. “Throughout high school I volunteered at a special needs class every Sunday in my church, and I continued my service in college by helping to pack backpacks full of food for children in need throughout the community.”

A mission trip to Haiti with others from Gardner-Webb was confirmation that he was pursing the right field. He worked closely with Dr. Don Olive, associate professor of physics and astronomy. The group raised money to install solar power at an orphanage and also painted the building. “The excessive poverty and lack of medical aid was astonishing,” Nold described. “It was there that I realized that extreme poverty exists everywhere. To be able to help in an underserved community every day as a part of my career would truly be a blessing.”

Of the many memorable classes and professors he took at Gardner-Webb, one stood out: Dr. Meredith Rowe, assistant professor of biology. “Her Immunology class was my most challenging major class,” he observed. “Dr. Rowe was such a phenomenal professor as she worked so hard to make sure that we understood the material. She also took a step above and beyond and was always present when I needed help in the classroom and in real life. She was my mentor and is now a good friend. There are many more professors at GWU who have a similar passion for helping students succeed. These are the type of professors who truly make a difference in your career and your life.”