The BBIC tour group enjoyed food, drink, and good company, courtesy of alumnus Greg Richard ’88 ΔΤΔ from New York, NY late Saturday afternoon on Feb. 17 in a private meeting room at The Churchill Tavern, a classic NYC pub which serves British fare in a distinctly Churchillian atmosphere.
Richard is Chief Commercial Officer at Interpace Diagnostics where he conducts sales research of DNA and RNA sequencing for thyroid and lung cancer as well as exploring the risk of malignancy in pancreatic cysts and is currently providing the only product on the market in this area. He acts as a liaison between doctors and the diagnostic spectrum by promoting the latest cutting-edge molecular diagnostic tests.
Richard traditionally hosts this event, which is one of the many highlights of the trip. He says, “This provides me another opportunity beyond my scholarship support and support of the Richard Career Resource Center on campus to give back to students like the people who helped me when I was a student. For most of the students, this is their first time in New York City, and I love to see how excited they are to experience my adopted home.”
When asked about the reaction of this group of students, he said, “The students universally said the trip was a life-changing experience. They were all very enthusiastic about what they had learned and how they would apply it in their Blue Blazers activities going forward.”
Two of the Blazers, Taylor Howard ’18 KAѲ from Mokane, MO and Gracie Koonce ’19 KAѲ, from Norman, OK had the opportunity to speak with Richard about their specific career opportunities in nursing and pharmaceuticals.
“Greg explained to me what his company does, and to me, it is impactful work,” says Howard. “I want to be a nurse so that I can help people and give back. I always thought that I would have to work on a surgical floor to do that. However, Greg made me realize just how important a nurse that gets prior authorization for a patient is, and that conversation sparked my interest in his field of work.”
Koonce agrees. “Greg spoke to me about the possibility of considering a future in his pharmaceutical world, and this idea has really taken hold of me since the trip. We even discussed the possibility of a summer internship that I look forward to pursuing. I have spoken with professors, my family, advisors, and other alumni about the opportunity to intern with his company in New Jersey. I have also done my fair share of research on his company. He gave me a lot to think about—options that I probably would not have considered or explored if I had not had the opportunity to meet him. It is really truly incredible how one trip to New York City can change the course of my life as I know it.”
Richard confirmed that he intends to stay in touch with the two students about internship possibilities.
“Our alumni have the best interests of the students who are currently at Westminster at heart,” says Howard. “Most alumni I met were not even in a biology-related profession, but still took the time of day to talk to me, ask about my interests, and wish me the best while offering to help in any way they could.”
“I hope to someday be an inspiration and make a difference in Westminster students’ lives just as Mr. Richard has done for me,” says Koonce.