Four Years, Two Degrees
It’s challenging enough to complete a Georgia Tech degree in four years. This week, Bryan Gomez will earn two: one in biochemistry and the other in neuroscience.
The Hoschton, Georgia, native has made the most of his time at Tech. Outside of the classroom, he worked as a student pharmacy technician at Stamps Health Services, filling prescriptions, managing inventory, and handling data entry and billing insurance as well as point of sales operations. This work-related opportunity was made available through Georgia Tech’s Pharmacy School to Work Learning Program.
As an advocate for mental health reform and improving accessibility to mental health services, Gomez volunteered as a crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line while at Georgia Tech and worked with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s advocacy committee.
“I've been so fortunate to be surrounded by people who know what they love and how they can equip that love to do something good in the world, and I'm going to miss that fervent passion as I leave,” Gomez said. “The people at Tech are just so incredibly passionate about their interests and fields and have, what I feel, is an unmatched desire to channel that passion into solutions and innovations.”
He was able to use his own knowledge, skills, and passion to do something good during the pandemic by helping with Georgia Tech’s vaccine distribution. In Spring 2021, Gomez assisted Stamps pharmacists and pharmacy technicians by preparing labels, managing inventory, and physically unpackaging hundreds of syringes and needle tips daily. “In a week where we were doing over 2,000 vaccinations, that means it's somebody's job just to open up thousands of individual wrappers and packages,” he said. “Not glamorous, but necessary and time-consuming.”
As he learned more and as summer approached, he began to prepare the vaccines himself —"thawing vials, inverting solutions, pulling up diluent (a sodium chloride solution that you add to the main vaccine to dilute it to its for-use concentration and volume) and mixing it with the vaccine, equalizing vial pressure, and so on.” Gomez estimated that he was personally able to actively mix up hundreds of vaccines during the summer.
For him, Commencement represents the culmination of years of hard work, but it also marks the beginning of a new chapter. After graduation, he plans to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a master’s in public health at the University of Georgia, and ultimately he wants to work as a clinical pharmacist in in-patient settings or in the field of regulatory affairs.
And while his sights are set firmly on the future, he knows he will miss the campus. “I am still stunned by the beauty of Georgia Tech every time I walk to class or to meetings,” Gomez said. Whether it’s Tech Green, the EcoCommons, Tech Tower, Harrison Square, or any number of other sites, “There are simply places on this campus that emanate warmth, positivity, and joy, and I've come to love them over the past few years.