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Meet Zack Merhavy of GCUAzHOSA in Grand Canyon University

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zack Merhavy.

Zack, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The Grand Canyon University Chapter of HOSA Future Health Professionals was founded on the GCU campus back in 2009. Since then, we have grown to be the largest international collegiate chapter of HOSA with over 700 members. Since we are a larger chapter, we structure our chapter very differently from most others as a way to be sure we are helping students of all pre-health fields. This year, we carefully selected our Leadership Team in order to gather students from all pre-health backgrounds and motivations so we can be a year like no other before us. This year, we are incredibly proud to say that we have exceeded most of our organizational goals, already held roughly 210 events, helped students receive jobs and various other opportunities made a positive impact on campus and gave many students leadership experience. This year, we really tried to push the envelope and get creative with the tools we have and with the help of our advisors, CSET (College of Science, Engineering, and Technology) and the student government on campus, we were able to make GCU one of the most successful HOSA chapters!

Has it been a smooth road?
Just like with the road to any great goal, there will always be some bumps and struggles along the way. Our biggest struggles dealt with individuals on the Leadership Team transitioning out due to over-commitment or lack of finding a balance with their school work. Losing people on a team is always difficult, and it requires more work on the team’s part to make up for it. Another big hurdle we faced this year was the negative stigma surrounding HOSA on campus from previous years. HOSA had, in the past, faced bits of “loss-of-trust”, so to speak, that gave us coming in, an uphill battle to show everyone that we will not make the same mistakes. After everything is said and done, we really feel as though the school knows about us in a positive light, and is looking forward to what is in store for next year.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the GCUAzHOSA story. Tell us more about the business.
GCUAzHOSA is the largest international collegiate chapter of HOSA Future Health Professionals, where we uniquely strive to cater to any/all pre-health majors. Whether the student is pre-med, pre-pharmacy, pre-PT, biomedical engineering, athletic training, etc., our goal is to get them as prepared and as competitive as possible for whatever graduate program or career they aspire to go into. By uniquely breaking our chapter into five (5) Strategy Areas, we are able to create multiple avenues in which students can take part in our opportunities. These 5 Strategy Areas break into Development, Public Service, Student Community, Fundraising and Academic Excellence. Development is a Strategy Area in which all “managerial” and “background” work is conducted; where if something does not specifically fit into another category, Development handles it. Development is also the “overseer” of other Strategy Areas in order to ensure they are functioning smoothly.

Public service will handle any and all volunteering opportunities that come our way so students can begin bolstering their resumes with numerous community service engagements. Student Community organizes the non-academic side of HOSA as well as handles the social media in order to instill a community-oriented mindset in students as they prepare for a community-oriented profession. Student Community exists so members can begin forming long-lasting relationships with one another in order to give rise to combined student success. Fundraising, of course, handles the money that comes in and out of our chapter as well as raises funds to ensure each Strategy Area has the necessary tools and equipment for success. In addition to this, Fundraising’s primary purpose is to help increase member numbers and be creative in raising funds for our State and International competitions. Academic Excellence is often a crowd favorite as it caters to all students’ need for developing any/all desirable hard and soft skills graduate programs look for in applicants. Each of these Strategy Areas is overseen and run by our 5 Executive Officers who also oversee the Chair Members within each group, ultimately forming our Leadership Team.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Over the next 5-10 years, we would love to see GCUAzHOSA being the premiere “one-stop-shop” for all pre-health students on campus that they want to be a part of. We would also really love to see HOSA being a selling point to bring in more GCU students interested in the sciences as a unique piece to what GCU can offer. The pre-health programs here are already amazing and it would be great to see HOSA becoming the “icing on the cake”, so to speak. As long as HOSA can continue doing what we’re doing now, we think that could be a very real possibility!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

GCUAzHOSA (2017-2018), Jed Woods

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