Dec 102010
Authors: Courtney Riley

With graduation lingering, Blake Gibson is waiting to hear back from 18 medical schools across the nation.

The conclusion of this semester marks his last as a biomedical sciences and Spanish double major at CSU.

“All good things must come to an end,” he said.

Gibson was born in Helena, Mont. and grew up in Phoenix, Ariz. He came to CSU because he had never been to Colorado, and there are few schools with a biomedical program, he said.

His goal is to become a pediatrician, but that wasn’t always the case. He was afraid of doctors as a kid and originally wanted to be a lawyer.

But in the middle of his freshman year, volunteering at the Poudre Valley Hospital changed his mind.

“I was the kid who loved to dissect stuff,” Gibson said. “But it was through volunteering and helping people where I really found my passion.”

Gibson described the medical field as an “incredible path.” Through this career choice, he will be able to be a part of people’s lives and help them maintain or regain their health, which is what allows them to do the things they enjoy doing, he said.

He said he is particularly interested in the pediatric field because kids are interesting medically, and they’re fun and optimistic.

By working at a camp for kids with cancer in Estes Park, he learned how uplifting children could be.

He was paired with a young boy to provide him with the opportunity to be a kid again for a week, averting his mind from his cancer. Gibson played sports with his partner, participated in a water fight and most importantly, taught him how to fish –– something he’d never learned to do.

Another of Gibson’s passions is the relationship between spirituality and medicine.

He said there are studies that have shown faith can help people recover more quickly and prevent the appearance of diseases.

David Gilkey, an associate professor of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, worked on a research project with Gibson that studied the effect of chaplain visits on more than 900 heart attack patients at the Medical Center of the Rockies. Gibson said certain types of heart attack patients displayed a better recovery.

Gibson also said he has an interest in helping the world’s poor Hispanic population –– something he developed while working at a migrant worker clinic last summer.

He said many of the poor people he saw in the clinic were Hispanics who couldn’t speak English.

But wherever the future takes him, Gibson will always remember CSU.

“I don’t think I can say enough good things about CSU,” he said. “I don’t think there is a better university where the faculty is more interested in student success.”

Some of his best memories come from his involvement with student government. Gibson served as a senator and chief of staff for the Associated Students of CSU, as well as a chairman of the Associated Students of Colorado, that state student government.

His favorite memory is a little simpler: sitting on the Oval on a fall day talking with friends.

“Oh, and Brian Jones’ physics lectures of course,” he said.

Larissa Gaul, a biomedical science graduate of last spring, became friends with Gibson through classes they had together. She said he has several medical school interview opportunities and will certainly succeed in the future.

“Blake is one of those people who can relate to anyone,” she said. “He has a genuine interest in people and their well being.”

His feelings about graduating are nostalgic, but anxious. He only wishes he had hiked to the “A” and taken a brew tour of New Belgium Brewery.

“It’s been four-and-a-half years, and I’m ready,” he said. “The unknown is more exciting than scary.”

Staff writer Courtney Riley can be reached at

More About Gibson

  • Majors: Biomedical Science and Spanish
  • Graduation Date: December 2010
  • Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Outside interests: Loves to ski, hike and run
  • Favorite part about Fort Collins: Old Town
  • Favorite bar: Ace Gillett’s Lounge
  • Favorite class: LSPA 492, Spanish Lang., Lit. and Society
  • Least favorite class: General Chemistry
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