What was an important life lesson you learned at Drury?
What has one of your career highlights been?
What advice would you give a new Drury student?
When Dr. Greg Farwell graduated from Drury in 1990 with degrees in biology and chemistry, he knew he was laying the foundation for a career in medicine. Today, Greg is an associate professor of otolaryngology, or head and neck surgery, at the University of California - Davis.
Before his days of teaching and researching some of the most intricate surgeries in medicine, Farwell was conducting research in Lay Hall (the former science building) and establishing lifelong friendships as a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity. He credits his education at Drury with making friendships and connections that have endured for the past 20 years.
Combining Professional Preparation with a Liberal Arts Background
Greg credits the broad liberal arts education that he received at Drury with paving the way for a successful career in science. The advantage of having that liberal arts education, he says, is that he has felt more prepared for life wherever it has taken him - including teaching medical students and doctors from around the world.
"You can succeed in life being very good at one thing but I think what makes life more complete is the ability to interact and be involved in different areas," Greg says. "So, in addition to my scientific background from my majors, you pick up a lot of tools and techniques that help you interact with our world - certainly with international travel and being involved with educating people across the world. Having experienced different ways of thinking, different histories, and different environments has been very useful for me."
Greg also credits his Drury liberal arts education with the ability to adapt to career and life changes.
"Certainly my career now is different than what I originally envisioned, and throughout life, having those skills and being able to adapt and think critically of the new challenges that come along," he says. "in many occasions that's been really helpful."
Sharing a Passion for Learning and Teaching
It's no surprise that Greg's medical career has taken him along a path to teaching. With Drury professors who pushed him to excel in his academic research and coursework, Greg saw firsthand the impact that a passionate teacher can have on a student. He now strives to pass that same excitement for learning on to his own students at the University of California - Davis medical school.
Greg also has some knowledge and perspective to pass on to new Drury students as they begin their formative college years.
"My advice would be to think big," he says. "It's a big world full of amazing challenges. Often at that point in your life you don't understand how big and how amazing your life can be. Think big, work hard, and keep your mind open to new opportunities."