As his term as a member of the GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Council comes to an end, we caught up with Calvin Choi ’12 about his journey from Clark to his work to advocate for those who have been underserved by the health care system.
When did you graduate, and what did you do at Clark?
I graduated in May 2012, majoring in political science and philosophy. At Clark, I was a four-year competitor on, and sometimes co-captain of, the intercollegiate Mock Trial Team.
Where are you now? What have you been up to? What are some of your long-term goals?
I currently live in Portland, Oregon, with my wife, 8-year old daughter, and two clingy cats. I am currently a financial analyst at the University of California San Francisco. For the past nine years, I’ve worked primarily in academic medicine, supporting research operations and financial management within departments.
I’m not entirely sure about my long-term goals, but I have highly enjoyed serving on the Junior Board for the Cascade AIDS Project — the oldest and largest community-based provider of HIV services, housing, education, and advocacy in Oregon and Southwest Washington. As COVID-19 continues to reveal the depth and scope of health disparities, I hope to continue to advocate for those who have been historically denied access to care.
What is the most valuable lesson you learned at Clark?
The importance of research and pushing the boundaries of knowledge, particularly in the context of a liberal arts education.
You are a graduating member of the GOLD Council. Can you talk about your experience on the GOLD Council?
I’ve been really impressed by the Council’s adaptiveness, particularly in light of the roadblocks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and GOLD Council membership transitions. It has morphed quite a bit since I first came on board, and I’m excited to watch it continue to evolve (albeit at more of a distance)!
What is a favorite memory from your time on the GOLD Council?
Perhaps a bit of recency bias, but I really enjoyed volunteering for the “Life After Clark” alumni networking event. I always enjoy being able to make one-on-one connections with current students, and it reminds me of how much I benefited from such events when I was applying to grad school and pondering career options.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? What insight have you gained through professional experience that you would like to share with current students?
I was fortunate to cross paths with a Clarkie who was the chief learning officer of a major academic health system. She shared her career journey with me, noting that she had started off as a clinical social worker and had never planned to become an executive of a major academic organization. What I took away from our conversation was that career trajectories aren’t always linear.
How do you plan to stay engaged with Clark as an alum?
I’ll continue to facilitate connections between Clarkies working in health care via the Clark University Health care Professionals Network on LinkedIn.
Emilee Cocuzzo is a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. She is currently a co-chair on the GOLD Council.