SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 – This year, Lucas Kaplan (NHS’18) is serving as president of Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service. Commonly called GERMS, the organization “. . . is an all-volunteer, student-run emergency ambulance service,” according to its website.
“As president of GERMS, I’m responsible for leading our executive board to make sure GERMS stays running smoothly and make improvements to the organization,” says Kaplan, a human science major at the School of Nursing & Health Studies. “It has been a huge learning experience for me, as I’ve never done anything like it before.”
The 24-7 service provides “basic life support ambulances” to the Georgetown campus and surrounding community.
‘Found My Niche’
Kaplan says he is getting “used to speaking to large groups more often” and managing internal organizational issues and a relationship with the DC Department of Health. He has also learned to collaborate with university offices.
“I have grown so much from it already, and I look forward to the rest of the year,” he says.
He adds he found a sense of community in GERMS and the school’s Peer Advising Program, which helps new students acclimate to their lives at Georgetown. This year, he serves as a coordinator of the program.
“After not getting too involved in anything my freshman year, I found my niche on campus in GERMS and in the NHS peer advising program,” he says. “I pretty quickly realized that these activities made me happy and gave me a purpose on campus, so it’s been fun to get even more involved with them over the past couple years.”
Research and Medicine
In addition to GERMS and peer advising, Kaplan currently conducts research related to Parkinson’s disease in the laboratory of Kathleen Maguire-Zeiss, PhD, associate professor of neuroscience at Georgetown University Medical Center. He is also applying to medical school.
With three years behind him, Kaplan notes that his time at Georgetown has been one defined by increasing assuredness.
“I was definitely not a person who ever thought I’d feel like Georgetown was a home away from home during my freshman year,” he says. “But entering my senior year, I couldn’t be happier I chose to attend Georgetown. I think I have even more pride that I am a human science major and in the NHS. I love the community, the classes, and the fact that I have close relationships with the faculty. Now there is no hesitation when I am asked if I am happy here.”