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Saturday, November 26, 2022

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Andrew Cumbie Andrew Cumbie

Andrew Cumbie's Aztec Experience

This Aztec was the recipient of the San Diego Military Advisory Council Military Student of the Year scholarship.
By SDSU News Team

Name: Andrew Cumbie            
Major (and minor): Public health major with a minor in chemistry
Campus affiliations: Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center; Flying Samaritans; Students 4 Public Health

1. Why did you choose SDSU?
When I was first considering SDSU, my wife and I felt it would be good for us to move to San Diego because we would be closer to her family and SDSU has amazing veterans support. We went to visit the campus and after walking around and learning about all that SDSU has to offer, we made our decision right then that I was going to transfer to SDSU. The study abroad program at SDSU really appealed to me as well.

2. What inspired you to declare your major?
During my time in the military. I came across a lot of medical professions due to some medical issues I had. I saw the light in the eyes of the clinicians when caring for their patients and just knew that was something I wanted to do. Public health is also a degree that will help me when I go to graduate school to become a physician assistant. Trying to help our community adopt a healthy lifestyle is something that fuels me every day.

3. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
When I was in the military, one of our guest speakers was Colonel Gail Halvorsen, the “Berlin Candy Bomber.” He told us a story about being a pilot during World War II. He would fly his plane over Berlin and drop huge amounts of candy for all of the children. He said, “It is important that when we face hard times, we are a light of hope for others.” He also told us that whatever career path we choose, we need to do all that we can to be the best at that job. If we ever want to make a difference in this world, we need to give everything we have. That has always stayed with me. That is what I hope to do as a physician assistant. I want to be that light of hope for others.

4. Which SDSU faculty or staff member has been the most influential throughout your SDSU journey?
My supervisor Jose Esparza, the site supervisor of the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center, has helped me throughout my journey here at SDSU. He would always tell me to take advantage of what SDSU has to offer, such as internships and scholarships. He urges me to always challenge my mind, to think for myself and not just know the textbook answer.

5. What experience at SDSU has changed your life the most?
SDSU has given me many opportunities to give back to my community. I had the opportunity to be a part of the Flying Samaritans organization, which allowed me to work in a free health clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. I was able to help people who are in need of health services, and being a part of that really changed me. It opened my eyes to the problems we are facing as a society and how we need to do our part to make this world a better place.

6. What has been your proudest achievement while at SDSU?
I would say one of my proudest achievements was winning the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) Military Student of the Year scholarship. This great opportunity will help me pay for my education. The support from SDMAC really means a lot to me. They have a vested interest in my future. This council helps many veterans like me pay for our education, which shows us how much they appreciate our service in the military.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to eventually graduate from a physician assistant program and work in family medicine. I would like to work in underserved areas with families that need health services and help promote healthy behaviors and habits to improve lives both physically and mentally. Then, I would like to work in a Veterans Affairs hospital to give back to our veteran community, and give these men and women the required treatment and assistance they deserve for serving our country.

8. What’s your favorite thing about being an Aztec?

My favorite thing about being an Aztec is the networking. I was able to participate in the Aztec Mentorship Program and speak with someone in my field. This gave me a better understanding and the opportunity to see if it is something I feel I can do. I also love the free chemistry tutoring and the writing center where I can have someone proofread the papers I write. There are so many resources here at SDSU and that is just amazing. It can be hard at times to see what SDSU has to offer, but with the staff’s support here at SDSU, you can find all those opportunities.