An interview with Derrion May, newly named GSA President

Derrion May, GSA President

Aug. 22, 2018 - Derrion May is the newly-appointed President of Hood's Graduate Student Association

Derrion May


  • Environmental Biology (M.S.)


  • Biology

1. Derrion, why did you decide to apply for the GSA President position?
When I first came to Hood, I was interested in ways I could informally get involved with other graduate students. I was new to the area so I wanted to meet people that I would more than likely see on campus. After hearing about GSA at Fall Orientation, I thought this would be a great group to be a part of. After attending a few GSA events, I knew I could see myself getting more involved, however, the idea of me being the president didn’t come to mind. After Mir (Wasay, the former GSA President) reached out to me in regards to the opening, I decided I would move forward with applying.

2. What do you like about GSA?
This may be obvious, but Hood College is relatively small. I personally have enjoyed my experience attending two small liberal arts colleges for both undergraduate and graduate school due to the opportunity to forge strong connections among a small student population. At a school such as Hood, GSA is a great resource to meet other graduate students, especially if you live off campus and don’t interact with students outside of class. GSA allowed me to form some great friendships last year and I hope I can extend that relationship to others, and can help facilitate to other students.

3. How did GSA help you in your graduate experience?
GSA is very informal, which made it easy for me to take a few hours from studying to grab pizza or to meet new people. The last event I attended with GSA was laser tag, which occurred when I was trying to wrap up the semester. I was hesitant about taking a few hours away from my work, but it’s amazing what a few hours of friendly competition can do for your health. After the laser tag event, I was still able to complete my work while having had the experience of a unique study break.

4. What will you do differently and what new things will you implement in the upcoming semester?
One thing I would like to do differently this upcoming year is branch out to neighboring colleges or organizations to expand the potential type of events GSA could experience. Frederick offers multiple unique opportunities to network or to attend free workshops that would benefit the student body. I would say that anyone who is interested in any upcoming networks events should keep an eye on our social media pages, or let me know if you see anything worthwhile.

5. Is there a message you would like to send to our current students?
I would like to let current students know that I want this to be their organization. Although I have been assigned to a leadership position, I want current students to look forward to upcoming GSA events and be comfortable reaching out to me if they have any suggestions for future programs.