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Gurule Named ASU’s Exceptional New Alumnus for 2018

Written by Linda Relyea – Adams State University News 

This article was featured in the Autumn 2018 edition of Adams State University’s magazine, A-Stater.

After graduating from Adams State University in 2011, David Gurule enrolled in the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, where many of his classmates came from large, well-known institutions. He saw right away that he was better prepared. “There were things I learned at Adams State, or experienced, that they hadn’t,” he says. “Adams State prepared me with a solid foundation in all the sciences. The faculty did a great job making sure you understood the material, not just memorized it.”

Two professors, in particular, left a lasting impression: Dr. Marty Jones, emeritus professor of chemistry, and Dr. Brent Ybarrondo, emeritus professor of biology. “Dr. Jones was an excellent teacher and had a unique way of making organic chemistry fun and exciting, but that isn’t what I remember looking back,” says Gurule. “What I remember is how happy and excited he was every day. How he treated his students with kindness and respect. If we all treated people they way Dr. Jones does, we would be a lot better off.”

He recalls that Dr. Ybarrondo seemed unapproachable, but “that was before you got to know him. He truly cared for students and wanted them to succeed,” says Gurule. “He definitely pushed me academically and helped me develop critical thinking skills that I use on a day-to-day basis in my profession.”

Beyond academics, Gurule also credits the University’s culture as having a lifelong impact. “Probably the biggest thing I took away from Adams is that it doesn’t matter who you are or what your title is – people deserve to be treated well, and that was exemplified by the faculty,” he says. “Those relationships allowed me to flourish and pursue my pharmacy career and helped model the type of person I wanted to be.”

After earning his advanced degrees, Gurule embarked on a career in pharmacy practice, eventually returning to his roots as a pharmacist for Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc. “Growing up in the area, you saw the hardships people faced. You saw hard-working people sometimes go without because they didn’t have access to quality healthcare,” he says. “I wanted to help give patients a higher level of care, closer to home.”