Retiring CACTUS chair eyes future in health administration

May 14, 2014 11:00 AM

Arthur Nead

Commencement 2014

Samantha “Sam” Gould, who hails from Salt Lake City, arrived at Tulane University initially considering pre-med. She became interested in psychology and public health, and how these disciplines interrelate, and she is now a candidate for graduation with a double major in public health and psychology.

Sam Gould

Sam Gould has led student public service projects and volunteered in Shanghai and Beijing in health clinics. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Gould became deeply involved in community service during her sophomore year and volunteered with the Community Action Council of Tulane University Students (CACTUS).

“Each year, CACTUS puts on Outreach Tulane, our big service day for students with about a thousand undergrads volunteering,” says Gould. “It’s after the first week of classes each fall.”  

Gould’s role was contacting the community partners to whom volunteers would be assigned. 

“We send students to 40 plus sites,” she says. “So all summer we called, emailed, visited sites and followed up.”

Among the organizations students help during Outreach Tulane are the National Alliance of Mental Illness, for which students perform office tasks to support education programs for people with mental illness and their families; Green Light New Orleans, which installs free energy efficient light bulbs for residents; and Parkway Partners, with whom students work building community gardens, weeding and planting. 

CACTUS coordinates students volunteering at numerous other sites and organizations throughout the year. 

During her junior year, Gould spent a month living in Shanghai and Beijing, volunteering in health clinics. Her capstone project was a paper comparing the Chinese and United States health care systems. 

“I wrote my paper about differences in birth control practices between the countries, which I found fascinating,” she says.

Gould joined the CACTUS board her junior year and then served as the organization’s chair during her senior year. 

Next year, Gould will continue to hone her management skills as she enters the master of health administration program at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000