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Author Says GSU Inspired Writing, Classroom Success

Daniel Gould, a 2010 Governors State University alumnus earned a Master of Arts in English, and then went on to pen “The Lazarus Vaccine,” a science fiction thriller that was recently a best seller at local Barnes and Noble store. Despite solid book sales, Gould said he has no plans to leave the classroom at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School.

“I’ve never felt as confident as an educator as I did after I got my degree from GSU,” Gould said.

Why did you choose GSU?

GSU was an easy choice, partly because it was close and affordable, but largely because so many of my colleagues in education had chosen it as well. So many other people I taught with had gotten their master’s degrees at GSU, and they spoke very highly of it. In fact, GSU is an enormous draw for suburban educators, many of whom earn advanced degrees in teaching or administration there. I got my degree in my area of content, which has made me a much stronger teacher.

What do you do professionally?

I currently teach Advanced Placement language and composition, creative writing, and junior English, essentially an American literature course, at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School. Teaching in general is a lot of fun, and I enjoy my job every single day.

I’ll never leave the classroom.

What’s next?

Shortly after earning my degree, I lost my father and that planted the seed for what became my first novel. I had always told my dad I was going to be a writer. And I thought, ‘Now is the time to get serious and do it.’

I drew on the countless hours spent dealing with doctors, hospitals, medical tests and treatment and wove in the conflicts and emotions I witnessed and experienced in as my father declined and eventually passed. The result was “The Lazarus Vaccine.” I call it a technical thriller work of magical realism. It was released electronically in August 2018 and in print in March 2019, and I am already at work on my second novel.

What did you get from GSU that you couldn’t have gotten anywhere else?

Access to the best professors—Dr. Christopher White and Dr. Rosemary Johnsen. They introduced me to a lot of great literature, and I definitely benefited from reading so many different works. The professors were incredible and I took as many of their classes as I could.

What advice would you share with current GSU students?

The best advice I would offer is to take the time to absorb and appreciate the experience. Mine was incredible but I didn’t appreciate how much enrichment I had here from a grad school experience.

How did your GSU degree help you advance your career?

Having a graduate degree in my content area — in English instead of a type 75- allows me to teach upper lever advance language classes at the high school level. My master’s also helped me get a new assignment teaching dual degree classes. You need a master’s degree to teach those classes.

What are you most proud of when you look back at your GSU experience?

My graduate thesis and the research skills I learned here. I studied research methods and the skills I learned helped me teach my students. GSU taught me and gave me the tools to do proper academic research. It was fantastic.