Name: Dan Gora
Major: Nutrition with an option in Food Service Systems
Minor: Business and Entrepreneurship
“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
It’s no surprise that this is one of Dan Gora’s favorite quotes. Immediately after meeting him, it is clear he is a team player. Dan is a senior studying Nutrition with an option in Food Service Systems and is also earning a minor in Business and Entrepreneurship. Dan was drawn to Nutrition because he has “always loved food. We eat three times a day, [so it’s clearly important] and people often neglect it. Bad nutrition affects [everything from your mood to your energy level].” He is particularly interested in corporate wellness and health promotion to implement healthy changes in school or the work place where there is so much room for improvement.
Opportunities at Oregon State have also helped Dan find another niche, event coordination, which he may pursue as a career. This year, he began working for MUPC as Entertainment and Recreation Coordinator which includes planning Battle of The DJs, the annual comedy shows during mom’s and dad’s weekend, Western Wind Up and OSU Has Talent. “MUPC has taught me so much about building a team, and that learning curve will be amazing and useful in the future. I always want to work in a team, not at a desk [by myself]. I don’t believe in one person having the greatest ideas, nothing great has ever been accomplished by one person. If you’re working [in a group], you need to know the importance of teamwork. We are more alike than we are different; never underestimate the power of a team.”
Dan has been hired as MUPC Director for the 2014-2015 school year and has learned a lot from the current Director. “Corrin has done an amazing job and showed me the importance of servant leadership. During OSU Has Talent I was running around and she asked me if I had eaten yet. [When I told her I hadn’t] she ordered me Jimmy John’s. She has always put the team ahead of her own needs. [It’s important to keep in mind even though] we are all in a work place we’re all people and it’s important to take care of each other. Any position you are in you should be willing to do any aspect of the job.” Dan says being adaptable and dynamic enough to help as much as possible is one of the most valuable traits a leader can possess.
Before Dan began working for MUPC, he was already invested in the Oregon State community. Sophomore and junior year he worked as a Tour Ambassador, giving campus tours to prospective students. He also joined Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity the winter of his sophomore year. Dan served as Chaplin for Phi Psi, which he says is a multifaceted role. As Chaplin, you are a go-to for conflict resolutions or if someone needs to talk. Other responsibilities include being a meeting facilitator for chapter fireside meetings and acting as a moral compass for the chapter, all while encouraging members to stay involved in the fraternity. Dan also served on the philanthropy committee. During his time on the committee Phi Psi launched a new philanthropy called Fraternal Feud, which he helped plan.
When asked how he personally defines leadership Dan replied, “Integrity. What you say needs to line up with your actions, because you are only as good as your word.” Dan also sees the significance of challenging yourself, or you will plateau. “Sometimes you have to take leaps of faith and jump in to it. It’s okay to be a little scared but be willing to learn and know there is always room for growth.” Another invaluable trait Dan believes leaders can possess is the willingness to learn. “Especially as a student leader, we may not have a ton of experience but you can never close yourself off to learning in any stage of life. “