“The high standard of excellence that Florida State perpetuated was motivating for me to want to grow and contribute to that excellence.”
FSU student finds a passion for inspiring others
Major: Biological Science
Graduation: Spring 2021
A biology major from Collierville, Tennessee, Michael Collins wanted to be a part of something great and Florida State University sustained the high standards of excellence he expected in a college.
“There are several pictures of me dressed as an infant decked out head-to-toe in Florida State gear,” Collins said. “The high standard of excellence that Florida State perpetuated was motivating for me to want to grow and contribute to that excellence.”
As a freshman, Collins knew he wanted to pursue a career where he could work with people. Serving as an Orientation Leader during the summer 2018 was Collins’ first significant involvement within this world at FSU.
“I was able to provide a comfortable and successful transition from high school to college for thousands of students and their family members,” Collins said. “Through the facilitation of small group activities to coordinating with campus partners to provide insightful programs, I was able to encourage FSU’s class of 2022.”
Captivated by the people and experiences around him at FSU, Collins did not wait a minute to get involved with the university.
“At first, the lack of knowledge of opportunities was a struggle, but when I found my place on campus, I was set,” Collins said.
Collins has been fortunate to experience a breadth of opportunities since arriving at Florida State. He became a member of the Honors Program in fall 2017, achieved the Dean’s List for four semesters and President’s List for one semester.
“I was encouraged through everything I did,” Collins said. “I was always pushed to achieve everything I could and more.”
Collins also served as a University Ambassador giving tours to prospective students and calling interested applicants to assist them with their application to Florida State.
“Being an ambassador was one of my favorite roles on campus,” Collins said. “I was able to be a part of the decision for many people choosing what college to attend, and it felt rewarding.”
Collins believes in the importance of giving back to the community and has done so through many avenues, including The Big Event, an organization that partners with TCC and FAMU students in volunteering around the Tallahassee community.
“Through working with The Big Event, I was able to see the direct impact on the people around me while making the community a better place,” Collins said. “I gave my all to this organization.”
The Big Event aims to send volunteers to service sites around the Tallahassee area and task them with community service.
Due to COVID-19, in-person community service activities were postponed or canceled. However, because of Collins’ imaginative thinking, The Big Event and its sister, The Little Event, were still able to happen.
“In the fall, we held The Little Event, which had a virtual option for volunteers as well as an in-person option,” Collins said. “Serving as the volunteer engagement director, I oversaw all programming events as well as recruitment for FAMU, FSU and TCC.”
The Little Event’s virtual option included writing letters to seniors who were isolated due to the pandemic, picking up trash in the community, donating blood, and more. More than 60 participants completed the virtual service and even more served during The Big Event this spring.
Collins’s impact on the FSU community continued when he was selected to be a Freshman Interest Group (FIG) leader.
“My overall goal for this position was to be able to inspire a group of freshmen to achieve more, do more and be more during a global health crisis while seeking out opportunities,” Collins said.
Alison Hughes, associate dean of New Student & Family Programs said through Collins’ time as a FIG Leader and his work with Orientation, he has exemplified the true Seminole Creed.
“He is a phenomenal leader and has made a deep impact in this Freshman class while making a true effort to make the most out of his college experience, and I am so glad to say I was able to be a part of it,” she said.
Collins also participated in FSU’s Homecoming Executive Council where he served as the Spirit Force Chair. As chair, Collins interviewed and selected a 15-to-20-person student committee that supported the executive council throughout the semester.
“In this position, I was able to expose students to the vast world of involvement opportunities outside of Homecoming on campus and prepare them for leadership roles and future careers by seeking out professional development avenues,” Collins said.
Collins said that through every role he participated in at Florida State, he has been fortunate to learn from so many professionals in different avenues of life.
“Everyone who comes into my life teaches me something about how I interact with others,” Collins said. “Being available and adaptable have been the reasons I have successfully navigated college.”
When Collins graduates in April 2021, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration with hopes of educating others who want to go into the same career field and learning more about how one personal experience can shape others.