Student Star: Emily Maglin

Psychology student contributes to mental health advocacy and de-stigmatization statewide

Name: Emily Maglin
Major: Psychology
Graduation: Spring 2024
Hometown: St. Augustine, FL
College: College of Arts & Sciences

“Florida State University offered me the most well-rounded experience possible. ”

Fast Facts

  1. Favorite study spot: Heritage Museum at Dodd Hall
  2. Athlete: Participates in intramural soccer
  3. Student government: Won the Vires award with Student Senate
  4. Musician: Plays the drums and piano
  5. Traveler: Studied abroad at FSU's London Study Centre

During her time at Florida State University, Emily Maglin, a psychology major who graduated in Spring 2024, participated in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and joined the Chelko Lab in the College of Medicine to study a rare inherited heart disease.

Additionally, her passion for mental health advocacy led her to create a Mental Health Day proposal, which garnered support from both FSU and FAMU.

Maglin’s advocacy extends to the state level, where she influenced legislation promoting mental health awareness.

What impacted your decision to attend FSU?

FSU offered the most well-rounded experience possible. Not only does Florida State boast a world-renowned psychology program that would best suit my major and academic interests, but Florida State also has a wonderfully diverse student life and countless opportunities for involvement. During my senior year of high school, I was able to visit a friend in her junior year at Florida State. Before I applied, she gave me a tour of the campus, major student hubs, student amenities and more.

After this visit, I fell in love with Florida State and applied. The COVID-19 pandemic struck in the last half of my senior year, so I could not go on any college tours with my family. Had I not seen the livelihood and diversity of FSU, I may not have attended. Also, I am a recipient of the Bright Futures Scholarship. Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to attend Florida State University, much less any university.

How have FSU’s programs supported your academic development?

I had the privilege of participating in UROP during the 2021-2022 academic year. UROP requires students to contribute to ongoing university research, selecting one project across many disciplines. While in the program, I had the honor of joining the Chelko Lab in the College of Medicine. The Chelko Lab, led by Dr. Stephen Chelko, specializes in the understanding and treatment of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy. In this lab, I helped prepare samples of DNA, run polymerase chain reactions, perform echocardiograms and echo ultrasound exams on experimental mice and other laboratory tasks.

At the end of the 2021-2022 academic year, I had to compile Dr. Chelko’s research into a poster to be presented at the 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS). At URS, I presented the work I had been contributing to over the year to my colleagues and to members of Dr. Chelko’s lab. After I participated in the UROP program, I remained an undergraduate member of the Chelko Lab, contributing to his research for the past three years.

How have you developed your passion for mental health advocacy?

I have had the opportunity to join several extracurricular activities, most notably within the Student Government Association. In the 2022 spring semester, I represented the College of Arts and Sciences on Student Senate. I decided to use my new position to promote my longstanding passion for mental health advocacy. Throughout my term, I dedicated my efforts toward developing a logistical outline for a Mental Health Day to be implemented into the university’s academic calendar. This project, which spanned over six months, required intensive collaboration with university administrators, faculty and student leaders. After refining the outline and solidifying support from various entities, I presented the proposal to the student senate via Resolution 26.

After unanimous approval from Student Senate, I was able to bring the initiative back to Florida State’s administration to continue efforts toward implementation. The work I was able to accomplish in this role was life-changing and my most significant leadership position during my time at Florida State. Student Senate introduced me to a variety of student organizations. I served as the assistant director of the Mental Health Council and used this leadership role to de-stigmatize, promote awareness of and encouraged mental health advocacy. These two leadership roles allowed me to act on my passion for mental health while developing a professional passion for activism and the law.

Can you describe your impact on the Tallahassee community and beyond?

The work that I have done as both a student senator and as assistant director of the Mental Health Council positively contributed to Florida State, Tallahassee and essentially the state of Florida. I took the Mental Health Day initiative to the state level. I took the proposal to a state senator, who transformed my idea into a sweeping resolution, entitled Sunshine Day, which encouraged all universities in Florida to adopt a similar measure on their campuses in the name of mental health advocacy and recognition.

Though implementation rests on the administrators and student leaders at each university, the initiative has the potential to positively impact thousands of students across the state and improve overall student mental health in Florida.

As assistant director of the Mental Health Council, I have organized and planned several events to benefit student mental health and increase resource awareness. Most recently, I was able to host local vendors on FSU’s campus to alleviate student stress and provide an outlet away from academic and personal stressors.