Student Spotlight: Collins preps for grad school with research

Valentina Vargas, Staff Reporter

Carlos Collins, the president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, has shared how he is preparing for graduate school at what he hopes will be the school of social service administration in University of Chicago.

Collins, a senior sociology major, said being involved in the NSCS organization has helped him to move forward both academically and professionally.

He is currently into public policies, focusing on how they affect communities of minorities.

“(I grew) up in an inner-city neighborhood and (came) from single parent home,” Collins said. “Then raised by my mother, I paid attention to resources available and how they affected my life course.”

Richard England, the dean of the Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College, said he met him when Collins started working as the office assistant of Honors Society College department.

England said one of the most important jobs Collins does is send letters to perspective honors students that have applied to Eastern.

He said there is a whole process to it because each student is placed in a different category, since each student is eligible for different scholarships.

“He’s really very good,” England said. “It’s a position, which requires me to trust his abilities, and he’s (proven to be) a very hard student worker.”

Collins said he became a hard worker academically and in a professional setting because of his family, who he said are also hard workers.

“My family is the core of what makes me, me,” Collins said. “They have definitely encouraged me to pursue my academic dreams as well as personal and professional dreams and goals.”

England said Collins has taken advantage of opportunities that have been presented to him, like going from one internship to another, which has given him experience and opened more options.

“What I say to freshman is you got a chance at taking good classes with good, strong students, but you got so many opportunities entering as a freshman,” England said. “You really have to explore them and take advantage of those opportunities.”

Collins said he has done a couple of internships with the Chicago Housing Authority, but in graduate school he wants to focus in the administration part.

He said he wants to investigate social changes like the access of resources made available to those young minority people in inner cities because he said to have an upward mobility, higher education is needed.

“I’m a person of color, I’ve experienced some of those same challenges,” Collins said. “(It’s why it) makes me want to understand it more and encourages me to make a change.”

In the honors society, England said they have many students from all over the country like from New York and Idaho to students from Charleston and Mattoon.

He said Collins represents a great achievement that Eastern offers and that he is proud of him.

“I think what’s great about Eastern is although we are far away from Chicago, we have students who are very much engaged in learning here, which they will take back to bigger cities and the urban communities,” England said, “They are going to do amazing things in those communities at some point in their lives.”

Valentina Vargas can be reached at

581-2812 or [email protected]