With a cumulative grade-point average of 3.965, positive classroom performance and great personality, Jacob Wilkins received the President’s Award at the Glen Oaks Community College 2014 commencement ceremony. Wilkins graduated (May 2, 2014) and earned an Associate of Science degree, with an emphasis in life science.
Not even knowing that the award existed, Wilkins was excited at the announcement. “I am honored and grateful – this was a wonderful surprise,” said Wilkins.
Wilkins is described by his professors as a student who “earns top grades, is always prepared and works well with others both in and out of the classroom. He is easy going, unassuming, friendly and has a get-it-done type of personality. His quick smile and great sense of humor balances his academic ability and work ethic perfectly.”
It wasn’t long after Wilkins started taking Three Rivers High School dual enrollment classes at Glen Oaks that he decided to work toward his degree. Through dual enrollment classes (Aug. 2011 through May 2013) he earned 39 out of his total 62 credits. Wilkins plans to transfer to a four-year university, but is looking at programs at both Western Michigan University and Michigan State University. He plans to have a career that involves animals.
“The classes at Glen Oaks were smaller in size and there was always close student-teacher interaction,” said Wilkins, “I enjoyed the enthusiasm in my professors and ultimately it was Sarah Simmons’ Chemistry class that helped me to decide what degree I wanted.”
Wilkins’ two favorite classes were College Algebra with professor of Mathematics, Michael Sandelin, and Microbiology with instructor, Maria Rodriguez. “Mr. Sandelin and Maria are both amazing teachers who were always there to help and encourage their students,” said Wilkins. “Their classes were challenging, yet they taught the material in a way that made learning interesting.”
“It was a privilege to have Jake as a student in both Biology and Microbiology,” said Rodriguez. “He was always alert and attentive in class, always willing to participate in every activity, and not hesitant to answer challenging questions. During laboratory sessions, Jake showed great ability to perform the different experiments, never rushing and always paying attention to the details.”
Wilkins, who currently resides on a farm in the outskirts of Three Rivers, Michigan, likes to spend his free time farming and horseback riding with friends. He has quite a range of livestock; he breeds beef cattle and goats and cares for his pig, Penelope. While working part-time at Tractor Supply Co., in Three Rivers, he has been able to go to school full-time and graduate with his associate degree only one year after graduating from high school.