Graduate is Tenth in Family to Earn Degree from MCC
Attending Mesa Community College is something of a tradition for the Bodine family of Mesa. MCC student Lucas Bodine, 23, is the tenth and latest graduate in the family to receive a degree from MCC. He follows in the footsteps of both parents, five siblings and their spouses, all of whom began their education at the college.
Lucas said he was comfortable being on campus from an early age. His sisters went to musical theatre workshops at MCC and Lucas attended choir and jazz workshops years before he began taking classes.
“MCC has been a provider for my family,” Lucas said. “We always knew we’d receive a quality education there, but it has also really impacted my family in terms of career and employment opportunities.”
Lucas’ family went through some transitions while he was a teenager. His mother, Delynn, returned to college at MCC, received her associate’s degree, went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, worked for MCC for a short time, and now works for Rio Salado College.
His mother became the main provider while his father, William, experienced a few career transitions of his own. After leaving his pharmaceutical career, William taught as an adjunct faculty member at MCC. That experience led him to his current position in the Maricopa Corporate College.
It was only natural that when Lucas began his education, he turned to MCC.
“I had a very powerful experience on the first day back from my church mission at MCC,” Lucas said. “I took an exercise science class from Jeff Messer and he was better than Google. He was so energetic and passionate about careers in physical therapy, I had an "Aha!" moment. I knew I didn’t want a desk job and I wanted to help people. I loved music, but I knew then that physical therapy was the career for me.”
While at MCC, Lucas served as ASMCC student body president. The challenge taught him how to prioritize his time and resources. His proudest moments as president came by bringing local elected officials on campus such as Senator Jeff Flake, Representative Matt Salmon, Gilbert Mayor John Lewis, State Rep. J.D. Mesnard and Mesa Councilman Chris Glover.
“These events gave students first-hand experience discussing and associating with people in the community who make important decisions on their behalf and hopefully inspired them to become more engaged and informed citizens in their own communities,” Lucas said.
Lucas said he has also learned a lot from his monthly meetings with MCC President, Dr. Shouan Pan and other administrators.
“I learn from them and see the importance of students to them,” Lucas said. “It has been a privilege to learn from them.”
In addition to academics, Lucas found service opportunities enriched his experience. He estimates that he did between 400-500 hours of service while at MCC, volunteering in the Special Olympics, Adopt-A-Student and other activities.
“I tell other students to become involved outside of class,” Lucas said. “I’ve gotten more out of my college experience than just a grade.”
Member of: ASMCC President, Latter-day Saints Student Association (LDSSA), Honors Program, Service Learning
Awards: Twice a recipient of Service Scholarship for 100 hours of service, awarded three times a Choir Talent for musical talent in the MCC Choir, recipient of Academics in Action Award, and awarded a two-year certification from the Mesa Institute of Religion for 8 credit hours of religious courses.
As for other family members attending MCC, Lucas said his sister Kasey is a few classes away from her degree and as all his nieces and nephews get older, MCC may have more Bodine graduates.
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