MCC student Matthew Collins receives Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Scholarship

Matthew Collins
Matthew Collins, recipient of a 2024
Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Scholarship

MESA, Arizona -- May 22, 2024 -- Mesa Community College student Matthew Collins, one of 60 chosen from 1,700 applicants across the nation, has been awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (JKCF) Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. On a premedical pathway, Collins is majoring in biology with the goal of being a trauma surgeon or oncologist.

As a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, he received details about the scholarship and submitted an extensive application including nine essays. The highly selective scholarship is for the nation's top community college students to complete bachelor's degrees at four-year universities. Each Cooke Scholar receives financial support for two to three years for tuition, room and board, books and fees up to $55,000 annually. It also includes college planning support, ongoing advising and the opportunity to connect with a community of JKCF Scholars.

It was because MCC was affordable that Collins says he registered for classes in August 2022. He quickly found the college offered many other services and advantages students don't find at large universities. In addition to parking, career services, tutoring, counseling and advising -- all at no charge -- Collins says the small class sizes are ideal for in-depth learning interactions with professors and other students.

"Dr. Obermiller, advisor to the MCC Pre-Medical Club, is a great teacher and became more of a mentor and a true friend," said Collins. "He helped me get a position tutoring biology classes. I put together weekly review sessions for General Biology I (BIO181). Working as a tutor really helped me solidify these subjects for my own understanding. I really liked helping other students. It was great to be there for those aha moments when a student gets it."

Collins commented that he found a real collegiate community atmosphere at MCC, a sense of being welcomed as part of the college. He honed his leadership skills as vice president and senator of the Pre-Medical Club, which involved attending student senate meetings, club events and collaboration with other officers creating a smooth running and fun club environment.

Two of his younger brothers are attending MCC. Johnathan is studying art and animation, and Michael is starting this fall semester as a freshman. Collins says one of the benefits of MCC is that it offers a choice of many degrees and certificates, allowing students to find, as he has, their own paths to making the world a better place.

Accepted by Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, Collins is now exploring how the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship will shape his next semester.

"I want to thank Dr. Obermiller, all the great faculty that I have had the pleasure of learning from and my incredible family for all the encouragement and support I've received," he said.

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, or 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

MCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC),

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

Source Details

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, May 22, 2024