As an admissions counselor, Marcus Hawkins enjoys motivating students to be their best. From personal experience, Marcus understands that student engagement is critical to success. He wasn't too interested in classwork when he was in high school, but he excelled in track and cross-country. When he discovered the cross-country team at A&M-Commerce, he found his place. His passion for running propelled him through four years of college. In fact, he gained so much momentum that he's now working on his fourth degree—a doctorate in organizational education leadership. As an admissions counselor, Marcus enjoys helping new and prospective students find their connection to college. “Here I am now, recruiting and helping students who are where I was when I began college,” Marcus said.
A Conversation with Marcus Hawkins
What would you tell as a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?
If you are looking for a family-oriented environment, then A&M-Commerce is for you. Everyone is close-knit here. When I first came to A&M-Commerce, I didn't know what to expect because I wasn't a strong student and didn't have any relatives who had been to college. People just wrapped their arms around me and helped me feel at home. They encouraged me to be my absolute best and to succeed in all aspects of life. My question for you is “What are you going to do to get where you want to be?” Do not let fear stop you.
What do you like most about being an admissions counselor?
During high school, no one talked to me about college, scholarships or the great opportunities out there. I was simply told, “Go to college so you can make money.” No one told me the steps. My parents didn't know and couldn't guide me in how to start the process or what to expect once I got there. I was literally wandering blind.
Now, as an admissions counselor, I help the students and their parents navigate the admissions process. I share the many informative resources and guides available, whether they are first-generation, veterans or non-traditional students. I anticipate their questions and guide their next steps. I try to be transparent and offer options, from scholarships to affordable loans.
What is one thing you contribute to your success? What advice do you share with students?
If I had not been active on campus, I probably would have transferred somewhere else or gone back home. Membership in a group and connecting with people helped keep me in college. So, I tell prospective students about the great organizations we have on campus and encourage them to join and get involved. When I meet shy students, I pair them with a current student to mentor them and guide them through the maze of campus living.
Did you have mentors during your time at A&M-Commerce? How did they support and guide you?
I was open to meeting new people when I began at A&M-Commerce, and I sought mentors to guide me. LaVelle Hendricks, a counseling professor, supported me from the beginning. He answered many of my questions about all aspects of college life and helped me find the answers to other questions.
I also worked with TRIO where I helped mentor other students like me. As a student worker, I connected with others who were going through similar experiences. In TRIO, Darnisha Hines and Veronica Reed guided me and contributed to my growth.
- M.S., Higher Education & Administration, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2017
- M.S., Education, Texas A&M University-Texarkana, 2013
- B.S., Sociology, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2009
- Site Coordinator, Stephen F. Austin Middle School, Communities in Schools of North Texas, 2015-2021
- Site Director, Amadi Guess Foundation 2015-2021
- Account Representative, General Motor Financial, 2013-2015
- Store Merchandiser, Old Navy, 2005-2013
- Orientation Leader, Academic Coordinator & Tutor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2008-2011