Madeline Collins, a student in the College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) and a member of the prestigious West Virginia University Dance Team, ultimately credits her academic adviser with her decision to transfer to WVU.
“Before I made my final decision, I met with my CEHS adviser, Anita Garten,” Madeline recalls. “It was only after that first, long meeting that I knew I could and should transfer. She alleviated my concerns about a delayed graduation date and provided a clear outline of what my course schedules would be for the following two years.”
Before becoming a Mountaineer, Madeline had been an elementary education major at Marshall University. Although she found some aspects of Marshall’s program appealing, she felt she wasn’t getting enough in-classroom experience or knowledge related specifically to her major. However, Madeline says that as soon as she started in the CDFS (Child Development and Family Studies) program at CEHS, she knew she was exactly where she needed to be.
Madeline wants to become a child life specialist so she can serve children with medical needs in a children's hospital or service organization. Not only will her degree from WVU meet the eligibility requirements for the Certified Child Life Specialist Examination, but the CDFS program’s intensive curriculum will prime her for the duties and responsibilities of her future career.
“Every course in the program speaks to an aspect of the role of a child life specialist and prepares me to meet the needs of the children I will serve,” Madeline says. “I truly feel that I am preparing for my future career and not getting through some required classes which do not interest me.”
Although the transition to a city the size of Morgantown was not easy at first for Madeline (a native of small-town Princeton, West Virginia), joining the dance team and her sorority, Chi Omega, has helped her feel at home. When she’s not balancing her time between her team, her sorority and her classwork, Madeline works as a WVU representative for Love Your Melon, a fundraising campaign dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer. She is also passionate about volunteering with children at Morgantown’s Ruby Memorial Hospital.
All of these responsibilities don’t leave Madeline with a lot of time to waste. Fortunately, she has always been good at time-management, and she rarely procrastinates. In fact, she even uses syllabi from her classes to finish assignments ahead of schedule. Although she is occasionally forced to give up leisure time to stay on task, she says it boils down to priorities.
“My mom once sent me a meme that said, ‘Good grades. Sleep. Social life. Pick two.’ That is pretty much how I live,” Madeline says.
Although her schedule can be hectic, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I am so happy with my program of study and truly enjoy my CDFS courses,” Madeline says. “I love being a member of the WVU Dance Team and representing our school as such. I am so blessed to work at Ruby Memorial Hospital and with the Love Your Melon Campus Crew Team. And most of all, I love and adore my Chi O sisters. I have no regrets and am exactly where I need and want to be!”