Mario Adkins is the research analyst in higher education at Grand Valley State University (GVSU), working specifically in the College of Education. Adkins obtained his associate’s degree from Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) where he worked as a campus activities programmer and orientation leader to work hands-on with students as an underclassman. Adkins is also a graduate of GRCC’s Honors Program.
As an upperclassman after transferring to GVSU, Adkins served as a resident assistant and vice president of membership services for ΟΔΚ. In this ΟΔΚ role, Adkins was tasked with identifying future student leaders for ΟΔΚ, developing programs for ΟΔΚ members, and participating in ΟΔΚ induction ceremonies with fellow ΟΔΚ executive board members. ΟΔΚ was one of many inspiring factors that fortified Adkins’ work in higher education and student affairs which also prompted his participation in GVSU’s college student affairs leadership master’s program.
Having a graduate assistantship in the College of Education has afforded Adkins the unique opportunity to work in both student and academic affairs, working with students in extracurricular activities and educational endeavors respectively. Adkins collects, processes and synthesizes qualitative and quantitative data for educational policy and programmatic purposes in conjunction with key faculty members at GVSU. Adkins also used these research skills at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological research university in the United States, to provide evaluation, assessment, benchmarking and facilitating student focus groups in departments such as Student Activities, Residence Life, and First-Year Experience. Adkins is also associate editor of development for GVSU’s newly launched College Student Affairs Leadership Journal, a publication forum for graduate students to submit high quality scholarly articles. Adkins promotes the journal to higher education graduate programs around the country and is an editorial board member assisting with the blind peer-review process.
Adkins values the five pillars of ΟΔΚ leadership: scholarship, athletics, service, involvement and media that ΟΔΚ has identified and centers his leadership development and first-year experience work around each of them. He combines his research ambitions and desires to travel around the country by presenting his research findings, most recently in places such as Las Vegas, Nev., Jacksonville, Fla. and Troy, N.Y. Studying abroad in El Salvador was another valuable experiential learning opportunity. Adkins also values the use of educational technology and serves as chair of the Digital Games and Simulations committee for the Association of Advancement of Computing in Education, an international organization dedicated to bringing innovative digital and technological developments to primary, secondary and tertiary educational systems.
In his downtime, he enjoys drawing, video games, reading, volunteering in the community, philanthropic activities and writing, more specifically writing articles for The Student Affairs Collective and for professional scholarly journals.
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