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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

McNair Scholars

Maggie Collins

Barron Collier High School 
Naples, Florida
Biological Sciences 

The confidence, poise, and leadership skills USC has helped me develop will be carried with me wherever I go; I am forever grateful for my time at Carolina and will always be a Gamecock at heart. 

Impactful experience: 
Completing a summer veterinary volunteer program in Chinsta, South Africa was a defining moment in my path to choosing a career in veterinary medicine and one of my favorite travel experiences while attending USC. I worked with wildlife including wildebeests, impala, and blesbok during chemical immobilizations and transports. I also provided low cost medical care to goats, sheep, cattle, horses, dogs, and cats in local townships. On this trip, I met a fellow USC student who encouraged me to get involved in our pre-veterinary association where I later served as president. I learned so much about veterinary medicine and gained a tremendous amount of confidence while exploring a new country on my own. I ended the trip with a better sense of self, stronger connections with other pre-vet students, and an understanding of what my future career might look like as a veterinarian.   

Enjoy most as a TS: 
Being a Top Scholar gave me a community of other highly motivated, well rounded peers who became my best friends through all four years of undergrad. The group of students I hesitantly mingled with on Top Scholar Weekend became my hall-mates, classmates, roommates, and travel buddies. We have had countless adventures together and have kept each other motivated and engaged in our studies and professional work. We are all on unique paths of study and have such diverse interests; our shared Top Scholar community brought us together and allowed us to create strong connections when our paths might not have crossed otherwise. I am incredibly thankful for these friends, and I'm so excited to see the amazing things they will go on to do post-graduation.   

When I thought of what college would be like in high school,  I pictured lectures in huge auditoriums with professionally dressed professors and peers who didn't know my name. I thought I was coming to USC exclusively for academics, but this university has taught me so much more than the scientific method. I have had countless leadership positions, professional development classes, and faculty mentors that have made me a better friend, employee, and leader. One of my favorite experiences was serving as chapter president of my sorority, where I felt a sense of community unlike any other. USC's Fraternity and Sorority Life office helped me adjust to this role and left me with mentors I will continue to look up to for years to come.  

Post-graduate plans: 
Maggie Collins will be attending the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine where she will join the class of 2025 to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Maggie later plans to complete a residency in order to become a board certified specialty practitioner. She is currently interested in small animal soft-tissue surgery, but she would like to explore all of the options the veterinary field has.   

Career goals/professional aspirations: 
I plan to become a doctor of veterinary medicine with a specialization in small animal surgery. After completing my doctorate, internship, and residency, I hope to be in practice for several years and later one day transition to academia. I'm also interested in the Public Health sector of veterinary medicine and plan to explore it further in veterinary school.  

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