GMercyU History and Education Alum Justin Collins

Meet Justin Collins

History, 2021

"The culture of GMercyU is truly like no other. Personally, I believe that it helped me to achieve great things knowing that so many people were there to help you and so many people care about your success."

Story posted: May 2021
Story last updated: April 2022

I chose to attend GMercyU because I felt such a strong sense of community from the minute I stepped foot onto campus. During my visits to campus and throughout the Griffin K.E.Y.S events, I felt welcomed and at home. Everyone who I came into contact with was friendly and personable; it made me feel like they really cared. Ultimately, this made GMercyU stick out above the other schools that I was interested in.

GMercyU encompasses all of the qualities of a small school to the fullest. If you are looking for a school with a close-knit community where you will not be a number, then choose GMercyU. All of your professors will know you by name, professors that you may not even have will know you. 

The culture of GMercyU is truly like no other. Personally, I believe that it helped me to achieve great things knowing that so many people were there to help you and so many people care about your success.

GMercyU Experience

As a teen, I always wanted to be an attorney. Law and the government have always interested me. As I was graduating high school, however, I knew that law school was not for me and I did not want to be a lawyer.

Instead of working reactively and helping people get out of trouble, I figured that I could work more proactively and keep people out of trouble. Naturally, I thought about teaching the same subjects that interest me most.

Words cannot describe how great of an experience I had with the Education program here at GMercyU. The professors within the program truly embody what the University is all about. They are helpful, resourceful, personable, and compassionate. There was not one education course that I took at GMercyU where I did not grow as both a student and a future educator. Although they all had such a great impact on my success I specifically note Ms. Pierantozzi, Dr. Schadler, and Ms. Alderfer.

I particularly enjoyed my experience as a student-athlete at GMercyU. Being a member of the basketball and tennis teams provided me with the opportunity to be a part of families within the larger community. It gave me a chance to do what I love while pursuing an education and for that, I am forever grateful. It also provided a secondary support system for me and my fellow student-athletes. It was always comforting to see classmates, professors, and other University staff at your games cheering you on.

I was also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) which is a club made up of a representative from each sports team on campus. SAAC members would meet monthly, attend meetings with the conference commissioner, lead food drives and other fundraisers.

The Griffin Nation Podcast

The Griffin Nation Podcast was an idea that came to fruition through the hard work of Jordan Perkins and Alex Sperrazza, Director of Undergraduate Admissions.

Initially, Alex reached out to Jordan about the potential to create a platform for the University where prospective students could go to learn more about the school. 

In addition, it would be shared with current students to get to know faculty members on a deeper level. At that point, Jordan began to run with ideas and invited me in on the process. Together the two of us had started a personal podcast just the year previous. Using that experience it was easy for Jordan and I to really launch the Griffin Nation Podcast.

Learn more about The Griffin Nation Podcast here

Today, Justin teaches 9th grade at Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice in Philadelphia. He is also enrolled in GMercyU's Master’s of Educational Administration graduate program.