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HFC welcomes Kayla Collins to the Student Activities team

Release Date
A headshot of Kayla Collins.

When HFC Student Activities Administrative Assistant Kayla Collins joined the College in September, she didn’t get her feet wet; instead, she was thrown in the deep end with Welcome Back Days.

“It was so much fun getting to see all the students in-person and to see how these kinds of events work. I think it’s amazing that our students have access to so many great resources and activities. It was a lot to jump into as a new employee, but I got a wonderful look into the kinds of things Student Activities does and I got to see the positive effects firsthand,” said Collins, who added with a wink: “I also got to walk away with lots of free snacks!”

Born in Florida, Collins, an only child, grew up and lived most of her life in central Illinois. An alumna of Normal Community West High School in Normal, IL, Collins began her academic career at Heartland Community College, which is also in Normal, IL, earning her associate degree in art. Transferring to Judson University in Elgin, IL, she earned her bachelor's degree in psychology. Collins later earned her master’s degree in theological studies with a certificate in theopoetics and writing from Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, IN.

Collins lives in Dearborn Heights with Philip, her husband of five years, and their cat Miso.

“I love the atmosphere of colleges”

Although Collins has spent a short time in higher education, she knows this is her career path.

“I love learning and I love the atmosphere of colleges in general,” said Collins. “I know what it is like to be a student and I know the fun parts of that role as well as the struggles. I wanted to work in higher education to help make the college experience better for other students.”

She continued: “I want to stay in higher education in some capacity. I love anything that deals with event planning, community engagement, and interacting directly with students. So far, this position checks all my boxes.”

What attracted her to HFC was it diverse student body, as well as the fact that it is a Welcoming College. Everyone is welcome at HFC, something the HFC Board of Trustees reaffirmed in 2016. “I immediately noticed how intentional and important it was that HFC identified as a Welcoming College. I went to a community college similar to HFC before transferring to Judson and will forever be grateful for that experience. Funny enough, we were also called the Hawks,” said Collins.

A perfect mix

HFC Student Activities Officer Cassandra Fluker is Collins’ supervisor.

“Kayla is amazing,” said Fluker. “She has the ideal experience behind her that can be funneled into many different areas of Student Activities. She’s energetic and eager to learn how she can help increase the involvement of students at the College. I am extremely happy to have Kayla as a member of the Student Activities team.”

Collins is enjoying her job and is truly excited to be here.

“So far, I love it! It’s amazing getting to have creative freedom in doing fun projects, but I also love the balance between that and interacting with students and doing administrative work. It’s a perfect mix of things,” she said. “This job perfectly blends my skills with my passions. I am passionate about academia and helping people. I love contributing to a community by providing services and helping put on fun events. At the same time, I’m skilled at writing, data management, clerical duties, and social media content creation. Getting to do that is truly the best of both worlds for me.”