Newly-elected SGA President Michael Hopkins isn’t just a leader planning to implement his five-point plan, which includes dining, housing, security, academic affairs and campus morale, he’s also a budding scientist, one with a 3.8 GPA that’s pretty darn close to perfect.
“I personally have known Michael Hopkins since freshman year,” said criminal justice junior Karen Villanueva-Sierra.
“We were both in the freshman class council. He was always eager to help and serve the institution. He has always put in a lot of work for what he wants and his qualities of being a leader never go unnoticed.”
Hopkins, 20, is a N.C. Central University junior majoring in pharmaceutical science and minoring in biology and chemistry. He grew up in the north Raleigh suburbs, which he describes as “heavily Caucasian-populated.”
At Leesville Road High School, Hopkins played football and basketball and ran track. He said he has good memoriesof his childhood, growing up the youngest of four, watching his brothers and sisters and learning from them.
His older brother Eric graduated from NCCU in 2012 with the same major.
His sister Mariah went to Tuskegee University and his sister Schayla went to Winston-Salem State University.
Towering at 6’5,” he began his Student Government Association career as assistant public relations director for the freshman class council.
During his sophomore year, he became the late night and weekend programming chair for the Student Activities Board.
This fall he became SAB president.
When he isn’t out with friends, Hopkins is immersed in the world of science.
His top intiative is to keep the James E. Shepard library open 24 hours. Reading makes the top of his list in hobbies, his favorite book is “1984,” George Orwell’s utopian novel about totalitarianism and thought control.
Although he and his brother majored in the same field, Hopkins credits a college tour in his senior year at Leesville High School that led him to his interest in science.
“I just heard that there was nationwide need for STEM majors, and like African Americans in STEM specifically,” Hopkins said. ” There were a lot of opportunities and so I really looked into it, and it was really interesting.”
His interest in science landed him an internship at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of California, Berkeley in summer 2016.
From there he researched how post-translational modifications affect stem cellular replication, a process in which the proteins created by DNA and RNA interactions are modified after they’ve been created.
His presentation, titled “Determining How Ubiquitin Signaling Regulates Cell Fate Determination During Human Stem-Cell Differentiation,” earned him first place for oral and poster presentation at the 2017 Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM in Washington, D.C.
This summer Hopkins has been selected as Harvard Medical School Intern and will be studying neuronal mechanisms that affect motivation.
His achievements and love for science led to the creation of “Black Scientists Matter,” Hopkins’ apparel business. “Michael Hopkins is an inspiration because he got into Harvard, and just to know people can come from NCCU and become something,” said biology freshman Jasmine Woodle.