Name: John Erik Mills
Hometown: Augusta, Georgia
Degree: B.S. Medical Laboratory Science
Graduation Date: December 2017
On December 9, John Erik Mills will Finish Strong as he crosses the stage with a B.S. in Medical Laboratory Science and brings a childhood dream to fruition.
“I've always wanted to work in the lab,” Mills remembers. “I had the opportunity to tour a medical laboratory when I was young and was fascinated by the technology and the type of work they do. I also love helping people. For me, Medical Laboratory Science is a perfect marriage of laboratory work and making a difference in someone's life.”
Once Mills, who is a Savannah resident, decided to pursue his dream serendipity stepped in, as Armstrong is only one of a few universities in the state that offers his program of choice. Upon entry, he was the sole recipient of Georgia’s Clinical Laboratory Management Association Scholarship and later earned the Margaret F. Perryman Scholarship.
On campus, Mills quickly responded to Armstrong’s tight-knit healthcare education program setting.
“I love the nurturing atmosphere,” he says. “My professors did a great job of providing a quality learning environment. In the MLS program you only see four professors and they're with you constantly for four semesters. It really becomes a small family. They made me feel at home while cramming an unprecedented amount of knowledge into every single lecture.”
Mills was selected as the MLS program’s inductee for the Alpha Eta Allied Health Honors Society and has already landed a role in Memorial University Medical Center’s lab unit.
“My MLS degree is the key that will open doors to the future,” notes Mills. “I've already extended my clinical experience into a job in the laboratory.”
As he weighs future options and considers further educational studies, Mills is reflective of his time at Armstrong.
“I genuinely feel like I've learned a ton and grown as a person,” he says.