Nicholas Mullins

2013 Paying It Forward


Nicholas Mullins pays it forward.

As most University of Michigan-Dearborn students worry about what to do after graduation, he works to alleviate those fears.

By mentoring younger students. By organizing professional development workshops. By attracting local companies to visit campus.

The UM-Dearborn senior takes a modest approach, but his impact on campus is far reaching and earned him the title of “Difference Maker.”

“I guess what really makes me a ‘Difference Maker’ is that I want to help other students and I have found out how to do that,” said Nick, who plans to graduate this August.

One way of helping fellow students is through his involvement in student organizations, namely the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the first and only international honor society for the computing sciences. As president of both organizations, Nick offers advice on academic courses, provides tutoring services and invites recruiters to campus to discuss internship and co-op opportunities.

“I would like to help students reach their goals for the rest of my life,” said Nick, who is quick to commend his classmates. “I would not have been able to do any of the things I did without the help of other students.”

The organizations also helped Nick, a nontraditional student, better adapt to campus life.

“When I began taking classes at UM-Dearborn I felt like I did not fit in … but joining ACM allowed me to fit in,” he said. “In ACM, we do not see other members as older, younger or different. We see everyone as computer ‘geeks.’ We all have a passion for computer hardware and software, no matter what our major is. I have made lifelong friendships and contacts just by being a member of ACM.”

But Nick’s impact extends further than just UM-Dearborn students.

“Nick has been tireless in his efforts to promote the campus and provide educational and professional opportunities to our students,” said Bruce Maxim, associate professor of computer and information science. “His behavior outside of class serves as a role model of servant leadership to his peers.”