Dustin Merkle is learning His way

January 3, 2013

It only took Dustin Merkle one year at FC Georgia Camp to generate enthusiasm about Florida College.

“After a week at camp, I never seriously considered another school,” he said. “My heart was set.”

However, he came to learn that life at Florida College was not without its challenges, and that there were plenty of opportunities to grow.

Dustin had no trouble growing socially. A spring enrollee, he quickly formed relationships, making up for what he viewed as lost time. His infectious personality and leadership potential got him elected as a society president after only one semester. The following year, he was elected president of the student body.

After two successful years and a pair of corresponding summers of lending his infectious personality as a member of Camp Friends, Dustin an established renaissance man thoroughly involved in student life.

But he realized that he could be doing more, and that there were other areas in which he was called to grow.

“I assumed I would automatically transform into who I needed to be—concerning my academics and spiritually.”

As he grew closer to graduation, Dustin grew convicted by the example of his classmates, teachers and his own realization that “good enough” simply wasn’t good enough.

“I knew I had some lazy habits, and that being involved in so many extra-curricular activities didn’t excuse me from excelling in my school work and spiritual life.”

In fact, Dustin came to realize the busier he became, the more efficient he was with his time. So, in his final two years he continued his involvement with student life alongside a renewed commitment to academics.

A Liberal Studies student focusing on history and communication, Dustin gained the encouragement he needed from a tight-knit group of students who shared his specific major. The upper-division course load also further acquainted him with his history professor and mentor, Dr. Crispell.

“I had many opportunities to spend a lot of time with Dr. Crispell,” he said. “I’ve seen him in the classroom, in church and with his family. He’s one of the many professors that exemplifies the importance of ‘doing all in the name of the Lord.’”

Dustin will undoubtedly continue to utilize his many talents after his time at Florida College. He completed his degree in the fall of 2012 and now looks to teach history at the high school level, where he eagerly awaits the opportunity to be to students the same example that encouraged him.