Student Spotlight: Patrick Hancock

Patrick Hancock

Psychology major awarded $1,500 McCormick Leadership Scholarship

Patrick Hancock, 23, a student at Inver Hills Community College, received a $1,500 McCormick Leadership Scholarship for 2017. The scholarship honors the legacy of Chancellor James McCormick and his wife, Dr. Maryan McCormick, by providing financial assistance to student leaders excelling in academics, extracurricular activities and community service. The scholarship was created in 2011 through a partnership between LeadMN and Students United.
“When I applied for this scholarship, I never truly believed this would happen,” Patrick said. “But I did my best anyway. And I won! I really couldn’t be happier. This honestly doesn’t feel like it’s really happening.”

Transfer Pathway degree

A lifelong resident of Eagan, Minnesota, Patrick is earning his Psychology Transfer Pathway Associate of Arts (A.A.) at Inver Hills. The Psychology Transfer Pathway offers students a powerful option: the opportunity to complete an A.A.with course credits that directly transfer to designated psychology bachelor’s degree programs at Minnesota State universities.
The curriculum has been specifically designed so that students completing the pathway degree and transferring to one of the seven Minnesota State universities enter the institution with junior-year status. All courses in the Transfer Pathway associate degree will directly transfer and apply to the designated bachelor’s degree programs in a related field.

About LeadMN and Students United

Students United

Established in 1967, Students United is an independent, non-profit organization funded and operated by students. Students United serves over 65,000 students attending Minnesota’s seven state universities: Bemidji, Mankato, Metropolitan (St. Paul/Minneapolis), Moorhead, St. Cloud, Southwest (Marshall) and Winona.
Students United has been a strong voice for state university students on the campus, system, state and federal levels for over 40 years. We are recognized by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees as the sole representative of state university students in Minnesota, and work on a variety of issues at several levels.
Courtesy of Students United


LeadMN connects college students for the change. We represent the 180,000 two-year college students in Minnesota to help them transform their lives and their communities. Our students LeadMN by developing leadership skills to realize their potential, see beyond what they thought was possible for personal success, and to drive community-wide change.
The American Dream has long been a symbol of achieving success. For far too many Minnesotans, the path to this dream is impeded due to systematic barriers. At LeadMN we break down those barriers by empowering two-year college students to become strong leaders, engaged community members, and successful professionals. We are rebuilding a pathway for students to achieve their American Dream.
Courtesy of LeadMN

More about Patrick…

A 2013 graduate of Eagan High School, Patrick was looking at earning an Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) in Music when he started at Inver Hills. He has always enjoyed music and has a strong interest in music theory. He was also learning to play piano with a focus on classical music. Then he took a psychology class from Pam Fergus, a psychology instructor at the college, and discovered his true calling.
“I loved the course,” Patrick said. “Learning about psychology changed my mind about my original career choice.”
He has always had a passion for helping people and psychology’s end goal of improving lives through the study of human behavior proved a perfect fit. His long-range career plans are centered on earning a doctorate in psychology and becoming a university psychology professor.

Extracurricular activities

Patrick is an exceptionally involved student on campus. He belongs to Psychology Club, the Alpha Omicron Beta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, LGBT+ Club, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Club and Student Senate. He is also a Level 2 College Learning and Reading Association certified tutor.
Nicki Bottko, associate director of student life at Inver, considers Patrick Hancock one the most engaged students on campus. “Patrick one of our most active and reliable students on campus. He is very deserving of this scholarship.”

Patrick with other PTK officers at fall 2017 induction ceremony
Patrick with other PTK officers at fall 2017 induction ceremony

Future career in psychology profession

Patrick continues to take piano lessons at the college from Linda Chacholiades, a member of the music faculty. He is working on playing works by Tchaikovsky, the Russian composer known for the difficulty of his piano concertos.
On schedule to graduate from Inver Hills in summer 2018, Patrick has plans to attend Metropolitan State University to earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology via the Transfer Pathway.
“I have looked at several nearby schools, but I really think that Metropolitan State University is the best place for me,” he said. “Like Inver Hills, Metro State is close, small, and affordable.”
Patrick has received two other scholarships, a $500 Inver Hills Music Scholarship and a $500 Inver Hills Alumni Scholarship, both via the Inver Hills Foundation. He resides in Eagan with a buff tabby cat named Evee, and an apricot standard poodle named Dash, short for Dashiell. He has one sister, Laura, 26, who works in the Twin Cities.
“I love videogames,” Patrick said, regarding his pastime and hobbies. “These days, I don’t have much time to play anything other than Pokémon. Pokémon Go was maybe the best thing to happen to my physical health. I love animals, I love collecting things and I love videogames. It just makes sense.”
Patrick added that he has a strong passion for music. “I really like ska and punk music, but I’m not picky,” he said. “Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen is one of the greatest albums of all time. I have taken piano lessons here at Inver for more than a year now and I love it!”

More about the McCormick Leadership Scholarship

Students United and LeadMN have partnered to create the McCormick Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship program honors the work of Chancellor James and Dr. Maryan McCormick, and provides financial support to students who demonstrate leadership in academics, extracurricular activities and community service.
Undergraduate students attending Minnesota State colleges and universities will automatically be considered for both the LeadMN Leadership Scholarship and the McCormick Leadership scholarship upon submitting their application. Graduate students submitting an application will be considered only for the McCormick Leadership Scholarship.
Courtesy of LeadMN

Patrick Hancock Q & A

Patrick Hancock
Patrick Hancock
Why did you choose Inver Hills?
The same reasons I am choosing Metro. The tight-knit community, encouraging atmosphere and convenience made Inver the best option.
Why did you choose your career field?
I believe that helping others is the greatest pursuit in life. But I don’t have what it takes to be a nurse or a therapist. Teaching is the next best thing! Besides, I love being in a classroom.
What has been your toughest challenge in life?
Overcoming mental illness and finding a sense of community.

Three words that describe you as a student:

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
This scholarship!
What person has influenced you the most in life?
My boyfriend, Tony, has been integral to my academic success.

Patrick Hancock | 21 Answers

Patrick Hancock

  1. ShoebillFavorite season: Fall
  2. Favorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.):  The ocean, particularly the bottom of the ocean—like the Mariana Trench.
  3. Favorite sport or physical activity: Biking around town
  4. Your national bird if you could have one: Shoe-billed stork, aka whalehead and shoebill
  5. Place you would most like to visit: Germany; I’ve been on a Rhine River cruise and would like to go back again.
  6. Favorite holiday: Halloween
  7. Your national mammal if you could have one: A borzoi, a very good and long dog.
  8. Favorite actor or actress: Sigourney Weaver
  9. BorzoiFavorite band or performing artist: I narrowed this down to two very good candidates; there were many others. Against Me!, a punk band from Gainesville, Florida, and Less Than Jake, a ska-punk band also from Gainesville.
  10. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Freud was wrong.”
  11. Coolest thing in the world: Animals. All of them
  12. Scariest thing in the world: Some animals.
  13. Favorite all-time TV show: Parks and Recreation
  14. Favorite all-time movie: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  15. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: I want to be able to play songs on the piano by ear.
  16. Most precious material possession: My CDs. Yes, I still have CDs. Can’t trust iTunes to keep everything organized.
  17. Laura Jane GraceFirst thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: Tuition!
  18. Dream occupation:Psychology professor
  19. Person you would most like to meet: Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of Against Me!
  20. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Piano playing
  21. Humankind’s greatest challenge: Not enough empathy
To learn more about the Psychology Transfer Pathway A.A. at Inver Hills, contact:

Pamela Fergus
Psychology Faculty

To learn more about Student Life and leadership programs at Inver Hills, contact:

Nicki Bottko
Associate Director of Student Life
Phi Theta Kappa Staff Advisor
Jenni Yamada
Student Life Activities Coordinator
Phi Theta Kappa Staff Advisor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *