Keenan Perkins on fast track

Keenan Perkins, senior biology major at Florida A&M University.
Photo creds: Keenan Perkins

Keenan Perkins is a fourth year biology major student at Florida A&M University. Perkins found
interest in medicine post Covid-19.

Kicking off his medical career in Tallahassee as a sophomore, Perkins began working part-time
at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare as an electrocardiography (EKG) technician.

From there on, Perkins was allowed the opportunity of becoming a registered behavioral
technician. During his time there, he analyzed the behaviors of children supplying certified
interventions to encourage better communication, social and problem-solving skills.’

Perkins then proceeded to apply for a position as a summer research opportunities program
(SROP) participant at Michigan State University last spring which resulted in his selection.

According to Michigan State University’s SROP, it is a path that leads to graduate education at
the institution. The intent is to help increase the number of domestic undergraduate students
who pursue graduate study and careers in teaching and research at colleges and universities.

MSU SROP is preparation for students that want to attend graduate study by using “intensive
research experiences with faculty mentors and academic enrichment activities.”

He currently remains in the same paid internship program and they are allowing him to extend it
into this upcoming summer.

While there, Perkins worked in the university’s type one diabetes lab as a research intern and
was allowed the chance to present the research to the board of trustees for an opportunity to
extend his internship and invite him to their graduate programs.

Perkins and his team used human polypeptide stem cells as a better treatment method for type
one diabetes patients.

At the end of summer 2022, he later received $5k-$7k for the research done.

A friend of Keenan’s, Arriell Drayton, a senior broadcast journalism student from Jacksonville,
Fl, has witnessed him breaking barriers to achieve his dreams.

“I feel like he’s a hard worker because he refused to be a product of his environment,” said
Drayton. “Keenan has always been self driven and motivated towards getting anything he
wanted. Everything he sewed into his journey now rewards him as he reaps the benefit.”

Perkins fraternity brother and friend also shares that he is very dedicated to everything he does.
“He will always do what has to be done,” said Brandon Bien-Aime, a graduating senior studying
computer information systems. “He’s always available, very determined and always has high
expectations for himself no matter what he does in life.”

Perkins says his next step is to attend MSU and major in pharmacology and toxicology
following his commencement from FAMU this semester.