The Franklin & Marshall scholar-athlete profile features one Diplomat per month who personifies what it means to be an NCAA student-athlete. The F&M campus is filled with dedicated, passionate, and talented student-athletes who have interesting stories to tell – and it's our goal to let those stories be heard. To be chosen as a scholar-athlete of the month, F&M student-athletes must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and community service, or have a noteworthy story that stretches beyond the realm of athletic competition.
Every team needs players that will make a difference on the field, but more importantly, every successful team has difference makers off the field as well. Michael Haines personifies this for the Franklin & Marshall football team.
"Michael means everything to our team," said coach John Troxell. "You don't have strong teams without guys like him."
You will not find Haines' name on many stat sheets, as he plays primarily on special teams, but you will find it peppered throughout the dean's list and on multiple honors society lists.
Haines, a pre-med major, has a 3.9 cumulative grade point average and has been named to the dean's list every semester. He is a member of the Benjamin Rush Honor Society, the pre-health honor society on campus made up of Juniors and Seniors who wish to pursue a health related occupation, and part of the Black Pyramid Society which is an organization that represents a distinguished group of seniors which seeks to enrich Franklin and Marshall College and promote academics, leadership, and service.
He is also a mentor to a McCaskey High School student through Project LAUNCH. Although the program disbanded, Haines still takes the time out of his busy workload to meet every other week with his mentee. In 2012, Haines forgo the traditional spring break and decided to devote his time on a medical mission trip to Honduras.
While in there, Haines helped set up medical clinics in rural Honduras to provide people with basic medical and dental care. He also assisted with dispensing medicines, proctored eye exams, and taught school-aged children about dental hygiene.
Haines is a Dana Scholar and a Rouse Scholar and was recently awarded the Isaac E. Roberts Prize in Biology. The Rouse Scholarship is the highest academic honor awarded at F&M and is given each year to two students who have demonstrated high academic achievement and significant leadership capability.
He is also a member of Epsilon Alpha Kappa: American Studies Honor Society Eastern American Studies Association. The Honor Society accepts juniors and seniors who have a GPA within the major of 3.4 or higher and have produced high-quality, creative work.
"We place a high value on producing leaders at this college," said Troxell. "Mike's leadership, combined with his work ethic and the way he carries himself, clearly makes him, in every sense of the word, a true teammate."
Playing football has been an important component of Haines' collegiate experience and he has learned life-long skills that will serve him well in the future.
"Football has taught me the intrinsic value of being part of something greater than yourself," Haines said. "My experience has also taught me teamwork skills such as effective communication with others and helped develop my leadership skills."
Haines plans on pursuing a career in medicine and is currently applying to medical schools.