Our Story: Toussaint doubles up on MagLab internships

September 5, 2017

Tallahassee, Fla. (September 5, 2017)—The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University, better known as the MagLab, is noted for everything from creating the world’s strongest magnet to improving research insights in fields such as biofuels, superconductors and pharmaceutical products.

For Tallahassee Community College student and MagLab intern Marc Toussaint, the facility provides an opportunity to learn and grow among the finest minds in his field.

“Being around people with such high character has served as inspiration for me to reach a level of excellence in the world of research,” Toussaint said.

The scholar fits in well with the MagLab’s high-character culture—so well, in fact, that he was asked back for a second internship one year after he completed his first.

Toussaint said he has learned the importance of both teamwork and preparation in every aspect of life thanks to his STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) studies.

“Luck does not exist,” he said. “It is just preparation meeting opportunity.”

Toussaint credited Demetrius Rice, the former director of TCC’s Dr. Lei Wang STEM Center, with not only enriching his experiences as a student but also encouraging him to pursue opportunities outside of the classroom. Toussaint was one of two students who launched the College’s robotics outreach activities under Rice’s tutelage.

“Meeting Mr. Rice allowed me to realize that there is more to success than just going to school and getting grades,” Toussaint said. He added that he has participated in many community service events, received hands-on experience with robotics and gotten multiple internship opportunities through Rice’s guidance.

Through his second MagLab internship, Toussaint hopes to expand his network with professionals in the field of engineering, leave with a published paper and continue to grow into a role model.

Toussaint encouraged students who are interested in STEM fields to be active outside of class as a means of expanding their horizons.

“Don’t just go to class and aim to get good grades,” he advised. “Find an internship in your field, attend research conferences and always find ways to learn new skills.”