Sophomore Brajevich in national spotlight

Liz Brajevich, a sophomore majoring in environmental economics and policy as well as in fisheries and wildlife, has been making headlines this spring. On Feb. 7, she joined President Barack Obama at the signing of the Farm Bill on the MSU campus.

April 29, 2014

Liz Brajevich

Liz Brajevich, a sophomore majoring in environmental economics and policy as well as in fisheries and wildlife, has been making headlines this spring. On Feb. 7, she joined President Barack Obama at the signing of the Farm Bill on the MSU campus. In early March, she was named Michigan State University’s nominee (MSU) for the Udall Scholarship, awarded to one student per state who aims for a career in policy related to the environment or Native Americans.

A native of Los Angeles, Brajevich learned about MSU through a routine college fair. The honors student says she chose MSU because “the university land grant mission really resonated with me. I love the idea of using it to make a difference in the world after graduation. There’s nothing like that in the PAC 12. Here there’s a sense of community and how we can work together to have an impact.”

Brajevich spent last summer as a legislative affairs intern at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in Washington, D.C. She says it was an exciting time for the organization because they were working out how to distribute the settlement money awarded in the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion that dumped millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

“I worked on cooperative agreement proposals and legislative updates,” she says. “But my favorite part was sitting in on meetings and seeing how these agreements are made.”

As one of MSU’s Demmer Scholars she got to pair her internship in the nation’s capital with a special course on natural resource policy making.

While she was in Washington, Congress was reconsidering Farm Bill legislation. Brajevich was disappointed when it did not pass before summer’s end. But she was elated to be invited to attend its signing in East Lansing. She sat front and center with other select MSU students as President Obama signed the historic legislation into law on February 7.

This summer, Brajevich will return to Washington for an internship at the Global Environment and Technology Foundation. She will be analyzing water and sanitation issues. Based in Arlington, Va., the GETF is a nonprofit that works to promote sustainable development through partnerships and targeted action.

“I’m so amazed by the access to opportunities here at MSU,” says Brajevich. “I love MSU and the support I get from the department in general. It’s so hands-on and the professors are so willing to work with you. I’m very sure and happy in my decision to come here.”

-- Christine Meyer

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