ESS major gets involved during her time at MSU

Lizzy Asker shares the value of participating in community engagement courses and student organizations at MSU.

Lizzy Asker sitting on brick steps outside of a building.
Lizzy Asker

According to Lizzy Asker, engaging in community projects or student clubs is the best way to make the most of your time as an Environmental Studies and Sustainability major.

Since she transferred to MSU, she was excited about all of the classes in her major, but CSUS 301 was especially impactful for her. Spending the semester working on a community-based project helped her build valuable relationships and get hands-on experience doing the type of work she wants to do in the future.

Student clubs are another important way Asker has been connected to the sustainability community on campus. She has been part of the Student Sustainability Leadership Council and Animal Welfare Club for the past two years, and was involved in the MSU Veg Club for two and a half years, including one year as the Veg Club’s financial officer. She also participated in the MSU Cold Case Unit and the Outdoors Club for parts of her college experience.

This fall semester, Asker has been staying engaged with a few of these clubs virtually.

She says, “Virtual attendance and participation in these clubs has been different, but it is still good to see people from those clubs and interact with others who have like interests.”

Read on to learn more about this fall 2020 graduate’s time at MSU!


Grosse Pointe, MI


Environmental Studies and Sustainability (ESS)



Expected graduation date:

December 2020

Why did you choose Environmental Studies and Sustainability (ESS)?

I was an economics major my freshman year of college at a different university. After taking a plant science class and doing some personal research, I decided to transfer and change majors. I choose ESS, since when I looked at the class requirements, I was excited or interested about every class on the list.

Who or what inspired your interest in sustainability? 

Looking back, what inspired my interest in sustainability the most was living by a forest for most of my life. I grew up playing in the woods and being around nature. This made me appreciate nature more and want to protect and conserve it.

What has been one of your best experiences within your major so far?

The best experience within my major so far has been the class CSUS 301 [Community Engagement for Sustainability]. In that class we had a semester long project in which I got to work in the community, meet people in the sustainability field, and do a hands-on project.

What do you want others to know about your major?

I want others to know that people within my major have many diverse interests. There are many avenues that people with a sustainability major can head down. 

Any thoughts or advice for current students?

I would say join clubs. Clubs are where you meet people who have similar interests to you, be it students, guest speakers, etc. Meeting these people helps grow your network when looking for a job, expands your horizons, and makes your college experience more enjoyable in general.

What are your future plans?

I am now set to be a part of Virginia Tech's Online Masters of Natural Resources program starting in January 2021. I am also applying to AmeriCorps programs to be a part of during my graduate school experience. After I'm finished with my masters, I want to work with a larger non-profit like the Nature Conservancy or a government agency in order to find better ways in which we can manage and preserve our natural resources.

What’s your favorite thing about MSU?

My favorite thing about MSU is the opportunities that MSU provides outside of classes to students. MSU’s array of clubs, activities and volunteer experiences allows students to be more immersed in the community. Students can try things out and see what experiences and avenues they truly want to be a part of once they graduate.

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