Michigan State University students selected as 2019 Demmer Scholars

2019 Michigan State University Demmer Scholars Program participants will intern at natural resources-oriented agencies and groups in Washington, D.C., this summer as they get a closer look at policy making.

Sixteen Michigan State University (MSU) students will be paid interns at federal agencies or nongovernmental organizations as part of the Demmer Scholars Program this summer. Housed in Washington, D.C., students will take a senior-level class one night a week in natural resources policy along with enjoying weekend field trips to places where policy is created throughout their internship experience.

“The Demmer Scholars Program is an opportunity to grow through experience, exposure and challenges,” said Stratton Lee, III, Demmer Scholars Program coordinator. “Going to Washington, D.C. will help students be prepared to survive and thrive in any space. Program participants walk away with a better understanding of the ‘why’ in their career and life.”

The Demmer Scholars Program began in 2009 and is affiliated with the Boone and Crockett Club University Program. Originally founded by Teddy Roosevelt, the Boone and Crockett Club is one of the oldest conservation organizations in the United States. The Demmer Scholars Program facet of the club helps teach university students about managing natural resources through exposure to policy making on the national level.

“The Demmer Scholars Program is a unique experience that pushes students to explore the impact of their work on the greater community,” said Lee. “Many of the students are supporting, developing and leading efforts that have national and regional impact. Our students are pushing beyond the traditional work commitments to learn about peer experiences and identify points of collaboration, opportunity and even challenges.”

The MSU students that have been selected as Demmer Scholars to participate in the eleventh cohort are:

  • Evan Beresford, Bachelor’s, Environmental Studies & Sustainability
  • Sydnie Burch, Bachelor’s, Environmental Studies & Sustainability
  • Joe Dewan, Bachelor’s, Environmental Studies & Sustainability
  • Sarah Finegood, Bachelor’s, Environmental Studies & Sustainability
  • Andres Garciameza, Bachelor’s, Environmental Studies & Sustainability
  • Josh Grindling, Bachelor’s, Environmental Studies & Sustainability
  • Brittany Hallak, Bachelor’s, Political Science
  • Grace Johnson, Bachelor’s, Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy
  • Hannah Koch, Bachelor’s, Biomedical Nutrition
  • Grace Michienzi, Bachelor’s, Social Relations & Policy
  • Brendan Mitchell, Bachelor’s, Fisheries & Wildlife
  • Emma Rice, Bachelor’s, Environmental Economics & Management, World Politics
  • Vinni Thekkudan Novi, Master’s, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering
  • Samantha Wagner, Bachelor’s, Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Education
  • Abigail Wallace, Bachelor’s, Environmental Studies & Sustainability
  • Julia Whyte, Master’s, Fisheries & Wildlife

Currently, the selected students are preparing for their internship by engaging in preprogram meetings that discuss what to expect while in Washington, D.C., and what would be appropriate behavior in the policy arena.

“I am excited to learn more about the ways that agriculture policy is drafted through my internship with Debbie Stabenow’s U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee,” said Grace Michienzi, 2019 Demmer Scholars Program participant. “I am also excited to live in a big city!”

Since its inaugural program, more than 200 Demmer Scholars have participated. Many stay in Washington, D.C., and more than 50 are employed in government and nongovernment natural resources positions there following graduation.

“The MSU Demmer Scholars Program provides students experiences that give them a good idea for what they want to do for the rest of their life,” said Mark Rey, MSU Demmer Scholars Program director. “What we try to do during the summer is give them experiences to help them decide how they want to structure the balance of their career and life, and that is why the program is important. It gives students insights as to where they want to take their career.”

To learn more about the MSU Demmer Scholars program, visit https://www.canr.msu.edu/academics/undergraduate/glassen_and_demmer_scholars/demmer_scholars.

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