January 8, 2019 - Author: Samantha Ward
Emma Rice is a sophomore in the Honors College at Michigan State University. She’s double majoring in Environmental Economics and Management (EEM) and in World Politics. She’s minoring in Environmental Studies and Sustainability and in Science, Technology, and Environment Public Policy. And she’s recently been selected as a 2019 Demmer Scholar, where she’ll have the opportunity to live, work, and learn in Washington, D.C. this summer.
“I’m constantly looking for ways to build on and apply all of my interests at once,” said Rice. “I’m doing that through my program at Michigan State, and I hope my experience as a Demmer Scholar will continue down that interdisciplinary trend.”
The Demmer Scholars Program is a rigorous 12-week program that consists of a full-time internship at a federal agency or nonprofit that focuses on natural resources policy, enrollment in an upper level university course in natural resources policy, and 10 weekend field trips. Accepted as a sophomore, Rice will be one of the youngest scholars on the program, gaining valuable experience early on in her career.
“Through experiential learning and gaining real world experience, I hope to continue to expand my knowledge in the area of natural resources policy,” said Rice. “I hope to obtain a new perspective on global issues that face environment and energy policy today and meet professionals in my field that will further inspire me to pursue a career in international food, energy, and environment diplomacy and policy.”
Between her tightly packed academic schedule, Rice serves as the vice president of the Sustainable Business Association (SBA) at MSU, and is conducting undergraduate research with Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) faculty member Melissa McKendree.
“I am researching vote-buy gaps regarding animal welfare — my interest there is in the difference between what consumers are willing to pay at the grocery store for animal welfare measure versus how they vote on animal welfare measures on statewide ballot initiatives and referendums,” said Rice. “Both of these experiences outside of the classroom help me ground my interests and bring them together in a way that coursework can’t do.”
Rice will continue to bridge her interests this summer as a Demmer Scholar, and hopes to pull policy, environmental work, and economics into a fulfilling career after graduation.
“I want to combine my passions in the professional sphere to help people and the environment simultaneously,” said Rice. “I view current issues in food, energy, and environment policy as global issues — my dream is to work for the United Nations, or another internationally focused organization or agency, to advance international development goals.”