Studio Art Student Uses CREATE! Micro-Grant Funds to Produce Sculpture of Balisong Knife

As a 2022 CREATE! Micro-Grant recipient, Ryan Freund, a junior majoring in Studio Art, produced a sculpture featuring a single, manipulated Balisong knife. Titled Intersection, Freund utilized the knife's four handle scales to complete the piece. "I find flipping Balisong knives to be very beautiful and have been doing it since I was 13 years old," Freund said. "Their handles are used…

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Living Her ‘Freedom Dream’ With New Major

Evamelo (Eva) Oleita came to Michigan State University wanting to pursue a degree in Human Biology, but after re-evaluating her priorities and thinking about the communities she wanted to serve, she is now among the inaugural class of students majoring in African American and African Studies (AAAS) at MSU. Oleita, who is in her second year of her undergraduate education,…

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CREATE! Micro-Grant Used to Produce Sculpture Representing Lives Lost to COVID-19

Apparel and Textile Design major Gwen Pinger used a $500 CREATE! Micro-Grant to build a sculpture consisting of thousands of glass beads that hang from elastic strings, each representing a life lost from COVID-19 in Michigan.  “The sculpture functions as a sort of wind chime with many long strands of string and glass beads that twinkle in the sun. The beads — in red, white, and silver — form the shape of IV needles,” said Pinger,…

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Pursuing a Love of Black Feminisms Through New AAAS Major

With a passion for Black feminisms, Bailey Griffin, an MSU sophomore, said it’s an honor to be among the first group of students at Michigan State University to declare African American and African Studies (AAAS) as their major.   The newly established Bachelor of Arts degree in African American and African Studies is being offered for the first time this year through the Department of African American and African Studies in…

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Learning to ‘Live Life Alongside One Another’ with Black Feminisms Course

The “Black Feminisms: Past, Present, and Futures” course taught by Chamara Jewel Kwakye, Academic Specialist in MSU’s Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS), emphasizes creativity and the practice of feminism in everyday life –– Black feminism as doing –– while learning “to live life alongside one another.” A core introductory course in MSU’s newly established B.A. in African…

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‘Repairing Her Soul’ Through African American and African Studies Major

Following this year's launch of the African American and African Studies (AAAS) Bachelor of Arts program, Mike Martin, a junior now double majoring in AAAS and Arts and Humanities, was one of the first students at Michigan State University to transition to the new major. "AAAS isn’t just a major I gain knowledge in, but a place where I actively…

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Finding Community Within New African American and African Studies Major

Jhala Martin is one of the first students at Michigan State University to declare African American and African Studies (AAAS) as her major. The new Bachelor of Arts degree offered through the Department of African American and African Studies within the College of Arts & Letters was launched this year to promote and support Black transdisciplinary advocacy, engagement, and thought.…

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Finding Her Purpose in the New African American and African Studies Major

For Michigan State University sophomore Amber McAddley, her African American and African Studies (AAAS) major is helping her learn about herself and what it means to be “Black in America.” After the new major launched last spring, McAddley became one of the first students at MSU to declare AAAS as their major. While also pursuing a minor in Spanish, McAddley…

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CREATE! Micro-Grant Project Explores Identity and Healing Through Anishinaabe Beadwork

Affiliated with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, Esme Bailey’s culture served as inspiration for her CREATE! Micro-Grant project. The Michigan State University senior, who is majoring in English with minors in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS), grew up in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, near the Isabella County Indian Reservation. She applied for and received a 2022 CREATE! Micro-Grant for $500 to make a set of…

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Student Reflects on Lessons of His Many Internships

Adam Nowak has built an impressive resume of internships during his time at Michigan State University. The senior, who has a double major in Humanities-Prelaw and Criminal Justice with minors in Law, Justice, and Public Policy, has interned for a U.S. Senator, a circuit court judge, the Governor’s Executive Office, a human rights organization, as well as the MSU Licensing Office and MSU Counterfeiting Office.

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