During her time at Michigan State University, Kai Benson, who is graduating this May with a B.A. in Professional Writing, worked with a number of organizations to gain copyediting and publishing skills. Some of these experiences include working as a Reader for the Red Cedar Review, an Editor for the Offbeat Literary Journal, a Copy Editor and Proofreader for the Department of Religious Studies, a Consultant for the MSU Writing Center, and Editor for a series of short stories called Crazy Bred.
“My courses in PW have prepared me to take on any publishing task, willingly and headstrong,” she said. “I am now able to personally relate to a range of people through their writing, despite any language barriers, and quickly adapt to different writing styles and genres.”
My courses in PW have prepared me to take on any publishing task, willingly and headstrong. I am now able to personally relate to a range of people through their writing, despite any language barriers, and quickly adapt to different writing styles and genres.
As she prepares to graduate, Benson is confident she has the tools she needs to succeed as a professional.
“After graduation, I would like to move out of Michigan, possibly to New York City,” she said. “I aspire to be a manager/senior book editor for Young Adult novels, but my ultimate goal is to be the editor in chief of my own publication, a creative magazine on mental health for teens.”
Benson is one of 10 students graduating this spring from the College of Arts & Letters’ Citizen Scholars program.
“During my time in the Citizen Scholars program, I took courses that implemented critical thinking and civic engagement,” she said. “The Citizen Scholar courses helped me become a better writer, while also allowing me time to reflect on my experiences.”
A collaboration between all departments within the College of Arts & Letters, the Citizen Scholars program encourages students to gain experience in high-impact learning environments, such as study abroad, study away, internships, service learning, and civic interactions. The program also promotes values such as leadership, cultural awareness, and self-reflection.
The Citizen Scholar courses helped me become a better writer, while also allowing me time to reflect on my experiences.
“As a Citizen Scholar, I am constantly reminded of what it takes to be an upstanding MSU student,” Benson said. “Being a part of this program has pushed me to engage with my community and throw myself into my craft, not only to better myself, but to make a difference in the world.”
The Citizen Scholars program offers students a $5,000 scholarship to use for study abroad, study away, undergraduate research, internships, and other enrichment opportunities. Benson used this funding for a study abroad trip to London and a study away trip to New York City.
“My dedication to Citizen Scholars and their core values aided me in my travel endeavors,” Benson said. “Not only was I better prepared for potential cultural shock, but I was able to initiate conversations, friendships, and relate with a diversity of people.”
As she finishes her undergraduate education, Benson reflects on the values and opportunities she has gained from working with the Citizen Scholars program and with the MSU College of Arts & Letters.
“Without Citizen Scholars, I doubt I would have had such an eye-opening college experience where I learned how important it is to actually learn,” she said, “not just lessons in the classroom, but actually learning about people, cultures, beliefs, and the importance of connecting through our differences. Thank you Citizen Scholars!”