Students Gain Valuable Experience with ‘ing’ Magazine

photo of a pile of all of the same magazines that have a photo of a woman who is wearing a read dress on a white table

ing Magazine is a greater Lansing area, MSU student-run arts and culture publication that highlights MSU students, Lansing locals, and the things they love. The magazine is created by students enrolled in WRA 480, which was designed for Professional Writing students who have a focus on Editing and Publishing, but is open to all majors. 

The course goes beyond writing and editing for the magazine. Students also run the ing blog, social media accounts, and host an event every semester. They do so with guidance from Assistant Professor Kate Birdsall, who has led the course for three years. 

“It’s the only class of its kind,” Birdsall said. “It’s so immensely satisfying to watch the students develop and learn what they’re good at.” 

Students in the class write, edit, and proofread four issues of ing every semester. Each student is encouraged to take on extra work on the blog, social media, or for the event. 

Students have a space to figure something out instead of being told what to do, which is how we learn.

Dr. Kate Birdsall

“It is so beneficial for them to have the ability to take on different roles and be able to narrate those experiences professionally,” Birdsall said. “Students have a space to figure something out instead of being told what to do, which is how we learn. Once you’re in the professional world and not in the educational world, it’s a lot less forgiving. You learn what you’re good at by doing.”

Stephanie Tkaczyk, a senior Kinesiology major, decided to enroll in WRA 480 after taking an IAH course taught by Birdsall and even has decided to take the course again during her last semester at MSU.

“I really do believe that the skills I’m learning at ing will help me in the future with my career in public health, not only through my improved writing skills, but through my ability to think creatively and problem-solve in order to overcome any obstacles that I encounter in my field of work,” Tkaczyk said. “My favorite part of ing is collaborating with other students and working to problem-solve ways in which we can make the magazine better.”

photo of a brown wall with the word
The photo booth set up at the Broad Art Lab for the magazine’s Cozy Night with ing event.

This past semester, the student editorial team decided to elevate ing’s content. With access to some of the brightest minds in the world at MSU, the magazine addressed more significant topics, such as the midterm elections and urban gentrification. 

After the Thanksgiving break, the class hosted an event, Cozy Night with ing, which was open to the public and held at the MSU Broad Art Lab in downtown East Lansing. The event gave attendees an opportunity to play board games, make bracelets, take photos, and even win some prizes. Next semester, the editorial team is planning to host two events for MSU students and the public.

ing is a free publication that is distributed to academic buildings across MSU’s campus and at some off-campus locations such as Blue Owl Coffee in Lansing. Visit the ing website for the digital issue of the magazine. You also can keep up with the events and blog posts on ing’s TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.