Grace Michienzi, 2019

Name: Grace Michienzi

Major: Social Relations & Policy

Minor: Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems; Science, Technology, Environment & Public Policy (STEPPS)

Hometown: Jenison, MI


How does it feel to be gearing up to graduate in December? Any tentative plans for the future?

It feels stressful. But, also exciting. I can’t really talk about plans cause I don’t have any. But I am looking at work in the government, non-profit or campaign realm — ideally in some sort of policy position. I don’t have anything for sure yet.

What kinds of things have you been involved in at MSU?

Her Campus! I also was involved in Case Hall government in the dorms— I was the President actually. I have also had a number of internships. I was a Community Food Systems intern for MSU Extension and I was a research assistant for the MSU Center for Community and Economic Development. I was a Peer Research Assistant for MSU Libraries. Most recently, I was an intern in D.C. at the Senate Agriculture Committee. 

So, you interned in D.C. this summer! Tell me about your experience and the work you were doing? Any favorite parts?

So I was there as part of the Demmer Scholars Program. It’s an MSU academic and internship program in D.C. and it was a group of about 28 of us who were from several different universities. Through that program, I got the chance to learn a lot about environmental and agriculture policy. I loved being in the city and I didn’t want to leave. I really liked everything, honestly. My work was really exciting and I got to have a lot of experiences that I never would have been able to have. I got to sit in on meetings and hearings that I could never have dreamed that I would have the chance to witness in person. Overall, I made a lot of friends and networked with so many people and met a lot of incredible people. 

What differences do you hope to make in the world using what JMC has taught you these past three years?

I mean, I think what JMC did for me was teach me how to think better and to think more critically. We really think about what voices are being brought to the table, and which ones aren’t— who is being left out. I think no matter where I go, I’ll always be thinking through a lens that this is a complex system and apply my critical thinking skills to those systems. 

What wisdom would you pass on to freshmen at MSU?

Try to have a good time and meet new people. Take part in things that are interesting to you, but don’t overwhelm yourself. That’s really easy to do freshman year. 

What do you like to do when you’re not in class?

Well, during the school year my roommates and I have been sitting on our couch watching a lot of SVU. Other times, I like to garden and hike and I love to go to Horrock’s. I love to knit and cook and just play with my dog. 

What is your favorite part about fall? 

I love apples and apple pie. 

Last question! So I know you’re Italian. What’s your favorite Italian food and why?

I mean pasta, gelato, pizza, wine— it’s all too good! Olive oil? Olive oil, come on! Probably my Nonna’s homemade pasta with homemade sauce.