Name: Megan Kramer
Major: Environmental Studies and Sustainability
Minor: Science, Technology, Environment and Public Policy
Hometown: Howell, Michigan
“I’ve always been really passionate about environmental concerns and climate change, ever since I was a little kid,” said freshman Megan Kramer while explaining her choice of major, environmental studies and sustainability.
For some children, being passionate about the environment might mean giving up non-recyclable Lunchables meals or cutting up the six pack plastic rings that hold beverages together before throwing them out. For Kramer, this meant approaching her elementary school principal and informing him that the school needed a club dedicated to environmental awareness.
Kramer soon became the founder of Save the Earth Club and recruited about 40 students to meet every other week to discuss methods of environmental conservation from the perspective of elementary schoolers. This initiative was only the start of a lifelong passion for the environment that fueled her decision to come to Michigan State University.
“I wanted a university that felt very close to nature, where I could sit outside and study and have a great area,” Kramer said. “I didn’t want it to feel corporate at all.”
According to Kramer, the most beautiful place on campus to observe nature is the Beal Botanical Gardens, especially the side closest to the river. It would come as no surprise to see her sitting on a bench there, studying one of the many subjects her degree requires.
“You have to have a solid background in biology, chemistry and geology, with a strong understanding of economics, leadership and working with people,” Kramer said.
She hopes to go into either environmental policy or environmental law, and she is interested in working with the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Energy.
Kramer recently joined MSU Greenpeace, an organization of students activists interested in stability, the environment and community involvement.
“We’re trying to make MSU more sustainable. Right now, we’re working on our divestment plan. MSU currently invests about 90 million dollars into fossil fuels and we’re trying to persuade them into using more renewable sources of energy,” she said.
There are a number of environmental groups on campus, and Kramer speaks highly of all. She encourages students to get involved with any of the organizations.
“Definitely join an environmental club,” Kramer said. “It doesn’t matter which one you pick, just get involved.”
Kramer’s passion for the environment is hardly a surprise considering her birthday falls on Earth Day, or as she’s apt to call it, her B-Earth-day. Instead of spending the day celebrating, Kramer plans to get outside and involved with Earth Day activities.
“This is cheesy, but Earth Day is more important than my birthday, so I always try to do something for the Earth,” Kramer said.
The environment is not the only passion that Kramer has had since she was young — it’s coupled with a love for music and singing that inspired her to perform in choirs throughout her life. Now Kramer is a member of Ladies First, the only all-female A Cappella group on MSU’s campus.
This spring, Ladies First was the only group from MSU represented at the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella, as they made it to semi-finals and were able to perform in Chicago among the best A Cappella groups in the Great Lakes region.
Kramer was hopeful to find a way to keep music in her life once she came to college, but felt that joining a choir on campus might be too much of a commitment. Although Ladies First has three practices a week, it was a perfect fit for Kramer’s schedule and has affected her life in positive ways even outside of rehearsals and performances.
“My favorite part of the group is the ladies,” Kramer said. “We are like a family — they are my rocks, and we support each other through everything. It’s like a sisterhood, and I can say without a doubt that I’m close friends with all 15 other girls.”
Next year, Kramer said she looks forward to living in the “Ladies House” with members of her Ladies First family, becoming more involved with MSU Greenpeace and enjoying the adventures another year will bring.
Those interested in hearing Ladies First can buy their albums on iTunes or Spotify and can attend fall and spring performances. Kramer recommended the fall A Cappella Concert, “Acapalooza,” at which all of the A Cappella groups at MSU perform.