Citizen Scholar and Double Major Gives Thanks

Written by Jenna Merony, Class of 2021

Looking back at my time here at MSU, I could not be more thankful for the opportunities I had and the memories I was able to make, even during a pandemic.   

I came to MSU in 2017 with my twin sister, Makayla, who was ready to enter the Kinesiology program while I was not really knowing my next step in this journey. I started as an English major because that was my favorite subject in high school, and I knew I wanted to do something that involved writing. My older sister, Taylor, who was a senior when I came to MSU as a freshman, introduced Professional and Public Writing (P2W) to me. She heard of it from a friend of hers who was graduating that year from the P2W program. I looked more into it and found my calling in the Publishing and Editing track.

a girl with blonde long hair wearing a green cap and gown
Jenna Merony will graduate on May 1 with a double major in English and Professional and Public Writing.

I have always loved writing, telling stories, and reading but never knew how to make that into a career. That is where Professional and Public Writing proved to show me all the possibilities of how to tell stories for a living. However, as I was finishing up the P2W program, I felt there was more for me to learn so I added back the English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. With these two majors and being a part of the Citizen Scholars program through the College of Arts & Letters, I was able to receive amazing opportunities.

I have always loved writing, telling stories, and reading but never knew how to make that into a career. That is where Professional and Public Writing proved to show me all the possibilities of how to tell stories for a living.

One of the biggest opportunities I had was being able to go on study abroad. I did the Literary Studies in Dublin, Ireland program the summer before my junior year and received funding for this from the Citizen Scholars program. That funding was the push and help I needed to allow me to take this journey.

It was a five-week program of traveling around Ireland and learning about literacy, a few Irish authors, and some Irish films. Along with the literary aspect, I also learned more about the culture of Ireland from Galway, Sligo, Belfast, Dublin, and Cork. One of my favorite memories was learning about William Butler Yeats by going on a Yeats country tour and seeing places that inspired his poems and that were part of his childhood. This is an experience I will never forget, and I highly recommend that any MSU student do a study abroad or away.

a girl on cliffs holding an MSU flag wearing a pink long sleeve, leggings, and rain boots
Jenna Merony at the Cliffs of Moher during her study abroad trip to Ireland in 2019.

The Citizen Scholars funding was not the only thing I took away from the program. It also taught me so much about myself and helped me become part of the community around me and to stand up for things I am passionate about. It enhanced my education in a way that I wasn’t expecting and brought the leader out in me I didn’t know I had or could be.

By the beginning of my junior year, I knew I needed some more experience within the P2W track and needed an internship as well to graduate. My advisor was very helpful by always sending new opportunities my way and that is how I heard about the Social Media and Communications Strategist Internship for the College of Art & Letters. For this internship, I wrote many different stories covering many subjects around the college. I also learned more about social media, marketing, and digital design. These were things I never knew I needed to know until I was able and asked to do it. I have worked for the College of Arts & Letters Marketing team for the past year and half but wish I had started sooner. It has been a great experience and taught me about time management, teamwork, and so much more.

a girl with long blonde hair wearing a green gown sitting on a bench
Jenna Merony in front of Linton Hall where she worked as a Content Studio Intern for the College of Arts & Letters.

Entering into my senior year, this year was not what I imagined it would be. With a pandemic still at-large, many things had changed, starting with classes. They continued to be online for the safety of everyone on campus, which I understood but it wasn’t the connectivity I would have liked for my final year at MSU. It wasn’t just classes but internships, clubs, and just getting that senior experience. My internship with the College of Arts & Letters has really been one of the biggest highlights here at MSU; however, I was only able to enjoy the in-person aspect for about two and a half months before COVID caused us to go remote. Then coming into my final year, I had to stay remote for my internship. It wasn’t what I was hoping for, but the Marketing team and my fellow interns still made it enjoyable and taught me a lot.

With my time here at MSU coming to an end, I am happy to say that my journey in education will not be over. I will be attending Central Michigan University this coming fall where I am enrolled in their Master of English Language and Literature program with a concentration in Creative Writing.

Thank you MSU and the College of Arts & Letters for a great four years.