College of Social Science Washington, DC Program Participant Receives Rachel P. Kahan Memorial Scholarship

December 4, 2018

In a cooperative effort between Michigan State University’s College of Social Science and James Madison College, and through gifts from family and friends, the Rachel P. Kahan Memorial Scholarship for Spring 2019 has been awarded to Crystal King of Detroit, Michigan.

King, an Economic Geography senior, feels a strong connection to Rachel in that they both have adventurous sides, saying “Rachel Kahan was not afraid to step away from campus and explore what else was out there and neither am I.” Having participated in three study away/abroad programs prior to the upcoming Washington, DC semester, King’s passion for exploring opportunities is clear.

This Scholarship strives to honor the enthusiastic spirit of community engagement displayed by Kahan during her time with the Washington, DC Program and beyond. “Just like Rachel Kahan, I place high importance on giving back to the MSU community” said King. Reflecting on their commitment to the LGBTQ resource center, which serves people of similar identities, these opportunities have been beneficial to their university experience on a larger level. King offers, “It has really helped me to be able to connect and have an impact…especially on first year students.”

Kahan was a graduate of MSU’s James Madison College and an alumnus of the College of Social Science Spring 2007 Washington, DC Semester Study Program. Also a member of DC Spartans Board, Rachel was very active in giving back to MSU and the DC Study Away program. Rachel passed away in 2012 after an inspiring battle against cancer. Rachel touched the lives of many Spartans and through this scholarship will continue to positively inspire active community participation and leadership.

This spring, King hopes to intern for the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in Washington, DC. The AAG internship will focus on an annual international conference where fellow geographers, GIS specialists, environmental scientists, and other leaders meet to share the latest in research and applications in the field. King expects this internship will go a long way towards their long term goals. “I think this internship will be a great opportunity to really experience what it’s like to live on the east coast, network with professionals, build my brand, and hopefully make connections to eventually get a full time consulting position” King said.

When asked how they were feeling about being awarded this scholarship, one word came to mind for King, “grateful.” King plans on using the funds to pay for study away expenses, and will be taking full advantage of all DC has to offer thanks to the Rachel P. Kahan Memorial Scholarship. “Rachel set the best example of what it means to make the most out of the opportunities MSU has to offer, and I would like to follow her footsteps and do the same for myself.”

Applicants must be currently enrolled at Michigan State University and planning to participate in an internship in Washington, DC as part of MSU’s Semester Study Program. Recipients can be enrolled in any college at MSU, but must be in good academic standing. Those applicants who have demonstrated the Spartan tradition of community engagement and civic leadership are encouraged to apply.  Find more information here.