By Kat Palczewski | February 2013

As Jazmen Moore approaches graduation she says, "I have a lot I want to do, but where do I start?" – a similar feeling to when she began as a freshman in the College of Arts & Letters, four years ago. Over the past four years, Jazmen has dedicated her time to volunteering and bettering the community around her. While she said she wasn't sure exactly what her passions were as she started her freshman year, she now has found her niche within the Women's and Gender Studies community.

"Coming to MSU gave me a context for these things that I was interested in. The more experiences I had, the more organizations I became involved in, I started to understand this is what I'm passionate about."

Help from the Big Apple

One experience that Jazmen says helped her come out of her shell was studying away in New York City as a sophomore. Professional Writing Professor Dánielle Devoss (pictured above with Jazmen) led the trip.

Jazmen says, "It was really great being able to work with Dánielle because she was highly available to us as students and very willing to work with us to shape some of the projects to our own interests."

Because of Jazmen's interests in social justice and women's rights, Dánielle helped her connect to multiple organizations in New York that she was able to visit while in the city. One of the organizations, Day One, became a part of her future research project.

Becoming a Community Advocate

Since freshman year, Jazmen has been a Sexual Assault and Crisis Intervention advocate and has interned and volunteered for EVE (End Violent Encounters). Her volunteer and advocacy work led to an independent study research project last semester.

Jazmen's research focused on the impact and effect of community outreach programs that work to raise awareness about sexual assault and domestic and relationship violence. She worked with Jayne Schuiteman, College of Arts & Letters professor and Director of the Women's Resource Center.

Jazmen wrote a paper based on her research of MSU Safe Place, EVE, Compass, Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention, MSU Center for Sexual Health Promotion, and Day One in NYC. After finishing her research paper, she asked herself, "What else can I do to give this project a creative component?"

With help and guidance from Professor Devoss, she decided to create a website with the intent that "other organizations, locally or nationally, who are trying to create these kinds of programs can benefit from it."

Her website, outreachtoimpact.weebly.com, now includes a small overview of her research project, why she did it, and working knowledge for organizations looking to create community outreach programs.

Changing the World

Jazmen has made the most of her time at MSU by volunteering, working as a Self Defense coach for RecSports, acting and co-directing in MSU Vagina Monologues, serving as a member of the Black Student Alliance, working as an Intercultural Aide, and even being part of the 2012 Homecoming Court.

When asked what she will do with an English and Women's & Gender Studies major, Jazmen says, "I'm going to change the world!" Jazmen plans to work and volunteer for a year and then apply for a PhD program in Women's & Gender Studies at Rutgers University next Fall.