Ali Stark: Academic Rock "STARR"

Ever heard of the Cowboy Code of Ethics? It’s an ethos that embodies multiple characteristics, including: grit, passion, integrity and optimism.

Michigan State junior Ali Stark embraces this code. Growing up in Laramie, Wyoming, Stark spent most of her childhood fishing and skiing. But when she finishes her education at MSU she’ll depart with three bachelor’s degrees.

Yes, you read that right, three degrees—one in genomics & molecular genetics, another in cellular & developmental neuroscience, and a third in Spanish—AND she’s a member of the Honors College.

In 2016, Stark was offered the STARR scholarship, a prestigious full-ride package open to high-achieving students from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Wyoming.

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Ali Stark in her element


There was one little hitch: she’d already been accepted to Harvard. But after a campus visit, she ultimately chose to make MSU her academic home. When she’s not in class, she spends time in a lab, participates in multiple student groups and volunteers. She said she is extremely grateful to those who have assisted her.

Soon, Stark will be taking advantage of MSU’s Study Abroad offerings. Her life goal: Develop treatments for Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

Now that’s pure passion and grit.

This article appeared originally in the MSU Alumni Magazine - Spring 2019.