English Graduate Receives College’s Outstanding Senior Award

Abby Jaroszewicz, who graduated this spring with a B.A. in English, a minor in Linguistics, and a minor in Women and Gender Studies, is this year’s recipient of the College of Arts & Letters Outstanding Senior Award. She also is a graduate of the Honors College as well as the College of Arts & Letters’ Citizen Scholars Program. She managed to do all this and more, including study abroad trips and internships, while graduating a year early.

“This award is such a wonderful recognition of my time here at MSU,” Jaroszewicz said. “I've worked hard, but I know that there are so many people in the College of Arts & Letters and MSU as a whole who have helped me along the way. It's humbling to receive this recognition from the College, and I'm so honored to be the recipient.”

One of the highlights of her MSU education has been the College of Arts and Letters’ Citizen Scholars Program, which encouraged her to engage with the MSU community and East Lansing.

This award is such a wonderful recognition of my time here at MSU. I've worked hard, but I know that there are so many people in the College of Arts & Letters and MSU as a whole who have helped me along the way.

As a Citizen Scholar, Jaroszewicz co-wrote a program called “Reading Buddies” with a fellow Citizen Scholar and the East Lansing Public Library. This allowed her to combine her knowledge of language acquisition from her linguistics minor with her passion for education and helping people achieve.

“The Citizen Scholars Program does amazing things to foster a community, to make this big university feel small, and provides you with infrastructure and resources to ensure your success,” Jaroszewicz said. “It has been invaluable to my college experience.”

Students who complete the Citizen Scholars Program receive a $5,000 scholarship, which can be used to pay for study abroad, study away, undergraduate research, internships, or other enrichment opportunities. Jaroszewicz used her funding for a study abroad trip to London last summer to study literature.

woman wearing a black shirt and shorts standing in front of a brick walli
Abby Jaroszewicz at the Globe Theatre in London during her study abroad trip.


“[The study abroad to London] was the most amazing experience,” she said. “I was able to explore Europe, and I learned so much from some amazing professors.”

This was not her first study abroad trip to Europe. Before her freshman year and before even beginning classes at MSU, Jaroszewicz participated in the Freshman Seminars Abroad Program to Germany where she studied human rights.

“[The Freshman Seminar Abroad] was a wonderful way to meet people before starting here in the fall and gave me a taste of what collegiate work would be, all while being in a brand-new exciting place,” Jaroszewicz said. “I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who wants to go abroad.”

Another highlight of her time at MSU has been the education she has received through the Honor College.

I have learned so much here at MSU, about how to be a good person and a good citizen. I have figured out what I want to do with my life, how I want to use my education to make the world a better place.

“The Honors College was a huge reason why I decided to come to MSU in the first place,” Jaroszewicz said. “The ability to exchange my general education classes for related classes that are more specific to what I was actually interested in was so exciting. I am so grateful to the advisers and faculty in the Honors College, for their support and flexibility. They have always been a reliable resource for me, and I know I can count on them to push me to succeed and to catch me when I fall.”

As an MSU student, Jaroszewicz also did linguistics research on children’s books at the MSU Language Acquisition Lab under the advisement of Associate Professors Cristina Schmitt and Alan Munn.

“I learned that research projects change and adapt often,” she said. “I learned that linguistics is something that everyone uses but almost no one understands (try explaining vowel shifts to your parents – you'll see what I mean). I learned that the skills I use in a lab will be helpful throughout my life. The organization, creativity, collaboration – these are all things that make a good employee and a good person.”

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Abby Jaroszewicz with her linguistics research that she presented at the ​​​
Undergraduate ​​​​​Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) in 2018.


Jaroszewicz worked as the Social Media Intern for the Citizen Scholars Program, where she ran the social media platforms for the program.

“In my experience as a Citizen Scholars Intern, the administrators worked hard to make me feel not only like an active participant of Citizen Scholars but like a valued asset to the program,” she said. “In my position, I learned about the organization and methods of engagement, but I also learned how to speak my mind and work effectively in a collaborative setting. I will miss my work with Citizen Scholars, but it has prepared me well for the next stage in my life.”

Jaroszewicz also served as the Communications Assistant for the Honors College where she created content, such as graphics and videos, for Instagram and Facebook.

I feel ready to take on the world. I feel prepared with my Spartan education. Graduation is a wonderful acknowledgment of all of my accomplishments these past three years, and all of my hard work has brought me to this point.

Now that she has received her bachelor’s degree, Jaroszewicz plans to attend graduate school at MSU for Student Affairs Administration. After getting her master’s degree, she would like to begin working at a university as either a major adviseor or working for the admissions department.

“I have learned so much here at MSU, about how to be a good person and a good citizen. I have figured out what I want to do with my life, how I want to use my education to make the world a better place,” Jaroszewicz said. “As I am graduating, I know that I am joining a legion of Spartans around the world, a greater support system and community than I could ever ask for. I feel ready to take on the world. I feel prepared with my Spartan education. Graduation is a wonderful acknowledgment of all of my accomplishments these past three years, and all of my hard work has brought me to this point. I am proud of myself and I'm proud of the Class of 2020.”