Seven CAL Students Graduate with Perfect 4.0 GPAs

Seven College of Arts & Letters students graduated with perfect 4.0 GPAs on May 5 and received Board of Trustees Awards for having achieved the highest scholastic average at the end of their undergraduate careers at Michigan State University.

At the MSU Board of Trustees meeting on April 13, each of these students were recognized and presented with Board of Trustees’ Awards. They are among the 93 MSU students who received this honor for spring 2019, a record number of perfect 4.0 GPAs in the University’s history.

The following are the seven College of Arts & Letters students who earned 2019 Board of Trustees Awards:

Victoria Adomshick


Victoria Adomshick, graduated with dual degrees in Spanish and Microbiology. She also was a member of the Honors College.

“The thing that I have enjoyed the most about the College of Arts & Letters is the staff,” Adomshick said. “Everyone is very friendly, supportive, and excited to engage students.”

During her time at MSU, Adomshick spent a summer abroad in Valencia, Spain, where she practiced her Spanish-speaking skills while experiencing the country's unique and exciting culture.

Kelsie Donaldson


Kelsie Donaldson received a B.A. in Professional Writing and was a member of the Honors College. During her time at MSU, she served as a Creative Services Intern at WDIV Local 4 News in Detroit, where she wrote articles for their website. She also served as the Communications Coordinator for the MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center, which taught her how to craft and curate content for social media and a blog.

For the last two years, she was an Intern at the CREATE for STEM Institute, where she sharpened her writing, collaboration, and leadership skills. Donaldson also worked with organizations through her professional writing classes, such as the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness and the Refugee Development Center.

“The thing I love the most about the College of Arts & Letters is the support I've felt from my fellow students, faculty, and professors. Everyone is constantly looking out for each other and helping one another learn new things and find new opportunities,” Donaldson said. “I've learned so much from my professors, such as writing and rhetoric skills but also how to use and share knowledge to help others.”

Emily Garchow


Emily Garchow received a B.A. in Chinese and was involved in several language exchanges with international students on campus. She worked in Shanghai, China, during Summer 2017 with the help of the College of Arts & Letters’ Excel Network Scholarship and conducted research for a University of Michigan study on learning disabilities. 

“In Shanghai, members of the CAL faculty visited me to learn about my experience abroad, how to improve it for future participants in the program, and of course show them around my temporary home,” Garchow said. “This is one of my favorite experiences with the College, and it truly bolstered my connection to both the college and university community.” 

After graduating from MSU, Garchow is moving to Napa Valley, California, to be a wine-making apprentice under her favorite vintner Grant Long Jr., owner and proprietor of both Aonair and Reverie II wineries. Upon completion of her apprenticeship, she will continue to pursue a career in international wine distribution and production.  

Hayden Harris


Within his Professional Writing major, Hayden Harris focused on digital and technical writing. During his time at MSU, he worked for WDBM 88.9 FM Impact radio station, MSU’s campus radio station, writing editorials and feature pieces.

Harris, who is from Cokeville, Wyoming, and was valedictorian of the Cokeville High School Class of 2015, is a recipient of the STARR Charitable Foundation Scholarship at Michigan State University. This scholarship, established by an anonymous private donor, provides unique educational opportunities to high school seniors who reside in the state of Wyoming or in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The scholarship pays all regular costs, including tuition, fees, books, room and board, and incidental expenses for eight semesters at MSU.

Emily Jenkins


Emily Jenkins received dual degrees in Professional Writing and Comparative Cultures and Politics. She also is a member of the Honors College and is the 2019 recipient of the Professional Writing Outstanding Major Award presented by the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures. The award recognizes students who demonstrate excellence in the classroom, success in experiential learning, and engagement with the community.

During her time at MSU, Jenkins gained several experiences beyond the classroom. She was a Communications Intern for MSU’s Residence Education and Housing Services, a Research and Writing Intern for The Cube, and a Resident Assistant in Case Hall. She also has been a Research Assistant for three professors with drastically different research focuses.

Sierra Richards


Sierra Richards received dual degrees in Professional Writing and Advertising. She also is a member of the Honors College. During her time at MSU, Richards worked for The Offbeat under Curtis VanDonkelaar, Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Culture.

“What I loved about working on The Offbeat was the fact that we saw the project all the way through. We picked the pieces for the next volume, worked with the authors to edit them, and then published them into a real book,” Richards said. “Since this was a class through the College of Arts & Letters, it was really easy to fit into my schedule and gain a lot of experience.”

Richards also was a leader in the Media Sandbox Street Team for the past two years, which is a program designed to help local nonprofits with creative work. From helping ITEC with their branding to creating videos for the Capital Area Humane Society, this organization helped Richards apply the skills she learned in Professional Writing and Advertising to real-world solutions.

After graduation, Richards will move to Chicago where she will work as a Consulting Analyst at Accenture.

Allison Steffen


Allison Steffen received a B.A. in Apparel and Textile Design and is a member of the Honors College. She also is one of the first three students to graduate from the College of Arts & Letters Citizen Scholars program through which she was able to intern with Adrianna Papell, a clothing company in New York City. Through this program, she created a public art project with Sandra Logan, Associate Professor and Director of the Citizen Scholars program, and fellow Citizen Scholar Isabel Humphrey-Phillips. This woven art project on a fence in East Lansing’s Valley Court Park, called Reweaving Our Social Fabric, was done in recognition of sexual assault awareness month.

Currently, Steffen is applying for jobs in the fashion industry and hopes to eventually design for a sustainable clothing company.