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Michigan State University

Meet Olivia Porter & James Nelon!

Meet Alumni Club Scholarship recipients Olivia Porter and James Nelon! 

Olivia is a first-year Agribusiness Management student from Ravenna, Michigan. She received the Arnson Family Muskegon Area Alumni Club Scholarship. At MSU, Olivia is a member of the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE) program and Block and Bridle, a livestock exposition club. She’s also the public relations chair of Sigma Alpha, a professional agricultural sorority. Through these involvements, she’s been able to find a close-knit community and improve her time management skills. Coming from a small town, Olivia said her favorite part of Michigan State is how the large community still supports her like her hometown does. 

James is a second-year Microbiology student with a minor in Spanish from Phoenix, Arizonia. He received the Arizonia Spartans Endowed Scholarship Fund. James chose to come to MSU after touring campus and loving the welcoming atmosphere, along with the opportunity to study in a new environment out of state. Outside of class, he works as an undergraduate research assistant within a COVID research lab. This opportunity has allowed him to contextualize his studies and apply what he’s learned to a real-world experience.  

Olivia said receiving an alumni club scholarship has motivated her to keep up her grades, worry less about student loans, and join more organizations on campus. Her connection with the donor family is another aspect of the scholarship that motivates her to do well at MSU. 

“I think it's just awesome that I've like developed this relationship with this awesome donor family and they've really helped me find my place here,” Olivia said. 

James said that receiving an alumni club scholarship has allowed him to branch out to new opportunities at Michigan State and not only focus on classes. 

“It's really allowed me to just participate in a lot of different activities and clubs here in order to really just experience everything MSU has to offer,” James said. 

To see if there is a club scholarship in your area, visit the MSU Scholarships website or reach out to the alumni club in your area.

Author: Lauren Coin