Spartan Spotlight

Meet Brooklyn Narvaez, a California native who is making the most out of her Michigan State on campus experience. As a English Education and Spanish double major, member of Kappa Alpha Theta and Michigan State tour guide, Brooklyn has spent her freshman year taking advantage of the great experiences and support that her new home away from home provides.

“I definitely feel like living on campus has been a big part of why I’ve had a really successful first semester at MSU just because it’s hard when you’re coming to a new school, especially for me because I’m out of state so I knew no one coming into this. [Living on campus] is a good way to meet friends immediately because there’s always people around to talk to.”

Between finding time to balance her classes and her busy schedule, Brooklyn makes sure to take some time for the great locations and great friends she’s found on campus. “I have a lot of friends that live in different neighborhoods. We’re food enthusiasts so we really like going to all the different dining halls and finding out which one has the best food that night […] I really like the environment on campus so I like hanging out around the Red Cedar River or in north campus, just spending time with my friends and the people I live with.”

When she’s not figuring out the best late night on campus, Brooklyn spends her weekday nights studying in the library until all hours of the night. As an English Education major, she says that she is passionate about urban education and motivated to succeed in her classes. “What motivates me most to succeed is support from the people around me and from my professors. I feel like a lot of my professors here are super dedicated to what they’re doing and they’re really into their research as well as the classes that they’re teaching. It makes me feel like I need to give back to them what they’re giving to me.”

Even though she came from 3000 miles away and wasn’t so used to walking to class in the snow, Brooklyn hasn’t shied away from the opportunity to become a part of the MSU family. “I definitely feel like MSU is my home and I’ve never felt alienated here. I feel like this is where I’m meant to be. This is where my people are. This is where I’m going to spend the next three years of my life and I will always be loyal to MSU because I could never repay what this school has done for me so far.”

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Meet Hannah Johnson, a senior studying social work who is making the most of her on-campus experience.  As the President of Spectrum, the LGBTQ caucus in East Neighborhood, and a Resident Assistant (RA) in Emmons Hall, Hannah keeps busy with her academic and social activities that are conveniently located near her home away from home.  

“I do really feel that living on campus has helped me succeed. I think that there’s a lot going on around campus that has helped me make connections and get involved in ways that I don’t think I’d be able to do off campus.”

Johnson says that one of the many benefits of living on campus has been her access to the LGBTQ community at Michigan State. “When I first started going to Spectrum, I brought a friend with me, and there were a lot of people there, but it was really fun. The people there were really welcoming and sweet. I’ve kept going and now I’ve worked my way to the president position, and I really love it. It’s like a family there.”

When she isn’t busy with her activities, studying or eating at her favorite dining hall, Johnson enjoys exploring North Neighborhood because of its beautiful scenery and buildings. “It’s really pretty and nice to just walk around North Neighborhood, especially in the fall.”

Johnson says that one of her biggest motivators to succeed in her classes is her little sister, Brooklyn. “She’s eight years old, and we are really close.  I want to do a really good job for her and set a really good example.”

As someone who is actively involved on campus, it is no surprise that Johnson has some advice for incoming freshman. “Make sure to relax and have fun. I know that college can be different and your classes might be challenging, but don’t stop working hard. Make sure to have fun and enjoy your experience here.”

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As a senior on campus, Emily Liebau is pretty busy these days. Majoring in Journalism with two minors in Asian Pacific American Studies and Graphic Design, Emily is also a Resident Assistant and intern for the Asian Pacific American Studies program. With all of this going on, Emily still finds time to enjoy her weekends on campus.

“Usually when I’m home on the weekend on campus, I really love to just kind of relax honestly, taking everything in. Whether it’s walking down Grand River and going out to eat or hanging out with friends or even catching up on homework, there’s always something to do besides events during the week.  There’s a variety of different things at the Union and different places that you can always go to and even meet people.”

Not only is Emily excellent at time management, but she is also a proponent of living on campus. The Shaw hall Resident Assistant has met a number of good friends while being an on-campus resident. “I have made some amazing friends living on campus. The Pilipino American Student Society, which is also know as PAS, is my home away from home. Even when I was a high school student, I met a lot of the members and I’m still friends with alumni to this day. It’s a really great community so we can express ourselves and really also share our culture and experience as Pilipino Americans with other students on campus and even students on other campuses in the Midwest as well.” 

As someone who is very involved on campus, it is no surprise that Emily has some advice for incoming freshmen. “Do not be afraid to make mistakes’. Everything goes by pretty fast but at the same time, you have so much room to improve, to change and to really express yourself at MSU. So, really trying out everything that you want to do now is the time to do it.”

Emily has been making a name for herself on campus and we look forward to hearing of her adventures beyond Michigan State. Go Green!

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Meet Terran Davis, a Human Development & Family Studies junior who is leaving his mark on campus, one day at a time. As the Director of Racial, Ethnic & Progressive Affairs for the Residence Hall Association, Terran feels that living on campus has helped him be successful.

“I feel like campus has really prepared me for the real world and it has opened my eyes to the many different resources that are available to me and how I can take advantage of those…I feel like through living on campus, it has pushed me out of my shell. I feel like it’s forced me to interact with people, just like, living in different residence halls, working different on-campus jobs.”

Terran’s favorite place on campus is the MSU Union because of the wide range of activities and resources allotted to students there. “The Union would probably have to be one of my favorite locations, only because it’s a very versatile building. You can do a lot of studying in that building as well as, like, late night at the Union is a very popular place to be. Also, like, just interacting with other students, like, they have a lot of events that UAB hosts, like different poetry, different artists, different spoken word pieces that I love to enjoy and things of that nature.”

When he isn’t studying or eating at his favorite dining hall, Brody, Terran spends his weekends enjoying his downtime. “People that know me know that I’m a pretty chill persons so, honestly, on the weekends, I really just like to chill with my friends, watch TV and watch Netflix.”

“Free your mind of certain expectations that people try to place on you. Free your mind of the fear you may have inside. Free your mind of the doubts you may bring when you come to campus” is what Terran would say to incoming freshmen. “There’s plenty of opportunities and plenty of ways for everyone to excel here. You just have to know where to go and where to look for them, but as long as you instill that confidence in yourself and you know how to obtain that then anything is possible.”

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We want to hear your story! Share your on-campus experience with us on Instagram using the hashtag #SpartanSpotlight and tagging @MSULiveOn.