Michigan State is home to over 50,000 students, each with unique interests, stories and passions. Only ten of these students were selected to be members of this year’s Homecoming Court and Communication senior Makaila Marshall is one of them.
“I am beyond honored to be a member of the MSU Homecoming Court,” said Marshall. “My fellow court members are wonderful and getting to know them more has been a great pleasure. I love that we all share a love for this school and now get to share the experience of representing it together.”
Making the Cut
During the extensive selection process for the court, students are either nominated by a faculty member or can apply on their own. Though Marshall was nominated for the Court, she still does not know the identity of the individual that recommended her.
Applicants are required to be full-time MSU students who have reached senior status by August and must maintain a 2.5 GPA. They must also be in good academic, legal and disciplinary standing. After applications are reviewed, selections for interviews are made. The Homecoming Committee will then spend one to two days interviewing the eligible students and then a select few are chosen.
“We were not told why we were chosen individually,” said Marshall. “However, I believe that we all represent a vital piece of the Spartan experience. We are student leaders, scholars and involved in various extracurricular activities.”
Impacting the Community
It’s clear that Marshall, who is also a cognitive science minor, has a strong sense of community. In addition to being a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., she has also mentored more than 150 students through the Engineering and Science Success Academy (ESSA).
“The thing I love about ESSA is that although its primary goal is to better equip freshman with skills to succeed in the classroom, they end up gaining a family within the Michigan State campus,” said Marshall. “ESSA is a program I hold near and dear to my heart and would highly recommend it to any incoming freshman looking to earn a STEM degree.”
Prior to becoming a Communication major, Marshall was previously on a pre-med track, solidifying her connection to STEM. A friend of Marshall’s was a former participant in the program and recommended her for the mentor position.
“He thought I had a lot of insight to share with the next incoming class,” said Marshall. “I did some research on the program and decided this could be a unique opportunity to have under my belt.”
Working for this program has enabled Marshall to find a true passion for mentorship. She hopes to develop her own non-profit organization in the future that will mentor young women of color.
Heading Toward Graduation
Marshall will be graduating in December and plans to go on to earn a Ph.D. in developmental psychology.
“College was full of adversity, development and growth,” said Marshall. “It is bittersweet to say that my time as an undergraduate student is coming to an end, but I am excited and optimistic for my future in this world.”
In addition to continuing to mentor youth, Marshall also aspires to own a facility that offers therapy to children with developmental disorders. She wants to provide speech, physical and occupational therapies, as well as sensory, art and music therapy, in the hopes of helping individuals like her older brother, who has autism.
Advice for Future World-Changers
After being ESSA’s programs assistant this summer and the female lead mentor the two years prior, Marshall is more than qualified to give students advice on how to make the most of their time in ComArtSci.
“Find what works best for you and be the best professional, philanthropist or educator you can be,” said Marshall. “Networking is key and allowing yourself to be a part of the opportunities the college offers ultimately benefits you as a student and will benefit you in your future career as well.”
Be sure to keep an eye out for this world-changer during Homecoming Week!
By Kaitlin Dudlets