Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Citizen Scholars
Zaria Phillips

Zaria Phillips

Citizen Scholar

Major: Global Studies in the Arts & Humanities

Zaria Phillips is a Global Studies in the Arts & Humanities major interested in helping others and solving the big problems of our time. The Citizen Scholars program offers a perfect fit for her to learn more about driving positive change and goodwill throughout world.

Why did you come to MSU?
I went to quite a few campuses when I was trying to decide where I was going to spend my next four years. When I took my first step into East Lansing, I felt like I was home. Everyone is genuine and the academics are internationally known and recognized. The fact that I could learn from some of the best educators in the world really pulled me toward MSU.

Why did you aspire to be a Citizen Scholar?
I am interested in the issues and challenges that face our economic and political conditions in the world today. The Citizen Scholars program provides a space for me to expand upon my interests through experiential learning opportunities like study abroad and internships. Employers are looking for well-rounded individuals who can think critically and communicate effectively and these opportunities are essential in preparing me to stand out from the crowd.

What has your experience been like so far in the Citizen Scholars program?
The support system is amazing. Your advisor and leaders are very hands-on and willing to work with you on developing skills and make recommendations on how you can take full advantage of the program and your goals. And most importantly, they care about your well-being and believe in you. 

The program creates an environment where we’re encouraged to get out of our comfort zones and to explore different perspectives and new ways of thinking while working with others who are highly diverse. The best learning moments in my young college career have come with collaborating with other Citizen Scholars. You learn so much about yourself, others’ perceptions, and how to work together on projects that are truly transformative for the community.

What are you looking forward to most in the Citizen Scholars program?
Being only a first-year student, I feel like my Citizen Scholar journey has just begun. With that said, I am looking forward to traveling abroad, most specifically to Dubai. I have always been interested in their culture, values, and social environment. From my perspective, there is no better way to learn about another culture than to immerse yourself into that country. These Citizen Scholar experiences will add even more meaning to my life.