Photo of Abigail Bies

Abigail Bies

Student Research Assistant 

Abigail Bies, a dual-enrolled student at Michigan State University's James Madison College and the College of Social Science, will be joining the Center for Community and Economic Development this spring as a research assistant. Graduating in Spring 2024 with double majors in Social Relations and Policy & Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy, she is also concurrently pursuing a Master of Public Policy.

At the Center for Community and Economic Development, Abigail will primarily support research on Community Benefits Plans and Community Benefits Agreements, aligning with her policy interests in income inequality, government transfer programs, and community development. She will also be offering technical and planning assistance to the Center’s biannual Thinkers and Doers forum to be held at the end of March on community benefits.

Dedicated to community service, she serves as a University Student Commissioner in the City of East Lansing, a position aimed at elevating student voices and working with both the City Council and staff to accomplish harmony and shared goals between permanent and student residents. Her past extracurriculars involvement has offered knowledge into food assistance programs, drug policy inequities, and the intricacies of municipal governance.

With past employment in municipal law, Abigail gained insight into community-based work, policy research, and professional writing. Her research experience also spans into gender equity, as she currently serves as a project management assistant for the National Science Foundation ADVANCE Partnership: STEM Intersectional Equity in Departments (SIEDS), promoting DEIJ initiatives within the academy in collaboration with Michigan State University, Ohio State University, and Wayne State University.

Beyond her policy research, Abigail enjoys developing her Italian language skills, spending time with her sixteen-year-old dog, Teebo, watercolor painting, and reading in her hammock or skiing, depending on the weather. She is excited to begin work furthering the Center’s initiatives with her policy research and is grateful to have the opportunity to make a difference in the Lansing area, which she has called home for the last four years.