Congratulations to Our Graduating Research Assistants!
The Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) provides a unique learning laboratory for MSU students and scholars committed to more fully understanding the complex nature of local problem-solving in modern society. Several of our research assistants at the Center will be graduating this May. We are proud of the work they have done at the CCED. Join us in congratulating them and wishing them well in their future.
Tommaso Randazzo is the communications manager and head designer for the REI team, as well as the Center as a whole. After graduation, Tommaso plans to pursue work in web design/development or marketing. CCED’s biggest impact on him has been the freedom to explore creativity throughout areas at the center.
Heather has a dual degree in social relations and policy and BFA acting. She has worked as a general research assistant for the Center for two and half years, where she edits the bi-annual newsletter, plans our Thinkers and Doers forum, and communicates with the CCED networks. She also works on the Domicology team as a writer and communication aide. Lastly, Heather started the CCED podcast and has worked with the REI team to edit and publish their podcast series. After graduation, Heather plans on moving to Florida, where she will participate in the Disney College Program before moving to a major theatre market to pursue a career in acting, intimacy direction, and fight choreography. In her time at the CCED, Heather’s biggest takeaway was how important it is to build strong networks of people who are willing to put in the work to better the community.
Jonathan Walkotten is a graduating senior in James Madison College, studying social relations and policy and women's and gender studies. They are a research assistant on the Domicology unit at the MSU CCED and have been working on the Materials Salvage and Reuse Innovation (MSRI) Hub since starting at the CCED in April 2019. After graduation, Jonathan is pursuing a master’s degree in public affairs at the University of Texas–Austin, with research interests in LGBTQ+ health policy. Jonathan is grateful for meaningful grant writing and project implementation experience at the CCED, as well as the mentorship and guidance provided by senior staff.
Jeffrey is a double major in Arabic and political theory and constitutional democracy. He works for the REI department as a multimedia research assistant. His duties mostly include recording podcasts and editing materials that the office publishes. After graduation, Jeffrey plans on working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, where he will teach English and work in youth development. His biggest takeaway from working at the CCED is that he no longer believes he has to settle for a job or career path that does not suit him. He attributes that discovery to his wonderful boss, Jen Bruen.
Ethan Jodoin is a research assistant on the Domicology team majoring in environmental studies and sustainability. His role at the Center focuses primarily on extended producer responsibility and circular economy research and event planning. After graduating, Ethan plans to get LEED Green Associate certified and pursue a career focused on green construction and energy. Ethan's takeaway is that diverse perspectives are crucial to creating strong initiatives. His favorite memory is attending Southeast Michigan's Sustainable Business Forum and getting to network with leading businesses in the area.
Sara Moring-Hilt is an urban and regional planning student with a minor in environment and health at Michigan State University. She is a research assistant on the REI team at CCED, where she completes work in graphic design, student research project editing, and network outreach. After graduation Sara plans to begin her professional career in the planning field. During her time at CCED Sara was able to witness first-hand how much meaningful change can come from a collaborative, diverse teamwork environment. She has learned how important it is to expose yourself to as much new knowledge as possible as it will help you in the future in ways you cannot always predict. Her favorite part of working at CCED is the positive attitudes of her coworkers who are passionate about making a difference in the world.
Jacob is a student in Lyman Briggs College majoring in the history, philosophy, and sociology of science. He is additionally minoring in sociology and the James Madison College/Lyman Briggs Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy (STEPPS) program. At the MSU CCED he is a research assistant in the Materials Salvage and Reuse Innovation (MSRI) Hub, where he focuses on elements contributing to market development for structural material in the state of Michigan. After graduation he will continue his work at the CCED through the summer and in the fall he will be attending the University of Michigan’s School of Environment and Sustainability master’s program. Jacob has demonstrated enthusiastic learning in community project development and has employed these learnings in his own networks throughout MSU.
Ben Malian is a research assistant on the Domicology team majoring in international relations. After graduation, he plans to spend a gap year doing community service work before pursuing a graduate education in human geography. In his brief time at the CCED, Ben was impressed by the diversity of voices and academic perspectives which inform the Center’s work as a place of inclusion, advocacy, and scholarship.