International Studies & Programs

Home > Federal Programs > Department of State Programs > Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders on Civic Engagement

Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders on Civic Engagement

Diverse college students sit together

In collaboration with Meridian International Center

Sponsored by the Department of State, Education Cultural Affairs (ECA)

In partnership with MSU Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities, the Visiting International Professional Program is coordinating a Civic Engagement program as part of the Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders from Europe.

Program Details

Program Details

The Michigan State University Civic Engagement Institute hosted on campus in East Lansing aims to provide 20 undergraduate student leaders from Europe with a deeper understanding of civic engagement in the United States and enhance their leadership skills. The five week intensive program will examine how citizens have shaped U.S. history, community organizing, and social movements. Topics such as citizenship, public culture, economic development, grassroot activism, political leadership, and volunteerism will be explored with the participants. Academic sessions are complemented with hands-on workshops, guest lectures, community service, and site visits. All participants will be encouraged to develop innovative action plans aimed at fostering engaged citizenship in their own communities. The final week of the program is a study tour to Seattle, Washington followed by program conclusion event in Washington D.C. where students will have the opportunity to showcase their learning, and network with students from the other two SUSI institutes.

Program Framework

Civic Engagement: From Exploration to Participation


2022-02-22 (6).png


Students will be awarded the Study of the U.S. - Civic Engagement certificate by MSU VIPP upon successful completion of the program.


Program Dates

June 25 to July 23, 2022, East Lansing, Michigan

July 23 to July 27, 2022, Seattle, Washington

July 27 to July 31, 2022, Washington D.C.

Academic Director & Speakers

Academic Director 

Dr. Hassan.jpg

 Professor Salah D. Hassan, Director of the Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities program at Michigan State University will lead the Academic program of the Institute on Civic Engagement. Dr. Hassan has extensive experience in program design and implementation in civic engagement with an emphasis on experiential learning and community engagement. He will offer academic leadership including guiding all faculty, student assistants, guest speakers, and community partners in programming to ensure students achieve all the leaning outcomes.

Student Assistants

Student Assistants

Kang.jpgStephie Minjung Kang (she/her)

  • BA in English Language and Literature, Sungshin Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea
  • MA in Rhetoric and Writing, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • PhD Candidate: Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, Michigan State University

Research Area: multilingual writing instructors’ identity; translingual approach to writing instruction; transnational literacies; critical and pluralistic approach to literacy studies; and social justice oriented writing pedagogy


Lee.jpgVashti Lee  

  • BA: Brigham Young University (Linguistics major, Chinese minor, TESOL minor)
  • MS: Georgetown University (Applied Linguistics)

    Vashti Wai Yu Lee is a first year doctoral student in the Second Language Studies program. Her research interests include multilingualism, language immersion education, and language identity and ideology. Recently, much of her research has drawn on the experiences of heritage language learners and multilingual transnationals.


Madiha Ghous2.jpgMadiha Ghous

  • BA in English Language and Literature, the International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • PhD candidate in English

Research interests: post-colonial studies, critical theory, world literature(s), critical Muslim studies, South Asia





Cheyenne.pngCheyenne Symonette

  • BA in English Literature from the University of The Bahamas
  • MA in Literature and Cultural Theory from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Cheyenne is studying English Literature as a doctoral student at MSU. Her research interests include Victorian literature, queer theory, and Caribbean studies.




Olivia Wheeler.jpgOlivia Wheeler (she/her/hers)

  • Major: Environmental Geosciences
  • Minor in Digital Humanities, Michigan State University

Olivia is a junior-level undergraduate from the College of Natural Science and the Honors College. She has been a research assistant for MSU's Center for Community and Economic Development for over a year and has participated in several environmental sustainability clubs within the university. Olivia is the President and Social Media Manager of MSU's SciReview, which has helped her captivate researchers through engagement and social media.


Valeria Zapata.jpgValeria Zapata


My name is Valeria Zapata, I am a latinx first generation senior at Michigan State University majoring in Humanities Pre-Law and minoring in Global Studies and Leadership in Integrated Learning. When I graduate, I plan to go to law school to pursue my dream of becoming an Immigration Attorney.



Engage with SUSI

Engage with SUSI

Home Hospitality Visits

An important goal of the SUSI program is cultural exchange between the U.S. and Europe among our young people. Thank you to the local families who hosted home hospitality visits. The SUSI students enjoyed visiting with American families, and taking part in fun summer activities. Read more about the SUSI students' home hospitality experiences on Facebook.

Home Hosp.jpg

SUSI Home Hospitality Flyer (PDF)


Civic Engagement

The SUSI students put their civic engagement learning into practice by volunteering at the Metro Lansing Poor People's Campaign, the Refugee Development Center, Lake Lansing Park, and visiting the Lansing Solar Farm. Check out the Facebook post to see more photos from their service learning experiences!

english lesson1.jpg


SUSI Music Evening

The SUSI students enjoyed sharing their musical talents with the local community when they organized, presented, and hosted a Music Evening at MSU's Summer Circle Theatre!

Summer Circle 1.jpg


MSU Summer Celebrations

The SUSI students were treated to a summer BBQ at Lake Lansing Park hosted by VIPP where they had the opportunity to socialize with members of the MSU community and students in the German Fulbright Summer Institute, and celebrate some birthdays Spartan-style!


Follow the SUSI Journey

Visit the institute webpage to take the learning journey offered by the program during the summer of 2022. Contact VIPP if you need more information at vipp(at)



   MSU-logo.jpgMeridian Logo.pngus flag.jpg DOS seal and flag copy.png