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Reflections
Kristen Kelsay

Kristen Kelsay

The people at Michigan State are what make being a Spartan second to none. From coaches to teammates, professors to trainers, administrators to alumni, the people of MSU have been an extraordinary blessing in my life. When I talk about MSU, I can’t help but relate my time here and the people I’ve met to a family.

My work in the classroom, research lab, with peers, and on the court has made a huge impact on my life and will continue to help shape me. One of the most transformative opportunities I was given was the ability to conduct research. As a freshman, I took part in a professorial assistantship through the Honors College that extended through sophomore year. I was in the research lab assisting doctors and PhD students, who gave me the skills and resources to pursue my passion for psychology.

For the INSIDE OUT President’s Report I wanted to portray the life of a student-athlete, an athlete who seriously took on the role of a student and was involved in the athletic community as well as the larger scale of what Michigan State has to offer.

We were able to document my final volleyball season, which included such highs as playing my younger sister and beating the No. 1-ranked team in the country. It was such an amazing season, and I was able to capture it on film and show others how truly special the MSU volleyball program is. I was proud and honored to be able to represent all of the Michigan State student-athletes. I was able to document an ending to such an important and impactful time of my life. I had people truly care about what I was going through and actually want to get it all on film!

I was thankful that the student producers were such great people. They were selfless in their efforts to record my life and make sure it wasn’t a burden. They truly wanted to understand the behind-the-scenes life of a student-athlete, and I loved getting to work with them.

Coming into Michigan State, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. My parents had always encouraged us in everything we did. Their support in both my academics and passion for volleyball is what truly made me a well-rounded person. My father is a school psychologist with a clinical licensure for therapy and also played football at the University of Minnesota. My mother teaches AP psychology. I should have known it would be my passion! I’ve loved being able to study psychology here at Michigan State and am excited to explore the world of sports psychology in my postgraduate career.

The opportunities volleyball has given me at MSU have made all the difference during my time here. MSU truly recruited me as a volleyball athlete but also as a student. They were passionate about my education and the opportunities I could have at Michigan State due to my test scores and grades out of high school. These opportunities would not have been available at a school other than Michigan State. I have been able to pursue my passions both on and off the court.

Through the Clara Bell Smith Student Athlete Academic Center and the Putting Athletes and Community Together program, I have had the privilege of reaching out and giving back to our community with other student-athletes. I was asked to be the president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee as well as a member of Athletic Council. I was chosen as a student ambassador when President Barack Obama signed the Farm Bill at MSU. And through Athletes in Action, a campus ministry at MSU, I was able to attend a mission trip to South Africa.

I am so grateful for all of the people I have met at Michigan State and the opportunities I have been given. Go Green!