Ira Polley Memorial Scholarship awarded to three MPP students

November 16, 2021 - Karessa Weir

Three MSU Political Science Master of Public Policy students have been awarded Ira Polley Scholarships for their exceptional work both inside and outside the classroom, MPP officials announced this week.

MPP student Chris Janzer and Linked-MPP students Abby Girardot and Daryn Watson were selected after reviewing their academic performance in MPP courses and following recommendations from MPP faculty and director.

“All three recipients are exceptional students and exemplars of the Master of Public Policy program, performing at the highest level in their MPP courses during their first year in the program,” said Dr. Erika Rosebrook, Interim Director of the Master of Public Policy program.

Beyond their classroom accolades, Chris Janzer is a seasoned professional serving as an assistant director at the Michigan Department of Education.

Both Abby and Daryn are Linked-MPP students, working to simultaneously complete their bachelor's and master's degrees in five years. Abby Girardot has previously interned with Strategic Policy Consultants and currently serves as a graduate assistant for MSU's Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC).

Daryn Watson participated in MSU's acclaimed InnovateGov program in Detroit, interning with the Detroit Public Schools Community District and the Michigan Government Semester Program, interning in the Michigan State House of Representatives. Daryn is also a Political Science Scholar and was selected as one of 1,000 students from the U.S. to participate in Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit in 2019.

The scholarship awards are high honors for MPP students, established in the memory of MSU Political Science Professor Emeritus Dr. Ira Polley, whose 50-year career was dedicated to education and public service. Dr. Polley also served as State Controller, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Executive Director of the Council of State College Presidents and Secretary to the Constitutional Convention Planning Commission. Dr. Polley passed away in 2005.

“All three of these students are deserving of the Ira Polley scholarship award. I think Dr. Polley, who spent five decades working in education and government, would be delighted to recognize the early contributions of these brilliant and hardworking individuals,” said Dr. Marty Jordan, Assistant Professor of Political Science.

MPP students have been selected for this high honor for more than a decade and a half. Students performing at the highest level receive the award and scholarship dollars.