Published: July 25, 2019

Michigan State University student receives first annual Top Hat scholarship

By: Madeline Kelly University Communications kellym35@msu.eduContact(s): Kim Ward Communication and Brand Strategy office: (517) 432-0117 cell: (734) 658-4250

Emma Rice, a junior at Michigan State University studying environmental economics and management in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics, or AFRE, in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is one of five recipients awarded a Top Hat scholarship.

Top Hat is an education tool developed to promote active learning that helps professors engage students before, during and after class. 

Nominated by their professors, honorees across the United States were selected for displaying leadership, growth and academic success. 

“As a learner and a researcher Emma has continually displayed passion, an outstanding work ethic and meticulous attention to detail,” said Melissa McKendree, assistant professor in AFRE and scholarship nominator. “She is the kind of student that makes me excited to be a Professor – it has been an honor and a pleasure to work with her.”

These scholarships will enable the students to continue their academic achievements and lay the foundation for their contributions to the broader community. Each student who received a scholarship saw material improvements in their academic performance as a result of using Top Hat’s interactive digital platform.  

“I have found a great community within AFRE and am lucky to be surrounded by faculty and classmates that share my passions,” said Rice. “It has allowed me to simultaneously pursue my two passions of helping people and the environment. The impacts of climate change generally, and specifically in regard to food production, will be disproportionately felt by poor and marginalized populations, therefore I hope to use agricultural and environmental economics to make an impact regarding food security and access to nutritious food.”

“Emma has already done amazing things during her time at MSU, and no doubt she will continue this trend in her future endeavors,” said McKendree. 

Other recipients of the first annual Top Hat Scholarship attend Ohio University, Texas A&M, University of North Georgia and Dalhousie University. 

“Our mission is to make teaching affordable, fun and effective,” said Mike Silagadze, co-founder and CEO of Top Hat. “These five students exemplify what happens when professors and students embrace technology as a tool to provide a richer, more personalized and engaging learning experience.” 

To learn more about Top Hat, visit here.

Emma Rice is one of five recipients awarded a Top Hat scholarship.