Lizzy (Thornton) King, '09

Lizzy (Thornton) King, '09Assistant Director of Student Affairs, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Michigan State University

Albion Major: History
Albion Minor: Political Science

MA, Higher Education Administration, Michigan State University

Lizzy King earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Albion College before going to Michigan State University to pursue a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration. During her time in the master’s program, Lizzy worked in the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement as a Program Advisor, helping to maintain community partnerships. In 2011, she traveled to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in South Africa, where she collaborated with other graduate students and faculty to lead and participate in workshops on teaching and learning with colleagues at NMMU. Of her many research and practice interests, she is most passionate about civic engagement, curriculum development, leadership, and college access.

Currently, Lizzy serves as the Assistant Director of Student Affairs in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) at MSU where she works with admissions, orientation, and advising for undergraduate students in the arts and humanities.

With what organizations were you involved as an Albion College student?

  • British Eighth Marching Band
  • Class Council for the Ford Institute
  • Student Senate
  • Kappa Kappa Psi
  • Tour Guide Coordinator in the Office of Admission

What is a memorable moment from your time in the Ford Institute?

During my junior year, I joined a group of students and faculty on a trip to the Ford Museum in Grand Rapids to see then-Vice President Cheney speak during one of his visits to Michigan. As a liberally independent student, the experience helped to shape my political beliefs and exposed me to the benefits of bipartisanship in our government.

What advice would you give to current and prospective students?

Knowledge is power. We learn by thinking, by doing, and by analyzing. Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can. It will be your skills and experiences that are most valuable to you upon graduation.

How have Albion and the Ford Institute prepared you for your current career?

As a student affairs professional in a small liberal arts program today, my experiences at Albion and in the Ford Institute have been incredibly valuable. The liberal arts prepared me for an entire career, not just one job or one experience. Albion College, and those in the Ford Institute specifically, taught me how to think critically and communicate effectively. I wouldn't be where I am in my career today without these skills in particular.

What is the outlook for positions and opportunities within your field?

There are a lot of opportunities in higher education, and it was a natural fit for me with the experiences I gained in the Ford Institute as a student who was passioniate about how service and public policy impact education. With a master's degree, I have a lot of upward mobility in the field.

Specifically, I have been able to move fairly fast in the field, having started as a graduate assistant in 2009, and then in to a full-time position as an Admissions Counselor/Recruitment Coordinator in 2011, and then as an Assistant Director in 2014. In the near future, I plan to pursue my PhD in Higher Education.

What did you do for your Ford internship?

During the fall of my senior year, I interned at STARR Commonwealth in the archive department. As a History major, this was a good fit for me. I knew by that time that I wanted to pursue a career in higher education, but there weren't any opportunities for an internship in that area—I wish there were though!

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