John Witherspoon

I was born in Michigan and attended Michigan State University. I received a degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability, with minors in Environmental Economics and Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Tourism. In my time at MSU, I worked on a variety of issues, including the Flint Water Crisis, environmental contamination, and food security. I am currently a first year SIA student, and am pursuing a concentration in international economics. In the future, I’m hoping to work on the economics of climate change.

I chose Penn State SIA mainly because it fits what I wanted to do. Climate change, for example, is a global issue and I had only looked at it from the state level. I knew that I didn’t have the skills to look at it globally yet, so I would need more schooling. SIA was a great fit for that. Coming here, I’ve been able to form a solid base of understanding in international relations, while gaining more analytical skills and learning about other issues. The concentrations are flexible and allow you to choose what you really want to study, with mine being economics. Another reason why I chose SIA was because of the communication with the admissions department. After I was accepted, I would get a few emails every week. These emails would range from career services, to events, to concentrations. It made me feel comfortable about the program and moving from Michigan to Pennsylvania.

John Witherspoon
Academic Standing: 
Class of 2021
Course of Study: 
International Economics