Change agents: MSU seniors share, seek inspiration at Andi Leadership Institute for Young Women

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

Krishna Desai (Photo by Logan Kirkland)

Laura Herring (Photo submitted)

Feifei Zeng (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Three students in Mississippi State’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College are representing the university this summer at the prestigious Andi Leadership Institute for Young Women in Washington, D.C.

Krishna D. Desai, Laura A. Herring and Feifei Zeng are among eight young women from the U.S., Albania, China, Ethiopia, India and Iraq who have been invited to participate Aug. 5-18 in an intensive leadership and peacebuilding workshop at The School for Ethics and Global Leadership.

Desai is a senior political science and economics double-major and Spanish minor from Ridgeland; Herring, a senior management/international business and foreign language/Spanish double-major from Panama City, Florida. Growing up in China, Italy and the U.S., Zeng is a senior marketing/international business and supply chain management major, as well as a foreign language major.

The ALI is designed to equip young women with advocacy, messaging, facilitation and leadership skills through peaceful discussions and conflict transformation exercises. In learning from each other’s stories and those of other women around the globe, participants are inspired to bridge cultural divides by forging collaborative relationships and leading peacebuilding initiatives in their countries of origin and beyond. For more, visit

“MSU has three of the total four students accepted to represent the U.S. at the Andi Leadership Institute, and that is a remarkable testament to the leadership opportunities, mentorship and education that our students receive every day,” said Tommy Anderson, MSU professor of English and director of the Shackouls Honors College’s Office of Prestigious External Scholarships.

Also serving as the College of Arts and Sciences’ interim assistant dean for undergraduate affairs, Anderson said Desai, Herring and Zeng’s success “is a tribute to the commitment” of numerous MSU faculty members.

“I want to acknowledge the mentorship that (Assistant Professor of Communication) Dr. Melanie Loehwing has provided Krishna and Laura,” Anderson said. “Shackouls Honors College Dean Chris Snyder, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Rick Travis and College of Business Dean Sharon Oswald have been instrumental in amplifying Feifei’s educational experience during her time here at Mississippi State.”

For more on MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, visit; College of Business,; Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College,

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Friday, July 27, 2018 - 1:59 pm