Women in Politics: College Edition – University of Michigan

Welcome to Women in Politics: College Edition, where promising women leaders in student government on college and university campuses across the country will be featured on msnbc.com. Emily Lustig has been nominated to represent the University of Michigan as a leader making a difference not only through key issues on campus, but in bridging the gender gap in politics.

As part of msnbc’s “Women in Politics”  series, these hand-selected women become part of a larger discussion of women candidates and women’s issues on a national level. “Women in Politics” features newsmaker interviews, profiles, photos, and deep dives into the key conversations.

Name: Emily Lustig

School: University of Michigan

Hometown: West Bloomfield, Michigan

Concentration: Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience Minor: Epistemology and the Philosophy of Science

Role in Student Government: Vice President, Central Student Government

Dream job: Humanitarian

Class year: 2015


What is your biggest challenge as a leader on campus?

The biggest challenge I've faced as a female leader on campus was getting connected across campus interests. It's hard to make integral connections at a University as large as U-M because of its decentralized nature as well as 1,500+ student organizations. We have students with a plethora of diverse interests, but in order to get the "big picture" it's important to get your foot in the door in order to make those connections first to see how I can help impact positive change. Recognition is hard as well. 

Which female leaders do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from female leaders across the world. I think everyone is inspiring in their own way because we all have something that motivates us. For me, I'm inspired by other's backgrounds and what makes them passionate. I try to appreciate and learn from people who live authentically and who think critically.

Do you plan to run for office one day? 

I don't have plans to run for office in the future. The work that I want to achieve I'd like to do through research rather than policy.

What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever gotten? 

Find what inspires you. My parents have always told me to go after what I love, otherwise going to work will feel like a chore. If you're doing what you love, it won't feel like "work."

What does feminism mean to you?

To me, feminism means believing in women's abilities to be leaders. Feminism means embodying what it means to be a strong, independent and intelligent leader. 

Follow Emily on Twitter @emilylustig and check out all of msnbc's featured student leaders right here!

To nominate an exceptional undergraduate female leader in student government please email Anna Brand at Anna.Brand@nbcuni.com