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The RISE program is staffed by the program director, Dr. Laurie Thorpe, and the assistant program director, Jorhie Beadle. Please contact them using the information below with any questions about the program. 


Dr. Laurie Thorp

Program Director Dr. Laurie Thorp holding a pig.

Email (preferred): thorpl@msu.edu 

Office phone number: 517-432-4944

Laurie Thorp is a faculty member in the Department of Community Sustainability and director of the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE), an interdisciplinary living/learning program at Michigan State University (MSU). She teaches a first year and advanced seminar dealing with current environmental issues. Dr. Thorp assisted with the curriculum development of a competency-based sustainability specialization at MSU as co-investigator of a $625K Department of Education grant to assess student learning outcomes. She has served on the MSU Vice President for Finance and Operation’s Environmental Stewardship Systems Team as technical team leader for behavioral research associated with strategic change initiatives advancing campus sustainability. Her research interests are focused on participatory methodologies and alternative knowledge construction for sustainable food systems. She is co-founder of the MSU Student Organic Farm (SOF) and Bailey Urban Farm. For the past decade she has collaborated with colleagues in the departments of Animal Science and Philosophy, to study sustainable pork production and student ethical development. Thorp’s work has been published in Qualitative Inquiry, Agriculture and Human Values, The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, The Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, and The Journal of Experiential Education.


Jorhie Beadle

Assistant Program Director

Email (preferred): beadlej1@msu.edu

Office phone number: 517-432-6153

Jorhie joined the RISE program as the assistant director in 2019. She is a graduate of MSU where she earned a BS in Horticulture with a concentration on organic and sustainable agriculture. Jorhie has worked in education at multiple levels with a focus on experiential, land-based learning. She brings to RISE her experience as an AgriScience instructor for West Shore Career and Technical Education Center and an academic advisor and instructor for MSU's Institute of Agricultural Technology at West Shore and Muskegon Community College. Jorhie holds a MS from Iowa State University in Agricultural Education. She is passionate about creating learning opportunities for students to get their hands dirty and develop their own passion through environmental and food systems education.