From the editor:

New Year, Same Spartans Will.

Jan. 6, 2015

Well, the New Year didn’t exactly start the way most Spartans hoped it would. Instead of celebrating a Cotton Bowl victory as the clock struck midnight, we had to raise our glasses to the end of a fantastic season. It was disappointing, to be sure, but as Spartans, we have nothing to hang our heads about. Not only did 2015 bring us lots of excitement on game days, we had loads of Spartan successes on and off the field all year long.

If you can’t remember all of them, check out this super cool video my colleagues Anthony Siciliano and Ellen Doepke put together highlighting Spartan wins in 2015. I double dog dare you not to feel incredibly proud to be a Spartan after watching it.

2016 will be no different. Every single day, Spartans will be facing new challenges and scoring more wins in classrooms, laboratories, hospitals and businesses – the list goes on and on.

Spartans like MSU student Joshua Johnson. He’s a junior in the College of Education and committed to urban education. During his time as an Urban Immersion Fellow in a small classroom of first and second graders at Detroit’s Freedom School, he found his career choice confirmed. Watch the video and read more about this impressive young man in the STUDENT VIEW: Fully Immersed in Detroit’s Community.

MSU journalism instructor Joe Grimm is leading his students down a path of success while trying to bring cultural understanding to a greater audience. Last year, his class researched and published a book titled “100 Questions and Answers About Muslim Americans.” As the name implies, it was designed to dispel biases and stereotypes about Muslim Americans – an incredibly timely topic. This is the latest in a series written by Grimm’s students. Read the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Busting Biases, to learn more about the project.

Natalie Phillips is an assistant professor of English looking for wins in research. She’s working collaboratively with the Cognitive Science Program and is a leading figure in the emerging field of literary neuroscience. Neuroscience is the field of study encompassing the various scientific disciplines dealing with the structure, development, function, chemistry, pharmacology and pathology of the nervous system. Learn more about her work by watching the video in the FACULTY VOICE: Uncovering the Science of Literature.

But, as we know, being a Spartan doesn’t always mean you win. There are days filled with losses, failures and setbacks. But truly, being a Spartan is all about how you handle the losses, not just the wins. Even in the face of adversity, Spartans dust themselves off and get back to it. We don’t look for blame or offer excuses, we simply take our lumps and start working harder.

On what had to be an incredibly disappointing day for MSU senior outside linebacker Darien Harris, he encompassed that Spartan spirit after the Cotton Bowl loss.

“This is a reminder that each day you work for the next phase in your life,” Harris said. “This is something that didn’t go right that now you have to overcome.”

That’s an attitude certainly reinforced by coach Mark Dantonio when he said, “So in the end, you take the loss. You deal with it. And I guess, like I’ve always said, you take some bad things with the good things that have happened to you before, too…But you remain focused on being positive, and you take the next step in life. And I think that’s what you have to do.”

Yep. That’s exactly what Spartans do. On and off the field we will suffer losses, but as junior left offensive tackle Jack Conklin said, “But, we’re Michigan State Spartans, we’re going to hold our head high no matter what.”

As we look at 2016 laid out in front of us with unlimited possibilities, let’s take that never-give-up attitude and run with it for all it’s worth.

Who will never give up? Who will continue to change the world? Who will make a difference? Who will always be winners? Spartans Will.   

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Photo of Beaumont Tower in the sun on Jan. 6, 2016 by Kat Cooper, MSU Auxiliary Enterprises