Oct. 19, 2016
Ouch. I sat in the stands at Spartan Stadium last Saturday and that was the word that came to mind as the team suffered yet another ugly loss on the field. Wow, what a difference a year makes, huh? As exciting as last season was, this season has been filled with disappointment. I didn’t expect the fall to come so quickly, but here we are with a record I don’t think anyone predicted. But, like true Spartans, we dust ourselves off and get back to work. Failure happens, but it doesn’t in any way define us.
Last year, our winning football season and trip to the playoffs put us squarely in the national spotlight. People all around the country talked about Spartan grit and determination. They extolled our never-give-up attitude. They praised a team that pulled together and found ways to win even when the odds were against us. They praised the Spartans for bold moves and creative solutions. Guess what? Even though our football team is having a bad season, those words still fit us and always will. Team MSU, the Spartan nation, this university – that’s exactly who we are.
Football might put us in the spotlight, but we are so much more than that. Even when we’re losing on the field, we are winning in countless other ways. Spartans are winners in classrooms, laboratories, boardrooms, clinics and fields – in Michigan and around the world. We’re making discoveries, leading teams, finding cures, educating children, cleaning water, creating art, feeding communities and solving problems. We’re working with each other and others who aren’t Spartans. We’re finding ways to win. Spartans are changing the world.
Derek Polischuk, an associate professor of piano in the College of Music, is doing his part to change the world for some incredible music students. He has worked extensively with pianists on the autism spectrum for 10 years and was an instructor at a very cool piano festival at MSU this summer specifically for them. Watch the video in the FACULTY VOICE: Celebrating the spectrum, and just try and tell me he’s not a winner.
Laura Hesse, a junior majoring in microbiology, is a winner in the classroom. A College of Natural Science Dean’s Research Scholar, she recently discovered her scientific passion – microbiology research. She is drawn to idea “that studying pathogenic microorganisms in laboratories will help alleviate the suffering they cause in the world.” Check out her STUDENT VIEW: Culturing a passion, to learn more about this intelligent young Spartan.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to win football games and am disappointed with this season. But I am always proud to be a Spartan. Always. I know that the really important work is being done off the field every single day by Spartans. We, as Spartans, are not defined by our losses, but instead by the countless wins that will make our world a better place. Who will make all of our tomorrows better? Spartans Will.