From the editor:

What's next?

Feb. 22, 2017 

I got on the elevator the other day and the other occupant, who also works in the building, asked, “Three or four? I always forget which floor you’re on,” as he reached to press the buttons. Heck, half the time I forget too. See, our office works on both, and I’m constantly running between the two as I collaborate with coworkers (which was fun while my knee healed). Plus, I’ve actually had offices on both floors. In fact, I’ve moved my office 10 times during my tenure here. Yes, 10 times – yesterday being the most recent relocation. I’m not sure if people are trying to get rid of me, or trying to get me near them. It’s probably a tossup.

This move made my first venture to the west side of the building and I’m a bit discombobulated. For years I’ve gotten off the elevator and turned right. I’ve always used the east side of the split stairwell. My brain is so trained to do that I’ve literally tripped over my own feet trying to make them go in the opposite direction. For someone who’s fallen out of bed reaching for a phone cord, abruptly switching directions after years of doing the same thing is dangerous. 

I no longer look out at Ag Hall and the sidewalks in front of the Admin Building. Now my view includes the Admin Building itself, the Red Cedar River and Spartan Stadium. Honestly, every view is great no matter what corner of the building you’re in.

I’ve worked in 10 rooms of Olds Hall, from my deck at home, my kitchen table, my couch, Spartan Stadium, on airplanes, in five other states, the middle of nowhere in 11 countries and countless other places. I once even updated the MSUToday website from the baking aisle at Meijer. Because no matter what my view is, my dedication to telling the world about MSU’s contributions never changes. Even when things are unfamiliar or the path uncertain, Spartans never stop working. When we don’t know what’s next or things change, Spartans get tough, adapt and figure out their next steps. (Even if some of us trip over those steps at first.)

Roger Baldwin knows a lot about asking, “What’s next?” He’s the Mildred B. Erickson Distinguished Chair in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education in the College of Education and has made a career out asking those kinds of questions. Check out his FACULTY VOICE: A way of life, to learn about his research into different stages of academic life. 

Emmy Virkus is a senior majoring in advertising and public relations who certainly doesn’t have all the answers yet to “What’s next?” She’s at that uncertain time right before graduation when the next steps in life are a little up in the air. But one thing is for certain; she is well prepared for whatever comes her way. Here at MSU, students are given endless opportunities that will ensure their success. Read her STUDENT VIEW: Getting a glimpse, to learn about her “study away” experience that took her to top public relations firms in Chicago.

As Spartans, sometimes instead of asking, “What’s next?” we find opportunity in asking, “What happened before?” There is great power in our Spartan roots. Recently, an MSU AgBioResearch agronomist and his team revived a century-old barley from heirloom seed to create a limited-edition beer. Check out the cool video feature, MSUTODAY FEATURE: Tapping century-old Spartan barley, to learn more about Spartans’ significant contributions to Michigan agriculture and economic prosperity.

A coworker stopped by a few minutes ago to see my new space and mentioned that we should have had an office-warming party. But, there’s really no need for that – I have work to do. Once I was settled, I simply got back to work. Space is just space. Views are just views (though mine really is great). What’s important isn’t really where Spartans are as much as what they’re doing while they’re there. No matter what view you’ve got, take a quick glance and then get down to work. Spartans Will.

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Photo by Derrick L. Turner