Stop, collaborate and listen
July 6, 2016
Do you know what happens when you ask your spouse for advice while you’re brushing your teeth? You end up with “Ice Ice Baby” stuck in your head all day. I was running through my day in my head this morning like I always do and I asked him, “What can I write about today? I’ve got two pieces on collaboration I want to tie together.” He looked at me and sang, “Alright stop, collaborate and listen.” So that’s where I am. Vanilla Ice stuck in my head, and no clear direction of what to write about. So yeah, thanks for the help. (You can all thank him now for getting it stuck in your head too.)
Though I do have more to thank him for then just getting a bad song rolling around my mind. He’s been collaborating with me for years on my biggest accomplishment — raising a tiny human into a pretty awesome adult. And it wasn’t just the two of us. It really does take a village and we’ve had a great one — the best extended family, awesome teachers, wonderful friends and a fantastic community. So that collaboration worked out pretty darn well. I’m of the opinion that pretty much everything improves when you work with others.
That’s probably part of being a Spartan. With more than half a million of us around the world, we know that our collective power can make a pretty big impact. When you take brilliant minds, boundless dedication, varied skills and thoughtful partnerships, you can create some incredible change in the world. Spartans keep finding new ways to work together to create opportunities, solve problems and make a difference.
Christopher P. Long is the dean of the College of Arts and Letters who is committed to expanding a culture of excellence in research and teaching and creating new opportunities for collaboration. He recently partnered with Prabu David, dean of the MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences, on an MSU Media Arts Collaborative that facilitates student projects involving the creative use of media. He’s a big proponent of partnerships and has some great advice about academic collaboration, including the importance of good humor. Read his FACULTY VOICE: 5 things that facilitate academic collaboration, to learn more of his tips (and see a great selfie fist bump photo of the two deans).
The Media Arts Collaborative is a pretty cool project. As David says, “Students from across campus really get to play with real media through experiential learning at its best.” Check out the short video in the STUDENT VIEW: The Media Arts Collaborative, to hear from the students themselves about their dreams and goals and how the MAC is helping them achieve them. As one student says, “I want my art to change the world.”
Changing the world is a pretty lofty goal. But Spartans have never shied away from a challenge, no matter how big. We know the strength of our numbers and we'll never give up. We know that if we stop, collaborate and listen to each other, great things can happen. Who will work together to change the world?