From the editor:

Going to the dogs

June 19, 2019

Most of my days end up going to the dogs or, more accurately, one dog in particular. That goofball in the picture above, Islay Skye, is the start of my mornings and the end to each day. While some mornings are earlier than I would like and some nights involve being pushed to the edge of the bed, I wouldn’t have it any other way. In what has been an incredibly stressful and challenging year, her joyful energy and complete loyalty have been absolutely vital to my well-being. While she isn’t officially a therapy dog, that’s exactly what she’s been to me (and others) since the day we got her Feb. 1, 2018.

Dogs are completely awesome, in my opinion. (If you don’t think so I’m not sure we can be friends.) They’re family companions, protectors and general mood boosters. Some are officially therapy dogs like Justice, the canine advocate for MSU’s Sexual Assault Program. Others help people with vision issues, emotional disorders and other health concerns.

Then, there are the brave dogs who serve in K9 police units. The 51 pups who are part of the Michigan State Police track suspects, drugs, bombs and more with incredible skill and no fear. As you can imagine, keeping those dogs healthy is a pretty important job. That’s where the awesome vets at MSU’s Veterinary Medical Center come in. They’ve been caring for the MSP’s dogs for the last 50 years. Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Caring for canine cops, to learn more about how Spartans are taking care of these very important members of our state’s police force.

Doing work to benefit Michigan is part of our pioneering Land Grant spirit. Spartans are committed to not only educating the state’s residents, but serving them as well. I’m constantly amazed at just how many different projects and collaborations the university has around Michigan. Some, like MSU Extension, a lot of people know about. Others, like Science Gallery Detroit, might not be as familiar.

According to Björn Hamberger, assistant professor of  biochemistry and molecular biology, the Detroit Science Gallery is “the first U.S. representation of a global university-linked network dedicated to public outreach at the intersection of science and art.” Read his FACULTY VOICE: When science and art come together, to learn more about the exhibit and the installation he worked on, “Fog of Dawn,” that explores fungi research in an artistic way.

I love that Spartans are all about expanding their views and interests in as many different directions as they can. It’s cool that researchers can think differently about things and find new ways to explain them to others, like combining science and art. Or, maybe finding ways that art and activism intersect.

Which is exactly what Arzelia Williams is doing. She’s an undergraduate student studying social relations and policy in James Madison College, along with arts and humanities in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. Through a lot of different experiences including study abroad and work in correctional facilities, she has discovered interesting ways to combine her two majors to make an impact. Read her STUDENT VIEW: When perceptions are not reality, and learn why she says, “Having majors on opposite ends of the spectrum do have a point where it intersects and allows the artist to utilize this space where the 'impossible' becomes possible.” 

That’s the thing about Spartans, we’re always looking to make the impossible possible. We don’t let the status quo dictate our direction but instead forge new paths. Spartans don’t look at a challenge and throw in the towel when it gets too hard — we simply dig in, get creative and find solutions. Don’t let your day go to the dogs (unless it literally involves dogs). Get up, get going, think creatively and make a difference. #SpartansWill.

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone