From the editor:

Summer vacation

July 10, 2019

Ahhh…summer vacation. As a kid, those were magic words. They were words filled with long days with no schedules and endless fun. There were no alarm clocks to set, no classes to attend and no homework to do. Sun, sand, surf and s’mores made up the agenda for weeks when we went up north. Sure, I had some chores to do around the house or campsite but, for the most part, summer vacation was pretty carefree.

I love when people learn that I work at MSU and innocently ask, “Oh, so do you get summers off?” Oh, but if only that were true. Sure, I get a chance to take some time off, but we Spartans are working hard all summer long.

After a couple of very busy days in the office, the recent holiday gave me the chance to reach back to those enchanted days of my youth and head up north with my family. There’s something about a Michigan sunset over a lake that can calm my worries and inspire my dreams. I even had a couple of s’mores. After a rough couple of months, doing nothing but relaxing was a welcome reprieve.

But, like all the other Spartans I know, I’m back to work. Even though the majority of students have left campus for the summer, most of us are still working just as hard as we do the rest of the year. In fact, as we prepare for an exciting fall (isn’t every fall exciting?), it often seems like we’re working harder than ever.

For Will Wetzel, summer offers a perfect opportunity to carry out his research. He’s an assistant professor of entomology whose lab studies the ecological interactions among plants, insect herbivores and predators. At MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station, he’s able to study the effect extreme weather can have on insects and plant life. Check out the short video FACULTY VOICE: Insects and extreme weather, to learn more about his work.

While most students have left campus for the summer, a whole bunch of them went places other than home.

Grace Koepele is a senior arts and humanities major in RCAH who is spending her summer in Italy teaching English through theater, as well as working toward her own theater-based English teaching certificate. She, along with three other RCAH students, have been writing a summer blog about their experiences. Check out her latest installment, in the STUDENT VIEW: No limits, to learn about how she conquered a fear to have an incredible experience.

Grace is just one of thousands of Spartans doing amazing things all over the globe. We’ve been following some of them through our social media to document their #SpartanSummer experiences. Check out the MSU Instagram account to watch some stories about students doing things like volunteering at a health clinic in Peru or studying lions in South Africa. (The roar of the lions is so cool!)

Or simply search #SpartanSummer on Instagram or Twitter to see just what awesome things students and other Spartans are up to this summer.

Enjoying myself up north was a much-needed escape for a few days. It’s a great idea to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the world now and then. It can renew, refresh and give you a new outlook on tasks ahead. So, go ahead and enjoy your summer vacation, Spartans. Breathe it in and restore your soul. But, don't relax too long — there's important work to be done. #SpartansWill.

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone