Published: Aug. 22, 2016

Back-to-school tips

Contact(s): Jennifer Orlando Media Communications office: (517) 353-4355 cell: (517) 980-0076, Kristen Parker Media Communications office: (517) 353-8942 cell: (517) 980-0709

As students gear up for the 2016-17 academic year, experts share a variety of tips and pieces of advice on topics ranging from health to personal security.

Classes start Aug. 31.


Paulette Granberry Russell, senior adviser to the president for diversity and director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, said MSU attracts students from around the globe and that diverse community provides students with unique opportunities for personal growth.

“MSU is a diverse campus community; we have more than 50,000 students from every county in Michigan, every state in the union and more than 130 countries,” she said. “By stepping outside their comfort zones, students gain new perspectives and develop skills to engage effectively across cultures. One of our main learning goals is to provide students with a global perspective that benefits them not only personally but also professionally.”

Contact Russell at (517) 353-3924 or

Cyber safety and credit card safety

Tom Holt, assistant professor in the School of Criminal Justice, said the best way for students to protect themselves against scams and deceptive requests is to take a deep breath and think logically.

“Think carefully and don’t immediately respond. Scammers, phishers and cyber criminals will try to get a response by eliciting fear from someone,” Holt said. “Whenever it seems email or phone communication is getting convoluted, doesn’t make sense or just doesn’t feel right, act on it. You don’t have to respond to everybody just because a request comes through. It’s about taking a moment and looking at the details of the message or call, because the details are usually where things fall apart.”

He also added there are reputable places to easily check information like credit scores, loan information and account balances. Before responding to an unsolicited request people should always confirm the sender’s information.

Contact Holt at (517) 353-9563 or

Student affairs

Allyn Shaw, assistant vice president for student affairs and services, said getting involved in campus activities is an excellent way for students to experience MSU beyond the classroom.

“Being involved in campus groups and student organizations helps students be more well rounded and have a more holistic experience,” he said. “At the same time, students learn about who they are and how they work with others, helping them discover what they want out of life.”

Contact Shaw at (517) 355-7535 or

Health and wellness

Dennis Martell, health education services coordinator for Olin Health Center, said being proactive about their health is one of the best ways for students to be successful at MSU.

“MSU is a great place to live and learn, and it has everything students need to keep themselves healthy – from fitness to stress reduction to nutrition services to counseling center services,” Martell said. “Sometimes when students get to campus they forget they used to use music, walking, exercise or prayer - or any of these things - to help them cope, but students should use the same coping mechanisms that got them this far.”

Contact Martell at (517) 432-1031 or

Edward Rosick, assistant professor of family and community medicine for the College of Osteopathic Medicine, said studies often show healthy students do the best academically.

“Take advantage of all the health and wellness opportunities that are on campus, everything from intramural sports to health and wellness activities in the neighborhoods,” he said. “People who are in optimal health are happier and more productive.”

Contact Rosick at (517) 355-0214 or

Education abroad

Anthony Ogden, executive director of education abroad and exchanges, said MSU is committed to engaging the campus community in a collective partnership to provide valuable, high-quality and academically-sound education abroad programming that includes study abroad, internships abroad, research abroad and service-learning abroad.

“Education abroad aims to produce graduates who are intellectually and internationally engaged,” Ogden said. “Students should begin planning early to find a program that suits their academic needs and interests.”

Contact Ogden at (517) 353-7288 or

International students

James Dorsett, director of the Office for International Students and Scholars, said international students benefit from the opportunity to experience a new culture.

“It is important for international students to learn about campus and get involved because that provides a unique opportunity for them to experience another culture,” he said. “Students who get out of their comfort zones will reap rewards in the end.”

Contact Dorsett at (517) 353-1720 or

Our Commitment: Healing Assistant Fund - National organizations selected to oversee fund for counseling and services