May 18, 2016
Give back. Save lives. Stand up for what’s right. Engineer cleaner energy. Save the bees. Stop ignorance. Never give up. Fix climate change. Create musicals that inspire. Provide clean water to the world. Educate the leaders of tomorrow. Inspire the next generation.
Wow. Talk about lofty goals. Those were just a few of the hundreds of answers we got when we asked graduating Spartans what they will do to make a better tomorrow. Judging by the responses, I’m thinking we should feel pretty confident about our tomorrows when we’re sending these young Spartans out into the world. For anyone worried about this generation, rest easy. Spartans have got you covered.
This year, thanks to the brilliant idea of my coworker, Ellen, we decided to find out just what kinds of things we can expect of our graduating seniors. We (well, mostly our student interns) spent a week or so before graduation hauling white boards around campus getting students to write down their plans for a better tomorrow. Like I said, wow.
I was lucky enough to have board duty outside of Breslin Center during commencement. Watching student after student come up and write his or her pledge on the board was incredibly inspirational. These young adults aren’t messing around. They absolutely believe they can change the world and I have no doubt that they will. They are Spartans, after all.
Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: How will you make tomorrow better? to watch a really cool video created by our student interns, McKenna and Emily, who captured footage during the project. I promise you that it’s well worth two minutes of your time. If you’re like me, you’ll be motivated to think a bit yourself about what you can do to make tomorrow better.
Save lives. Jake Baker didn’t write that on the board, but he might as well have. He’s an incredibly determined microbiology and molecular genetics doctoral student. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also enrolled in medical school. He’s doing research on tuberculosis, which currently infects about 2 billion people worldwide. Check out the STUDENT VIEW: A dual purpose, to learn more about this Spartan lifesaver.
Julie Phillips in an associate professor of medicine who inspires the next generation and saves lives. In addition to her teaching and administrative duties, she practices family medicine in the Sparrow Family Medicine Residency Program in Lansing. She led a team of researchers who studied how women physicians in rural areas balance work and family. Read her FACULTY VOICE: Maintain balance, to learn more about her findings.
Share stories that need to be told. I didn’t write that on the board, but whoever did is in my head. I’m not a physician or a brilliant researcher. But I can tell stories. I can tell the thousands of stories that need to be told about Spartans. Spartans look toward the future with determination, hope and expectation for better tomorrows. Spartans know they have what it takes to make it happen. Who will make tomorrow better? Spartans Will.
Photo by Todd Carter