Oct. 26, 2016
Holy wow I work with some competitive people! I mentioned a few weeks ago I was planning a supersized campus scavenger hunt for my colleagues. Last Thursday, laughing in the face of the rain that threatened, teams of my coworkers went all out like they were competing for $1 million instead of some candy and a Starbucks gift card. Like true Spartans, they were smart, creative and bold. They worked together brilliantly and refused to give up – running back to Olds Hall red-faced and breathing heavily from their efforts.
They hunted for things, convinced strangers to help them, took photos, found hidden-away places and uncovered answers they were seeking. Their wills to succeed propelled them to keep going. In the end, one team had more points than the others (shoutout to Team Spar-Duck-Us) but I think everyone had plenty of wins along the way. Whether it was finding a hidden ribbon, tracking down the prostrate pigweed plant or locating the “Bird,” sculpture, everyone had winning moments of discovery – and hopefully some fun.
Brad Day, associate professor of plant, soil and microbial sciences, is a Spartan who has been giving it his all to find ways to feed the world’s growing population. His winning moments of discovery involve unlocking the secrets of plants. Check out the super cool video in the MSUToday Feature: A better-nourished tomorrow, to learn more about his quest for a solution to one of our world’s biggest challenges.
Irv Widders knows all about that challenge. He’s a professor of vegetable crop physiology and the director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes at MSU. Legumes, or beans, can be a very important part of the solution. It’s not the science that keeps him going, but the impact he can make on people’s lives. He says, “We must remember the worthiness of the people that we serve, rural smallholder farmers and consumers, especially undernourished children. They are what motivate us each day.” Check out his FACULTY VOICE: From pickles to beans, to learn more about his work.
Helping people is also what motivates Grant Burton in his studies. Though only an Honors College sophomore studying psychology, he’s already working in MSU's Clinical Psychophysiology Lab measuring brain waves. Inspired by the goodness of fictional Jedis, he says, “I didn’t want to just get by on the status quo anymore. I really wanted to go for that next level.” Watch the short video in the STUDENT VIEW: Jedi in training, to learn more about this hardworking undergrad.
Solving problems, making discoveries, facing the toughest challenges, making people’s lives better, taking it to the next level – that’s all in a day’s work for a Spartan. You don’t have to hunt very far to find a Spartan making a positive impact on the world. Every clue will lead you to leaders, lifesavers and world-changers. Spartans Will.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner