Aug. 23, 2017
I can smell the wet pavement below my beach towel, feel the hot sun on my back and hear the giggle of my childhood friend. I can picture the laundry on the line above me and taste Kool-Aid on my tongue. I can practically feel the pain of stubbing my bare toes on the driveway. The smell of library books and Coppertone tickle my nose. The sounds of splashing, lawn mowers, Tigers baseball on the radio still echo in the corners of my adult mind. Those things made up the summers of my childhood and they were pretty darn perfect. Summer has always been my favorite season.
Now that I’m an adult, there’s a lot less time for the lazy days of summer lovin’. I squeeze as much in during the evenings and weekends with bike rides, walks in the woods and books by the pool. I’m much more careful about using sunblock these days, but other than that, I’m still a kid at heart who is happiest being outdoors enjoying summer. And, even work isn’t so bad on a nice day when you work alongside the bubbling Red Cedar River and near some of the most beautiful campus scenes.
While I might take a day off here and there, I don’t stop working because, after all, I’m a Spartan. Spartans all over the world are making discoveries, changing lives, learning new things and making an impact all season long. Right here in Michigan, the work doesn’t stop, no challenge is put aside and Spartans continue to make this state a great place to be. From East Lansing to Escanaba and everywhere in between, Spartans are making a difference.
Some pretty great CABS colleagues of mine hit the road this summer to see first-hand just what cool things MSU researchers and alumni are doing across the state. (Shout out to Jen, Ellen, Chris, Kurt, Greg and Kevin.) For roughly three weeks, they traveled the state stopping to document the important work Spartans are doing. Along the way, they invited everyone to follow via social media. But, in case you missed it, have no fear. We put together an awesome MSU Road Trip digital scrapbook with some of the best highlights from the road. No good Spartan will want to miss this so check it out. Click around, watch some videos, be inspired and feel a ton of pride in being a Spartan. My talented coworker, Chris, put together a great highlight video too.
Alan Arbogast is a professor and chairperson of the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences. He is an absolute expert in the geography that makes up this great state, especially when it comes to sand dunes. Check out the FACULTY VOICE: Great State geography, to listen to some short audiograms of him talking about these topics.
Korey Cook will be a first-year student at the College of Engineering in the mechanical engineering master’s program and spent his summer working at MSU’s Bioeconomy Institute with MSU researcher Tom Guarr finding new options for renewable energy. I sit by the pool with a book – he’s literally finding new energy sources. Cook says, “MSU and Dr. Guarr have given me an opportunity that would be hard to find elsewhere. This experience has given me the ability to learn and the confidence to feel that I can accomplish any goal that I set my mind to.” Check out his STUDENT VIEW: Working toward a sustainable energy future, to learn more about this impressive new Spartan.
Once you’ve checked out what a bunch of other Spartans did this summer in Michigan, tell us what cool things you did during the last few months. Did you start a new job? Study abroad? Teach? Do research? Travel? Visit campus? Volunteer? We want to know and it’s easy for you to tell us. Go to your favorite social account and tell us how you made a difference – big or small – using #SpartanSummer. You might be featured in an upcoming MSUToday feature!
As summer winds down and the students start trickling back to campus, I’m excited for the fall semester. It’s always energizing to see campus hopping again. But as you can see from our scrapbook, there’s really no such thing as the lazy days of summer for a Spartan. Spartans simply never stop working to make this state great and the entire world a better place to live. Spartans Will.
Photo by Kurt Stepnitz