May 24, 2017
Although it happens every May, it still always takes me by surprise when I drive to work and campus is empty and quiet — like eerily so. One day there are tens of thousands of students hustling to class, and then suddenly – nothing. No bikes, no mopeds, no hordes at the crosswalks – it’s like some sort of apocalypse happened overnight.
Most of the 50,000 students have abandoned campus for someplace else this summer. They might be at an internship in Chicago; studying abroad in Beijing; vacationing in New York; working the line in Grand Rapids; doing community service in Detroit; or simply spending time with their family wherever home may be.
Throughout my career, I’ve often been asked if I get the summers off. Uh, nope. Even with the students gone, there is plenty of important work going on in East Lansing. Research and discovery never stops. Innovation and creativity doesn’t take the summer off. Spartans never really take a break when they’re working for a better tomorrow. So, my job telling those stories never quits either. But that’s alright – the world is a much better place when Spartans keep on working.
Stay tuned for a cool project we’re working on to bring you some great examples of the important work Spartans are doing in Michigan this summer. It’s going to be pretty awesome so you won’t want to miss it. More on that in a few weeks.
Amanda Toler Woodward, an associate professor in the MSU School of Social Work, recently reflected on the happy day on campus where “faculty parade around in funny robes and hats,” otherwise known as graduation day. She knows that her students have tremendous skills to offer this world and she shared some of the important work they’ll be doing now that they’ve left campus. Check out her FACULTY VOICE: Graduation day, to learn more about the role social workers play in society.
I’m not sure what student Mike Merluzzi is doing this summer, but I’m guessing whatever it is, there might be some acting involved. This theater major and rising senior in the College of Arts and Letters doesn’t seem to let any opportunity pass him by when it comes to his craft. Check out his STUDENT VIEW: Getting a taste of Broadway at MSU, to learn more about his dramatic life as a Spartan student.
Though Spartans never really stop working, we do occasionally take a break to rejuvenate a bit. My own dramatic Broadway kid is back home visiting so I’ll be enjoying a bit of a staycation with her. (Well, once I finish up this column.) Anyway, I might be taking a break from work, but being a Spartan is a 24/7 responsibility. Being a Spartan means always striving for a better tomorrow. Being a Spartan means creating change no matter how far from East Lansing you may be. Spartans Will.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner