Sept. 5, 2018
Remember a few weeks ago when I listed all the times I’d been stung by a bee or wasp? Apparently, I spoke too soon. Somehow, I was the victim of another angry little yellow jacket while I was doing nothing except eating lunch this past weekend. This one resulted in an awful local reaction from my armpit past my elbow all along the underside of my arm. It’s taken a lot of Benedryl, a round of steroids and an actual shot in the behind to control it. (Coincidentally, I was texting a friend just hours before about her horrible reaction to a sting.)
Why do they love me so much? Actually, it’s probably more like hate. I love the advice you read about avoiding stings. Don’t wear bright colors outdoors – I was wearing black. Don’t wear perfume – nothing but unscented deodorant. Don’t swat them – didn’t do that either. Other than staying inside all summer long, I’m not sure what more I can do.
Can some smart Spartan, maybe a student who is just finishing up his or her first week of classes, invent something that will keep them away from me? It’s entirely possible that one of these fresh-faced students I pass on the way into work will someday save me from bee stings. Our students are smart, determined, dreamers and doers. With the opportunities they have at MSU, anything is possible.
All it takes is a bit of an idea or a nugget of a dream. I was eating at the Founder’s Brewing Company in Grand Rapids when I was stung. We had a great tour where I learned that the company was formed by two college friends who had a dream. While they weren’t Spartans (they attended Hope College), they had determination to see their dream become a reality and a thriving business.
Here at MSU, our undergraduate entrepreneurship program aims to help students turn their ideas into action. No matter the major, every student has the opportunity to pursue a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation to help prepare them for whatever they want to accomplish in their careers.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t just for business majors – no matter the field of study, being able to hatch big ideas and implement them is a skill worth having. In fact, there are 94 majors represented in the program. Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Teaching students to think and work like entrepreneurs, to learn more about this really cool program.
I’m certain that in the new class of students studying in the College of Arts and Letters, there are more than a few budding entrepreneurs. As Dean Christopher P. Long recently told them in a welcome letter he penned, “Each door offers an opportunity, as daunting as it is exciting, to establish meaningful connections, discover new ideas, and develop relationships that will shape the course of your life.” Read his full letter in the FACULTY VOICE: MSU is an open door, to find more inspiration he offers students. (Truth be told, I’m not a student but he always inspires me.)
Jessie Micallef is filled with inspiration to ask the big questions and find the answers. She’s a dual Ph.D. student in physics and computational mathematics, science, and engineering departments. Most of what she does for the IceCube, an international particle physics collaboration, is way beyond my comprehension, but this brilliant young scientist is everything a Spartan should be, even if she did start her educational path at that other university down the road. (I’m kidding, of course. I have nothing but deep respect for that university’s academic work.)
Check out the STUDENT VIEW: Asking big questions, where we turned the tables and asked her some questions, including if she knows the words to “Ice, Ice Baby.” (In a fun coincidence, unlike the being stung one, it turns out Jessie is the daughter of a childhood friend.) You can learn more about the latest work at IceCube in the MSUTODAY ARTICLE: Blazing the trail in multimessenger astrophysics.
I’m constantly inspired by our students, researchers, deans, alumni and employees. There’s a spirit in all Spartans that makes us want to reach higher while we reach out to help those who need it. We are lifesavers and world changers who take ideas and turn them into solutions. We find answers to big questions and turn thoughts into action. The opportunities are endless. Be a dreamer. Be a doer. #SpartansWill.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner