June 5, 2019
Where has the year gone? I swear I just had a birthday and yet another one crept up on me last weekend. I’m not bothered by getting older because it’s much better than the alternative. As someone who has looked that alternative squarely in the face and come out OK on the other side, I’m especially grateful for yet another year.
While it definitely feels like I was just starting the summer of 2018, it also feels like a million things have changed since then. Last birthday, I was missing my daughter since she was living in New York. This year, I spent the day moving her to Grand Rapids. I have a much calmer dog than the crazy pup from a year ago, and I’ve been to Italy. On a much sadder note, a year ago my dad was walking to get his paper and riding a bike for fun, and now he’s been through heart surgery and is fighting cancer. That has definitely made the past year one of the hardest I’ve been through.
Here in the office, a year ago I was nervous and uncertain about MSU’s future. We were all still reeling and coming to terms with what had happened, and trying hard to stay positive about what lay ahead. This year, the nerves have been replaced with a renewed sense of hope and excitement. The more I learn about Dr. Stanley, MSU’s president designee, the more confident I am in the great future of this university.
In the days following the announcement of his selection, Dr. Stanley met with students, faculty, staff and just about anyone else who wanted his time. He invited the community to the MSU Union to meet him. I had a chance to introduce myself, and I truly believe he is the right person for the job. He penned a letter to the community to thank the Spartan family for welcoming him and his family to campus. I can’t wait to see what we do next.
In a weird coincidence, last week I wrote about “Hop on Pop” being the first book I read. I was later told of a video interview he did at Stony Brook (while tasting hot sauces!) where he mentioned it as his kids’ favorite. That is definitely a good sign in my book. (See what I did there?)
Dr. Stanley officially starts Aug. 1, but Spartans have already begun an incredible summer. Students are doing some amazing things here in Michigan and around the world. They’re doing cool internships, volunteering, studying abroad, conducting research and more. We’re following along with some of them on MSU Instagram and MSU Twitter. Find out exactly what they’re doing by searching #SpartanSummer.
Students like Emily Lanier, a doctoral student studying biochemistry and molecular biology, simply don’t stop working just because it’s summer. She recently won a National Science Foundation prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship. Check out her STUDENT VIEW: Bringing chemistry to the green side, to learn more about her work.
Other students, and hundreds of cyclists, will be participating this month in the MSU College of Human Medicine’s MSU Gran Fondo bike race to benefit skin cancer research. Since my dad’s diagnosis, this one is especially important to me. Check out the details in the featured video.
I have no idea what the summer or the next year will hold. I’m hoping for some relaxation and some great family time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that at some point it will stop raining, and I’ll be able to do some gardening and sit on my deck. But, I know that summer will also be filled with preparing for the next school year. We’ll be working hard to share important news about MSU and prepare for Dr. Stanley’s arrival. Just like Spartan students, I don’t stop working just because it’s summer.
Before you know it, summer will be over and another school year in full swing. In a blink of an eye, that year will also pass by. I can’t wait to see what remarkable things Spartans accomplish in that time. Since we’re doing incredible things every day, the impact Spartans make on the world in just one year is huge. Get out there, Spartans. Make your mark before another year goes by. #SpartansWill.
Photo by Alyssa Maturen