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Oct. 30, 2020

Uncommon will for uncommon times

Spartans have always worn helmets. Today, we wear masks. Our world is facing uncommon times, but our pursuit for a better one never stops. Together, MSU faculty, staff, students and alumni protect one another and our communities as we work to make a better tomorrow for all.

Spartans in their own words

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., is MSU’s 21st president. He’s also a distinguished biomedical researcher with a focus on infectious disease. Stanley recognizes the resilience of faculty and students during the pandemic and underscores his commitment to making decisions that put health and safety first.


Abii-Tah Bih is MSU’s student body president and a senior in MSU’s James Madison College. An international student from Cameroon, Bih works to empower fellow undergraduate students to advocate for themselves and create change in this moment.


Joan Rose is a water microbiologist and the Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research at MSU. Rose and her team are sampling wastewater from campus in order to detect possible spikes that could predict COVID-19 outbreaks in the campus community.


Peter Dinh is an MSU alumnus who works as a clinical laboratory scientist at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. Dinh had been planning on a career change prior to the pandemic, but once he saw the effects of COVID-19 on his community, he knew he wanted to be on the front lines of the response.  


Claire Hankenson is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and director of Campus Animal Resources. She and a team of veterinary and medical specialists have devised a method for the decontamination and safe reuse of personal protective equipment that received emergency use authorization from the FDA.



Janet Alleman Janet Alleman is a professor emerita and MSU basketball superfan. While she can’t dance in the stands at the Breslin Center this year, she’s cheering for all Spartans to summon the strength to persevere through tough times.
George Azar George Azar is a sophomore in Lyman Briggs College majoring in human biology and Arabic. As a student pursuing a health profession, he wears a mask to encourage others to stay safe and healthy. WATCH
Samantha Barringer Samantha Barringer is a music education sophomore and a drum major in the Spartan Marching Band. While the band isn’t taking the field this season, Barringer remains committed to supporting her fellow band members and making the marching band a safe and welcoming space.
Corey Binns Corey Binns is a staff member in Residence Education and Housing Services at MSU. He and his team provide an essential service, helping to keep buildings sanitized and safe for individuals who remain on campus during the pandemic.
Danny Caballero Danny Caballero is the Lappan-Phillips Associate Professor of Physics Education. While teaching remotely, he’s been checking in with students about their mental health and adjusting his courses to meet them where they are as well as sharing strategies for reducing stress and anxiety.
Brandon CrawfordBrandon Crawford is a senior majoring in advertising management and a member of MSU’s 2020 Homecoming court. The Honors College student believes the sacrifices of Spartans during the pandemic will lead to brighter days ahead.
Ryan KoschayRyan Koschay is a mechanical engineering junior who is helping answer the call for personal protective equipment for health care workers. He used his 3D printing skills and own funds to create and donate more than 1,000 face shields and masks. WATCH
Terrence Frazier Terrence Frazier is assistant vice president for Student Affairs and Services and a proud father. He takes pride in fostering a positive, supportive and inclusive environment for all MSU students no matter where they are.
Paola LepePaola Lepe is a third-year medical student in the College of Human Medicine. Her goal is to contribute to her community and improve care for all people.
Christina Liu Christina Liu is a senior majoring in environmental biology and zoology. Despite the pandemic, Liu was able to safely take part in an outdoor summer internship, where she contributed to a project with the goal of controlling invasive species in Michigan waters.
Clay MartinClay Martin is a junior studying human capital and society. He’s balancing course work while also working at Jackson National Life in Okemos, Michigan.
Randolph Rasch Randolph Rasch is dean of the College of Nursing. He, along with leaders at the Detroit Medical Center, was tapped to help lead the governor's task force addressing health disparities among women of color throughout Michigan.
Felicia WuFelicia Wu is the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor in Food Safety, Toxicology and Risk Assessment. Her work examines the national and global burden of foodborne disease as well as addresses how to minimize food safety risks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zeke the Wonder Dog and trainer Jim Foley Zeke the Wonder Dog and trainer Jim Foley look forward to the day they can once again entertain crowds at Spartan Stadium. The pair continue to practice their favorite tricks until Spartans can safely gather together for Spartan football.

By: Meredith Mescher, Anthony Siciliano and Deon Foster