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Sept. 22, 2021

Editor’s note: Full STE(A)M ahead

Last week I wrote about the comedy of errors that made up my first foray back into my campus office. I thought I’d give it another try this morning, and it still kind of played out like a sitcom. There weren’t any wasps today as supporting actors, but plenty of missteps made by me. Re-entry is hard.


I thought I had everything packed up. This time I made doubly sure my computer was in my bag. I got halfway out of the garage and realized I needed an umbrella. After grabbing that, I realized I also needed a coat. These aren’t things required to walk upstairs to the room I’ve been working in for 18 months.


When I got to campus, I managed to try to get into a parking ramp before remembering my ID wouldn’t work there anymore. After backing out of the entrance, to the dismay of others trying to pull in, I had to rush into a temporary spot to make a meeting. Once I got there, I fumbled with the keys to my door, got tangled up in my bag and coat, realized all my computer settings were off and no one could hear me. Never a good look.


Eventually, I got it all settled — just in time to run out again (in the rain) to move my car to a different spot. I assume this will all get easier, but I’m determined to keep going full steam ahead to make it work.


My first official time on campus in August went much better. I was lucky enough to tour the new STEM Teaching and Learning Facility with some of my colleagues. It’s an incredible building. I’ve been around a long time and never imagined the new life that could come out of the old Shaw Lane Power Plant by Spartan Stadium.


Everywhere we turned, there was something to ooh or ahh over. There are innovative elements that will transform teaching and learning, new technology, creative ways of blending old and new and just some cool spaces that I’m certain will inspire anyone who steps inside. There are even fun string lights in a study space. Who doesn’t love a decorative string light?


If you get a chance to wander around, you really should. And, if you can’t get to campus, we’ve got you covered. One of my talented colleagues put together a great feature on the building that includes photos and a video. Check out, MSU builds on its past to empower the future to learn more about it and get a virtual glimpse inside.


It is a fantastic physical representation of how we’re building on our past to create incredible tomorrows.


This past weekend we were able to fully celebrate the achievements of our 2020 graduates and cheer them on as they look toward their futures. It was a stunning weekend on campus and the pride and excitement were apparent on the face of every grad. Check out some images in this week’s photo gallery.


It’s always motivating to witness our students moving ahead with their lives, even if we had to postpone the party a bit. I’ll always be impressed how that class rolled with the punches and made the best of a hard situation. Our students are resilient, unwavering and amazing.


Like Luz Vazquez Hernandez, who is a first-year and first-generation student this fall. The daughter of parents who are migrant farmers and who also began working in the fields at a young age, Luz resolved to pursue a college degree. Her inspiring story is chronicled in the article, First-generation farmworker student begins college career at MSU.


Keegan Church, a senior in the Lyman Briggs college majoring in human biology and Spanish, has used his time as a Spartan to define the vision he wants for the world. He believes “Spartans Will is about making the world a better place.” Check out his Student view: Painting my future with Spartans Will to learn more about his experiences on campus and abroad.


He’s got a great outlook on life and students like him and Luz make me hopeful for our world. I have a feeling no matter what challenges they face, they’ll keep moving forward toward their goals.


Life has a way of handing you small challenges, like a rainy day without an umbrella, and much bigger ones too, like surviving a pandemic. When things feel insurmountable, keep moving forward. Take a breath and go full steam ahead. You’ve got this, Spartans. Spartans Will.




Lisa Mulcrone 

Editor, MSUToday


Photo by Matt Davenport




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