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March 31, 2021

Editor's note: Out like a Spartan

How is it that March 2020 seemed to last 153 days, but this March was over in what seemed like six? I swear we were just starting the month and here we are — 31 days over in an instant. I don’t know about you, but this pandemic has really messed with all perceptions of time and days for me. Sometimes my days are so scrambled I feel like a bit player in the movie “Inception.”


Maybe it was because at the beginning of this crisis everything was so completely uncertain. We were all at the very beginning of figuring out safety protocols, working from home, teaching our kids and living our lives. We were facing the earliest reports of horrible losses and weren’t sure how or when we would go back to “normal” lives. Vaccines were a dream for most of us, while I’m sure scientists were working feverishly to create them.


Whether March had come “in like a lion” or not, we had no idea how it was going to go out. Perhaps the very ambiguous nature of our future made time seem to stand still so we could all catch our breath before moving forward. This year, with the hope vaccines are providing, time is seemingly speeding up to get us to a better tomorrow as fast as possible. (Or maybe, I’m the only one who feels this way, and I really need to get more sleep.)


The other day I was double-masked up in the grocery store during a less busy time, and I remembered last March when everyone crowded to the stores to stock up for what we thought might be a few weeks of isolation. When I think of being among all those un-masked people crowding the toilet paper aisle, I honestly panic a bit now thinking of how dangerous that could have been. We have learned so much about how to keep ourselves safe since those early days.


What we did know then was that certain goods, like toilet paper, sanitizer and masks, were awfully hard to find. If you didn’t know the importance of a good supply chain then, you certainly learned about it while stalking the shelves during re-stocking hours.


But do you actually know why supply chain management is so important to our lives? And did you know that Spartans are experts in the field? Our graduate program in supply chain management was just this week ranked No. 1 for the fifth year in a row. And the undergrad program has been No. 1 for a decade.


Read the beautiful MSUToday feature, The supply chain shapes our lives, to learn more about the programs and why experts say, “Without an effective supply chain, you cannot hope to succeed, and you surely will fail.”


The recent ranking for the program was part of the annual U.S. News & World Report’s graduate rankings that also put four programs from MSU’s College of Education in No. 1 spots and several programs from across campus in the top 20.


Recently, two esteemed professors from the college were featured in The Conversation in a piece they wrote about project-based learning that can improve scientific knowledge for third graders.


And that wasn’t all the good news to brag about this week. We also learned that two Spartans undergrads received 2021 Goldwater Scholarships, one of the most prestigious and nationally competitive undergraduate scholarships available to students committed to a career in science, mathematics or engineering.


It’s no doubt that even in the most challenging year, our students are achieving great success. President Stanley, who has joined 40 other college and university leaders on the Task Force on Higher Education and Opportunity, recently penned a letter to the MSU community to talk about how we ensure students succeed.


He also spoke of the success of Give Green Day, planning safe events like commencement, recognized campus award winners and denounced violence against Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) and Asian communities.


Chloe Majzel, a third-year student majoring in international relations and economics with minors in Asian Pacific American Studies and Chinese, is a leader within the APIDA community. Read her Student view: Coming into my identity to learn about her experiences as a Chinese American adoptee, student, advocate and role model.


One thing is for sure — the good work by students, staff and faculty at MSU never stops — no matter if a month seemingly goes on forever or not. A year ago, at the very start of the pandemic and now as we hopefully can see an end or at least a more manageable future, Spartans simply never stopped working. Even when the end isn’t clear, we are always rising to the challenge of making tomorrow better than today.  


Some may think of March and say, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” But around these parts, we say, “In like a Spartan, out like a Spartan,” because being a Spartan is forever. #SpartansWill


Lisa Mulcrone 
Editor, MSUToday



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