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Aug. 25, 2021

Editor’s note: Shine on

One minute we were watching the sunset across the water having a lively conversation and suddenly we weren’t. My daughter and I both shook awake, looked at each other and laughed. I’m pretty sure one of us was in the middle of a sentence when we both drifted off. Who knows how long we were snoozing there on the chaise lounges at the end of the dock?


Apparently, we both needed some rest this past weekend. There’s no place better to do it than a Michigan beach at sunset after a day in the heat. It was as if those fading beams of light reached down from the clouds and snatched up every bit of stress that we were holding and sent us off to dreamland.


It was the perfect ending to a lovely day. I think more than ever as we’re all spending so much time in the same indoor spaces, a chance to get outside and feel the sun on our faces is incredibly rejuvenating.


The power of the sun doesn’t just make us feel better, it’s also an incredible source of energy. MSU engineer Annick Anctil is working to make solar energy even greener. An esteemed NSF CAREER award winner, she says not all panels are created equal. She also says, “Education isn’t just what I do in class. I can work with the public and get all this information out.”


Richard Lunt, a professor of chemical engineering and materials science knows that not all solar panels are the same. He pioneered the development of transparent luminescent solar technology that produces energy and doesn't block the view. Recently, these new panels were installed on the Biomedical and Physical Sciences Building that will generate enough electricity to power lighting in its atrium.


Of course, where there is sun some rain must fall. For Nameer Baker, science coordinator for the Kellogg Biological Station’s Long-Term Ecological Research project, exploring the effects of reduced and altered rainfall on plant, insect, microbe and soil dynamics was the focus of his summer experiment. Check out his Faculty voice: Keeping the rain out to learn more about his work.


Luckily, we didn’t experience much rain on our weekend excursion to Lake Michigan other than a quick downpour while we were under a covered porch enjoying a beverage. But for that precipitation, it was almost a perfect getaway.


Megan Castro, who is pursuing her master’s degree in geography, environment and spatial sciences, also had an almost perfect time studying the Great Lakes. On her first time leading an excursion, everything was perfect until the very end. Read her student view to find out what happened.


Life is never going to be perfect, and that’s totally fine. We all should remember that mistakes happen, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. A little rain will fall on all of us. It’s not the end of the world, Spartans. Simply shake it off and shine on with all your brilliance. Light the way for others, create sparks of imagination and illuminate the possibilities of brighter tomorrows for everyone. Spartans Will.  


Lisa Mulcrone 

Editor, MSUToday




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