Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the first month of 2022. Honestly, my head is still stuck in 2020 on many days so I’m often wondering where last year went. I know it was filled with all sorts of things — some great, some not so great — but I’m still wondering where it went. Yet, when it was happening, it also felt like it was dragging on forever. I’m not sure how my mind plays tricks like that, but time is a funny thing.
I also don’t know how it's possible that I've logged two decades of working at MSU. It seems like yesterday I was the new kid on the block. Now, I turn around and everyone is looking at me (still mostly through a computer screen) like the grizzled veteran with all the institutional knowledge.
I’ve done a lot of things, held multiple positions, created countless things and worked with a lot of great people during that time. And while change is constant and the years keep passing by, that same Spartans Will never wavers.
You see it in the resilience of the community that has had to continually adjust while the world fights this pandemic. I don’t think any of us thought we’d still be doing this two years later, but here we are. We’re all feeling the fatigue, but it doesn’t stop our fortitude. We simply keep on working, learning, discovering, partnering and changing the world for the better.
This year we’re looking forward to a major event on campus when the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams opens its doors as the preeminent user facility of its type in the world. It will be THE place for scientists around the globe to study rare isotopes. It will also serve as a training ground for scientists of tomorrow. Get a sneak peek inside and hear from one of our esteemed physics professors in the video, Opening doors to discovery.
We started the year off in an important way with a new initiative to address campus culture based on an action outlined in the university’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Strategic Plan.
We’re already forming great partnerships that help increase computer science equity and access in Detroit and, with some of our Big Ten colleagues, form a quantum alliance to push the frontiers of science and engineering research. Speaking of scientific innovation, Spartans were also part of a major discovery — a new record-setting isotope. And we’re not even through January. Just imagine what’s ahead.
And don’t forget, we’re still educating tomorrow’s leaders in amazing ways. Students like Rachel Drobnak, a member of the Honor’s College who is majoring in crop and soil sciences. Thinking outside the box and taking advantage of the opportunities students have at MSU, she decided to take lessons to learn how to play the Beaumont Tower carillon. Check out her Student view: Finding my place to grow to learn more about this well-rounded and impressive Spartan.
What lies ahead in 2022? I don’t think anyone can predict with certainty. What I hope is that we get this virus under better control and can get back to even more normal ways of life. I also hope that we treat each other with kindness and compassion, that we think of others and show grace. What I know is that no matter what life hands us, we Spartans will make the best of it. It may be a new year, but I absolutely see the same Spartans Will.