Do you ever look back at a moment in your life and think, “I had no idea how significant that moment would turn out to be”? Such was a moment years ago when I was invited to a dinner. I thought I’d have a good meal, nice conversation and meet some new people. I had no idea then how that simple beginning was the start of something so much bigger.
I had been asked to dinner to meet someone who was considering working at MSU. Long before our meals were served, I had already decided I wanted her as my colleague. She had the smarts, spirit and all-around awesomeness I cherish in a coworker. I was thrilled when she took the job.
This week, she began her well-deserved retirement. But it’s what she did between those moments that changed my life. She was a mentor, boss, partner-in-crime, collaborator, co-creator and great friend. I learned from her, laughed with her and got through some dark days because of her.
She had a hand in producing some of the most amazing creative work you’ve seen from the university. She’s led wonderful teams and supported the growth and advancement of so many people. Someone once said they’d never seen someone who advocated and supported her team more. I strive to live up to the example she set and will miss “The Suze” more than she might know.
The university was extremely lucky to have her on its team for many years. She exemplifies everything that MSU represents. She, like so many of the staff and faculty who work with her, exuded excellence at every turn.
Employees are a crucial part of the day-to-day running of the university but also to the vision for its future. So much so that staff and faculty success is one of six key themes for MSU’s Strategic Plan 2030. Recently, leaders of the university recorded a podcast discussing how employee success fits into the strategy.
Rashida Harrison, assistant professor of social relations and policy, is a member of the faculty whose individual accomplishments are important to the overall excellence of the university. Read her Faculty Voice: Our continuous movement, to learn about her involvement with the Race in 21st Century Americas Conference focusing on empowering communities.
One way to empower a community is to make everyone feel included and that they belong, no matter their differences. Ayokunle Osofisan, a senior double majoring in biosystems engineering and zoology, has connected with other students with the same passions and feels truly at home at MSU. The son of a Nigerian immigrant, he’s charting his own path.
I bet he’s had many small moments in his life that ended up being important to the direction of his future. And he, like everyone, has created small moments for others that have impacted their lives.
Any moment in any day may seem insignificant at the time. A kind word, a chance meeting, a particular decision, a dinner out are blips in a day. But they can set into motion a different course or meaningful impact down the road. Be careful and thoughtful about all your actions, Spartans. You never know which one may change someone’s life. Spartans Will.