The Spartan Podcast


Ger Bear.jpg Hear the Conversation 34:50 min – 19.9 mb mp3

Developments in energy generation, transmission, use and conservation are increasingly in the news, and the folks at DTE Energy are more than willing to share programs and initiatives in all things energy.

Russ and I recently ventured to DTE’s downtown Detroit headquarters to talk with leading executives about our energy portfolio, infrastructure, efficiency and conservation. DTE Energy’s operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan.

Last month DTE Energy announced a broad sustainability initiative that will reduce the company’s carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050. This reduction and 2050 timeframe align with the target scientists broadly have identified as necessary to help address climate change. Read more »


closs17.jpg Hear the Conversation 35:48 min – 20.4 mb mp3

“Supply chain, particularly from a Michigan State perspective, means the end to end movement of product from the raw material from a mine or the ocean, through all the production processes, and to the consumer,” Professor David Closs tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. “So we view it all as a very end to end process and try to manage that to meet the needs of the consumer and at the same time keeping cost and waste down.”

This MSU ethos “is what companies tell us differentiates MSU students. They understand end to end and they can communicate well to the executives.” Read more »


french.JPG Hear the Conversation 13:56 min – 19.1 mb mp3

John French is the curator at the Moist Towelette Museum, plays a mean ukulele, and is also the planetarium production coordinator at the Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University.

How exactly did John come up with the idea for a Moist Towelette Museum? While working at a planetarium, John would joke that the program was so good, that he needed a moist towelette. “Years later, I was starting to collect the moist towelettes. My original idea was that I wanted to be one of the first people to have a moist towelette collection on the internet, because the internet was pretty new at that time.”

Fast-forward several years, and after fellow planetarium workers donated moist towelettes to John–voila! The creation of the Moist Towelette Museum. Read more »


kirk-gibson.jpeg Hear the Conversation 20:28 min – 11.7 mb mp3

A team of MSU luminaries will gather at a unique fundraiser that unites the Spartan Nation in raising $1 million to fight Parkinson’s disease—or, as Kirk Gibson has nicknamed it, “Parky.” The Gibby & Friends vs. Parky pregame tailgate will be hosted in MSU’s Kellogg Center at 4:00 this Saturday September 23, four hours before the Notre Dame football game that kicks off at 8:00 that evening. On that same day Gibson will be on campus as MSU will honor his accomplishments by retiring his football jersey at halftime of the game.

Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon, Spartans Athletics Director Mark Hollis, head coaches Tom Izzo, Mark Dantonio, and Jake Boss Jr., along with Detroit Tigers legend Alan Trammell, football hall of famer Morten Andersen, and a growing roster of special guests will also stand together to unite forces against this formidable challenge.

MSU alumnus Peter Secchia is spearheading the effort and helping to organize the event.

Gibson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2015 and in 2016 made a decision to go public with his journey. Read more »


greg17.jpg Hear the Conversation 25:43 min – 14.7 mb mp3

Greg Ianni is MSU’s deputy athletic director and oversees facilities and sports management. He joins Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today to update progress on some of the construction projects currently underway on campus.

“The north and south end zone projects are a byproduct of an audit Homeland Security produced for us about five years ago,” Ianni says. “We’re adding restrooms and expanding the gates on the south end now to provide a more comfortable environment for people to get in and out of the stadium securely and safely.”

Ianni says the Hall of History will “really become a front door for the Breslin Center. We’re doing something there that’s never been done nationally with the technology we’re using. Read more »


jaklhsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 18:52 min – 10.8 mb mp3

A frequent and favorite guest on Greening of the Great Lakes is Dr. Jeff Andresen, state climatologist for Michigan and professor in MSU’s Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences.

In our most recent conversation, we covered the water front on issues related to climate and weather—including two of Andresen’s major worries: 1) rising sea levels and how they are already affecting coastal communities and 2) potential draconian cuts to federal support for “essential” climate-related research and what those reductions would mean to institutions like Michigan State. Read more »


AleC.jpg Hear the Conversation 21:09 min – 12.1 mb mp3

Alessandra Carreon is determined to be sure that every day is Earth Day. She’s determined to make a difference. To Ale, as she is known to her friends, sustainability is more than a way of life, it’s a mindset needed to ensure a better future for generations to come that should happen every day.

As a member of Ford’s global supply chain sustainability team, Carreon is in a position to help create a better tomorrow for people worldwide.

As she says, “I really can’t separate my personal and professional commitment to sustainability I have assumed it as my way of life.” I decided that Ford is the place where I can combine ‘engineer Ale’ with socially responsible Ale.”

She tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes how she and her husband are helping make a difference on Detroit’s east side in the West Village sharing with neighbors the environmentally conscious lifestyle that guides their own lives. Read more »


THFsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 14:50 min – 8.5 mb mp3

After many months of time and effort have been invested in the creation of ‘strategic plans,’ too many end up woefully neglected either yellowing in files or gathering dust on bookshelves. That’s why it is always refreshing to witness a successful strategic plan implementation, as in the case of the 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan.

We recently caught up with a key architect of the plan, MSU tourism researcher Dr. Sarah Nicholls. “The plan’s intent was to develop a set of goals and objectives to help us grow Michigan’s tourism industry,” says Nicholls. “It’s about exceeding visitors’ expectations and delivering on the Pure Michigan promise.”

Nicholls and colleagues in the MSU Dept. of Community Sustainability developed and implemented the plan in very close collaboration with the Michigan Travel Commission and members of the tourism industry. She says the five-year plan will be assessed at the end of the year. New goals and objectives will then be developed to continue promote Michigan’s tourism industry. Read more »


CareyM.jpg Hear the Conversation 11:16 min – 15.4 mb mp3

Carey Mitchelson, a 1979 graduate of the Turfgrass Management program at Michigan State University, is the director of operations at College Fields Golf Club and the president of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation. While at MSU, he played on the Spartan golf team. Hitting the books, however, wasn’t in his bag. “I’ll be honest. I probably wasn’t the best of students. Thank you Joe Vargas and Dr. Rieke for putting up with me.”

As president of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, Mitchelson oversees the partnership between MTF and MSU. “Michigan State has an unbelievable turfgrass program. The Foundation, what the purpose is—is to serve the professors and funding them for their research on Michigan State’s campus.” Read more »


msutsp.jpg Hear the Show 52:54 min – 30.3 mb mp3

“Every NCAA institution is required to have a faculty athletic representative, someone who serves as the linkage between athletics and academics,” Sue Carter tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. “My role involves guarding the institutions academic integrity. I’m the eyes and ears, and students really matter to me.”

Carter is MSU’s faculty athletic representative to the Big Ten and NCAA, and she’s a professor of journalism at the university. She describes some of her duties and activities in both of these roles.

MSU alumnus Norman J. Beauchamp Jr, MD, MHS, became dean of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in October 2016. Read more »

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