The Spartan Podcast


MD16.jpg Hear the Conversation 21:22 – 12.2 mb mp3

“Our football team came ready to play throughout the season, but I think the preparation started back in January to reestablish ourselves, our program, and our culture,” Spartans head football coach Mark Dantonio tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today.

“I think we closed the season strong, and now we’ll look forward to possibly winning a tenth game. The opportunity to do that is special.”

The Spartans will play Washington State in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on December 28.

“Everything I’ve heard about the Holiday Bowl is that, other than the Rose Bowl, it is THE bowl out on the West Coast,” Dantonio says. Read more »


Commencement is often defined as a “New Beginning”. Photo Credit: MSU Communications and Brand Strategy

Hear the Conversation 9:02- 9 mb mp3

If you’re about to graduate from Michigan State University, the next nine minutes can truly change your life.

Lisa Wiley Parker,  Senior Director of Alumni Engagement at the MSU Alumni Association joins Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations, Scott Westerman to talk about how Spartans acclimate and thrive in “the real world”.

If you are commencing, you probably in one of two camps: You’ve got a job or your are sweating the stress of seeking one.

For those still in seek mode, Lisa shares MSUAA’s secret formula that Spartans use to leverage LinkedIn’s advanced search to seek out and engage spartans who work where you want to work.

Starting with a new firm in a new town comes wrapped in it’s on set of adventures. Lisa and Scott guide you to your most powerful resources for acclimation both in and out of the work place and take you through the tools available on the MSUAA website,

While the conversation is primarily directed toward new graduates, the program contains nuggets for any Spartan who is facing a relocation or reinvention.

Link: – The premiere website for alumni seeking to grow in skill and confidence in their chosen fields.

Link: – The home of all things MSUAA with connections to local clubs and resources to help you polish your personal brand under the Spartan banner.

Link: MSUAA on LinkedIn – The home to 54,000 Spartans who converse about careers and life. (You must be a grad to join.)


ELW.jpg Hear the Conversation 10:09 – 5.8 mb mp3

The Spartan Football team is headed to the December 28 Holiday Bowl in San Diego California to play Washington State.

“When I think about the Florida bowls that some people have been bugged about, it’s ‘been there-won that,’” says Scott Westerman, who leads the Michigan State University Alumni Association. “We’ve been to the Citrus Bowl. We’ve been to the Outback Bowl. We have not been to San Diego since the Carrier Classic. We’re calling it East Lansing West.”

MSUAA is partnering with Anthony Travel, the Official Bowl Travel Provider, to offer Spartan fans the ultimate experience at the Holiday Bowl. Read more »


jeffntroy.jpg Hear the Conversation 10:45 – 6.2 mb mp3

Part art gallery, part science lab, part theater, Michigan State University is launching an initiative to ignite a passion for science, technology, engineering, art and math in Detroit’s young adults.

Science Gallery Lab Detroit will launch exhibits in summer 2018 with help from a $1 million grant from MSU Federal Credit Union.

The funds will be distributed in $200,000 increments over the course of five years and will support exhibition development, production, community engagement efforts and staffing needs.

Troy Livingston directs Science Gallery Lab Detroit.

“The idea was to create a space that gave the university a more permeable membrane with the community,” says Livingston. “The way we want to do that is to engage people in science through art and art through science. And the galleries have a very strong commitment to equity, access, and inclusion for all people.”

The goal of MSU’s lab is to reach youth ages 15-25 who are making important decisions about college and career choices and show them the interconnections between science, the arts, culture, design, business and innovation. Read more »


MGCBJS.jpg Hear the Conversation 29:52 – 17.1 mb mp3

Each month, MSU professors Charles Ballard and Matt Grossmann engage in a lively discussion of Michigan policy and current events.

Grossmann directs MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR), and he’s a political scientist at MSU. Ballard is an economist at MSU and directs IPPSR’s State of the State survey.

On this edition of State of the State, Grossmann and Ballard welcome another MSU economist to the program, Joshua Sapotichne. He directs MSU’s Public Policy Program. And he’s an expert on local government and state/local relations. Read more »

Wharton Center Reveals New Look

November 30th, 2017


MikeDi.jpg Hear the Conversation 22:34 – 5.4 mb mp3

Mike Brand and Diane Wilcox from Wharton Center join Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. Brand is executive director, and Wilcox is director of marketing and communications.

Wharton Center has unveiled a refreshed visual expression of their mission and new statement of purpose. This new brand expression builds on Wharton Center’s powerful legacy and creates a modern look and feel.

The Center will continue its quality programming connecting with the communities it serves. At the same time, Wharton Center’s statement of brand purpose is an aspirational one that will guide them for years to come. Read more »


PhilR2.jpg Hear the Conversation 24:18 – 5.4 mb mp3

“I do bioenergy research and try to turn biomass into energy to replace fossil fuels,” Phil Robertson, scientific director and sustainability lead for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today.

The mission of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center is grand, but simply stated: to generate the knowledge needed to sustainably produce specialty biofules and bioproducts from lignocellulosic bioenergy crops.

The GLBRC is led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with Michigan State University as a major partner, and is one of three bioenergy research centers established in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

With more than 400 scientists, students and staff representing a wide array of disciplines from microbiology to economics and engineering, the GLBRC’s collaborative spirit illustrates how cooperation among academic, federal and private sector researchers can generate an entity that is greater than the sum of its parts.

GLBRC is working to meet the nation’s need for a comprehensive suite of clean energy technologies, including next generation and drop-in fuels that can be used in today’s engines, as well as a suite of bioproducts. The GLBRC’s research supports the development of a robust pipeline from biomass production through pretreatment and final conversion to biofuels and bioproducts, with sustainability providing a unifying theme.

In addition to basic research and industry engagement, the GLBRC has a strong Education and Outreach program that broadens public understanding of current issues in bioenergy, provides professional development resources for educators, and learning opportunities for tomorrow’s energy leaders.

In the summer of 2017, DOE announced that the three current centers and one new center had received funding for another five years. As GLBRC leaders start the new GLBRC, their goal is to continue integrating the center’s expertise in support of three key knowledge gaps: comprehensive integration of the field-to-product pipeline, sustainable production of bioenergy crops with desirable traits, and efficient conversion of biomass into specialty biofuels and bioproducts.


pgsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 9:29 – 5.4 mb mp3

Employers will face tough competition for talent in the 2017-18 job market, thanks to a seven-year growth streak in the college labor market, according to Michigan State University’s Recruiting Trends, the largest annual survey of employers in the nation.

This year’s graduates will enter one of the longest sustained periods of job growth, which puts them at an advantage, said Phil Gardner, survey author and director of MSU’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute.

Fueled by turnover and company growth, hiring is expected to increase 19 percent, driven by a 15 percent increase for bachelor’s degrees and 40 percent for associate’s degrees.

“I’m stilled wowed at how strong this market is,” Gardner says. “There should be no complaints anywhere about jobs. So if students aren’t ready, they’re going to get passed over.”

Recruiting Trends 2017-18 summarizes data from 3,370 employers from every major industrial sector from every state. The employers represented in the survey plan to hire 74,000 new graduates. Read more »


OT2.jpg Hear the Conversation 6:16 – 3.6 mb mp3

The Food@MSU initiative recently held its first Our Table conversation. It took place at Lansing’s Cristo Rey Community Center, and the topic was food access.

“Our Table is the centerpiece of Food@MSU. It’s a series of roundtable discussions, each with a different topic. We will explore other topics like sustainability, nutrition, and GMOs,” says Our Table moderator Sheril Kirshenbaum. “We’ll be taking Our Table from community to community around Michigan and eventually the nation in hopes of sparking a dialogue and a conversation on a variety of topics related to food.”

Our Table brings together food experts, agricultural producers, health professionals and community members to listen to each other and foster dialogue. It is a new campus-wide initiative led by the colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), Arts and Letters, and Communication Arts and Sciences that aims to help consumers make more informed decisions about food, and its impacts on health and the planet. Read more »


Dwyer217.jpg Hear the Conversation 24:41 – 14.1 mb mp3

MSU launches partnership for urban agriculture in Detroit

A Detroit neighborhood will host Michigan State University’s first urban food research center, developing solutions to economic and nutritional challenges unique in urban environments.

The MSU Detroit Partnership for Food, Learning and Innovation will break ground in the first half of 2018 at the site of the former Houghton Elementary School in the Riverdale neighborhood, near Brightmoor. Urban-focused research areas envisioned for the center include soil sampling and pollution cleanup, pest and crop disease management, forestry, innovative growing systems and community food systems development. Read more »

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