The Spartan Podcast


goldy.jpg Hear the conversation 11:41 – 16 mb mp3

Ron Goldy is stationed at MSU’s Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center and works with the vegetable industry. “In working with them, I will do field trials at the research station, variety trials, nutrition trials, new technology trials and new crop trials.” Another important aspect of his work involves extension education. “Putting meetings together, giving presentations and moving that information on to the grower community.”

What exactly is Ron’s favorite crop? “Peppers by far. When you do a pepper trial, just the aroma of peppers is fantastic. The flavor and the wide-variety of flavors and colors that are out there are just fantastic.” Read more »


MattGsp.jpg Hear the conversation 18:48 – 10.7 mb mp3

“Our mission is to inform public policy and improve governance in Michigan,” Matt Grossmann tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. Grossmann directs MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR).

“And we get to cover the issue spectrum and be a part of state politics and policy making and try to connect the university with what’s happening down the road at the state Capitol.”

Grossmann says people who go through IPPSR’s Michigan Political Leadership Program are “twice as likely to run for office and three times as likely to win elective office. So part of it is just giving people the tools they need to get in positions of responsibility. Read more »


msuesp.jpg Hear the conversation 10:00 – 5.7 mb mp3

by Maddison Curley

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension is taking the lead on helping Michigan farmers manage occupational stress.

“Farming can be very stressful,” Jeff Dwyer, MSU Extension director, tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently indicated that farm laborers and farm owners have the highest rates of death due to stress-related conditions.”

In partnership with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, MSU Extension is working to tackle the recent rise in financial stress and attempted and completed suicides among Michigan farm families. Many factors of farming can lead to stress, but the fluctuation of commodity prices — especially milk prices for Michigan dairy farmers — is a good example of where this stress comes from. Read more »


VB17sp.jpg Hear the Conversations 13:00 – 7.4 mb mp3

Spartans Volleyball coach Cathy George and student-athlete Alyssa Garvelink talk with Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis about the challenges and opportunities when playing in the nation’s toughest volleyball conference, the Big Ten.

“It’s nuts,” says Garvelink. “Night in and night out we’re playing some of the best teams in the country. It’s so competitive and so much fun.”

Garvelink says she likes how Coach George will take a chance on athletic players with raw talent and mold them. She says George helps the players learn life lessons from competing. Read more »


nystromsp.jpg Hear the Conversations 10:12 – 5.8 mb mp3

by Kirk Heinze

Governor Snyder’s recently released 21st Century Infrastructure Commission’s report confirmed, in spades, what many of us already knew; Michigan’s transportation, water, energy and communications infrastructure is in very bad shape. The report validated and underscored Michigan’s “D” infrastructure grade on the 2009 American Society of Civil Engineers’ report card—one of the lowest grades among states evaluated.

I recently talked to Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, who served on the infrastructure commission. His association members are the contractors who “are attempting to rebuild Michigan’s infrastructure—water lines, sewer lines, roads, bridges, dams—and I say attempting because we have been putting on band aids when what we need is major surgery.”

Part of the problem, Nystrom says, is that while we all notice bad roads and crumbling bridges, we don’t often think about what’s out of sight, underground.

“We don’t tend to notice underground infrastructure problems unless there is a sink hole in our neighborhood or when our drinking water is tainted in some way,” he says. “That is when we tend to react and realize we have problems.” Read more »


mgsp.jpg Hear the Conversations 35:18 – 20.2 mb mp3

“Our mission is to inform state public policy and improve governance in Michigan, and a forum like this one is part of our broader mission to connect the university with the Capitol downtown,” Matt Grossmann tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes from the February 15 “Michigan’s Drive toward Autonomous Vehicles” forum held by the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) at Michigan State University.

The forum is part of IPPSR’s public forum series on hot topics facing the state legislature.

“This is an area where the state is already moving ahead and has already passed some policies to allow autonomous vehicles to operate on Michigan roadways. So it’s an important time to step back and see what we’re getting ourselves into and what kind of issues might arise that we’ll have to address in the future. Read more »


Mary T.jpg Hear the Conversation 7:35 – 4.3 mb mp3

The Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) has announced that nominations are now being accepted for the third annual Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards.

Organized by Michigan Saves, the Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards honor Michigan organizations and individuals for their commitment to a brighter energy consumption future for Michigan.

“This is an opportunity for someone who is committed to reducing energy waste to get highlighted,” says Mary Templeton, executive director of Michigan Saves and chair of the awards steering committee. “We think it’s really important to acknowledge the work because the high achievers in the state can be examples for other people who are doing good work.” Read more »


jcaklh17.jpg Hear the Conversation 15:01 – 8.6 mb mp3

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director Jamie Clover Adams joins Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes to examine the recently released 21st Century Infrastructure Commission Report from an agriculture and rural development perspective.

Clover Adams says sewer infrastructure, broadband internet access to rural areas, and transportation – roads, rail bridges, boat traffic – are the three areas in the report that look at the issues rural Michigan faces.

Heinze points out that funding all of Michigan’s infrastructure needs will be a challenge, and Clover Adams suggests we look at the situation like we look at our houses. She says we pay our mortgage payments but still put aside money to fix the roof or replace the windows and do other routine maintenance. Read more »


KBKHLCMS.jpg Hear the Conversation 9:14 – 5.3 mb mp3

“Recently Consumers Energy installed a smart meter on my home, and I’ve been learning firsthand about how it gives me more information about – and greater control of – my home energy use,” Kirk Heinze says on Greening of the Great Lakes as he welcomes the company’s outreach coordinator for the Smart Energy program Kathryn Burkholder to the show.

The company began installing smart meters in 2012 on the west side of the state, she says. They’ve worked their way north and east since then and currently have installed over 1.4 million electric meters and 400,000 gas communication modules for customers who get both their energy and gas from the company. Read more »


LR1216.jpg Hear the Conversation 14:21 – 8.2 mb mp3

Michigan State University is 162 years old, having been founded on February 12, 1855. Founders Day is a time that has MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon reflecting on the state of Michigan State.

“If you look at the long arc and the metrics, I like our relative positioning to work on behalf of a very positive value proposition for our students, the state, the nation and the world. I think that arc is there and will continue to grow and have momentum,” says Simon.

Simon says we’re living in “interesting times” and worries a bit about funding for research, the arts and humanities, and public broadcasting in the months ahead. Read more »

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