The Spartan Podcast


finneran.jpg Hear the Conversation 10:47 – 14.8 mb mp3

Rebecca Finneran is a senior specialist with Michigan State University Extension, and her specialty is smart gardening. Her love for the outdoors and work ethic began while she was a youngster. “I was always busy working. And so I was busy around the house, but also outside as well. Always dirty, always in the garden, always helping dad.”

Finneran’s dad, an Extension veteran, was her main source of having fun in the garden. “He made things like gardening so much fun and whether it was hooking up our tractor, or pulling weeds, or freezing corn…we just always had a blast doing it as a family.”

Rebecca’s passion is perennial. “I’m passionate about horticulture, for sure. I love plants. I mean, I could not be in a better profession. People and plants to me, those are the two most fun things.” Read more »


JJsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 10:29 – 6 mb mp3

The Perfect 10 was a situation Michigan State had prepared for and executed perfectly at the end of a perfect opportunity to beat Jim Harbaugh in year one and to flex its muscle in the series that matters most,” says Jack Ebling, co-author of “The Perfect :10” with fellow Spartan alumnus and journalist Joe Rexrode.

“It’s centered around the play and the people in the play,” adds Rexrode. “But the book is also about the history of Michigan State, the Mark Dantonio era, and last season as a whole.”

“I think readers are going to get a greater understanding of Michigan State tradition, why the series with Michigan matters so much, and why the hostility is there where it is. This is not the first time Michigan State has had dominance in this series. But under Mark Dantonio, I think the program has exceeded all expectations,” says Ebling. “I hope they’ll understand a little bit more about Michigan State – what football means here, what it has meant over the years, and why it has had this resurrection.” Read more »


JMadd.jpg Hear the Conversation 22:28 – 30.8 mb mp3

We see and hear them on the gridiron during football season—they are the Michigan State University Spartan Marching Band, and they are in a word—awesome. But what exactly does one of their practices sound like? Give a listen and you’ll find out. This practice found them prepping for a road trip to Notre Dame—which turned out to be a Sparty Party under the lights in South Bend.

Membership in the SMB is by audition only. And with regards to educational study, the marching band is diverse. Only 10 percent major in music, while the other 90 per cent study everything from accounting to zoology.

If you are on campus, mosey over to the corner of Shaw Lane and Chestnut Road and you will hear the best marching band in the land. Read more »


HC16.jpg Hear the Conversation 10:17 – 4.7 mb mp3

Homecoming is the time of year when Michigan State University’s campus feels particularly exciting.

Alumni and friends return, and they join in with students to celebrate what it means to be a Spartan. No matter how far a Spartan is from East Lansing, there will always be a link to this university that, in big and small ways, changed their lives for the better.

You might call these people Spartans For Life… which is the theme of this year’s homecoming festivities.

To talk more about Homecoming 2016, which takes place Oct. 10-15, Jennifer Orlando is joined by a wonderful group of “Spartans for Life.” Read more »


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

“For many people, this summer was a reality check for their lawns,” says MSU turfgrass guru Kevin Frank.

Frank is an associate professor in MSU’s Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences.

The summer started out dry and finished wet, he says.

“It really resulted in some interesting challenges because most lawns probably experienced some drought or heat stress, and portions of those lawns most likely went dormant. Basically right now we’re in a recovery stage.”

Frank says there may be more grub damage this fall than in year’s past, too.

And he reminds us that fall is the best time to prepare your lawn for the following spring. He suggests applications of fertilizer and broad-leaf weed control in the fall.

“Anything that you struggled to kill throughout the summer, hit it in the first couple weeks of October and I think you’ll have very good results.” Read more »


bottomley.jpg Hear the Conversation 20:16 – 27.8 mb mp3

Lisa Bottomley is a senior specialist with Michigan State University Extension, and her specialty is youth mentoring.

Bottomley grew up in metro Detroit and was not acquainted with 4-H. Now, 4-H is a big part of her life and she loves helping make a difference in the lives of others. “It just showed me that the work we did wasn’t just a moment in time, it’s a lasting impression. And that you really can change lives with just a few hours a week.”

Outside of work, Lisa loves traveling with her husband, hot yoga, and the Detroit Red Wings.

“You know, I thought the world was going to end when Yzerman left the Red Wings. And I thought it would end again a few times between now and then and when Lidstrom left. As much as I hate seeing a great player leave (Datsyuk), I think we know there are more great players to come and so you’ve just got to sit tight and not freak out.” Read more »


KNsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 23:05 – 13.2 mb mp3

“The healthcare of our athletes is very important – including their mental health,” says MSU Athletics’ lead trainer Sally Nogle. “It’s probably the best healthcare they’re ever going to have in their life because we’re readily available. They can’t stay on the field or on the court or in the pool without their health being there and allowing them to compete.”

“Does it bring balance to their life or does it make them unsettled?” adds MSU professor, researcher and neurologist Dr. David Kaufman. And he’s a team physician for Spartan Football. “The mental health aspects of sport need to be put in the forefront more and more.”

Nogle and Kaufman talk with Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. They say parents and mentors need to keep close tabs on any changes to young athletes’ physical and mental behavior and be ready to respond accordingly. If they act abnormally in anyway, they may need to be examined. Read more »


tailgating spartans_ehmpressions.jpg Hear the Conversation 12:03 – 16.5 mb mp3

Tailgating MSU football games as a Spartan alumnus is fun. It also begins a life-long tradition of making the journey back to campus in East Lansing during football season—to cheer on the lads, grill a brat or three, participate in a game of cornhole, and rekindle friendships.

During the first tailgate of the 2016 football season (a game eventually won against Furman) Ehmpressions of MSU ventured outside to the Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture parking lot, to find out what graduates of Michigan State University had to say about their Alma Mater.

Thirty three alumni, spanning the years 1955-2015, stopped their fun and frivolity and shared their love of Sparty.

Ehmpressions of MSU is a podcast devoted to all things Michigan State University produced by Kraig Ehm.


mow.jpg Hear the Conversation 24:29 – 14 mb mp3

Marc-Olivier Wahler is the new director of Michigan State University’s Broad Art Museum. He talks with MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis about the challenges in presenting contemporary art, including the language used to describe it, and about the opportunity to “continue bridging the community and the university.”

Among Wahler’s goals for The Broad is showing more of the university’s collection by expanding into space in East Lansing. He explains how billboards and bird houses play into his plans. And he describes what he means by modern museums being more into software than hardware these days.

“Art is a toolbox for our everyday life,” says Wahler. “It’s a question of what language you use and what kind of story you tell. We try to put the visitor in a process of a story that is continuing with him.”

The group talks about how it’s OK to return to a museum even when you don’t like a particular exhibit.


ehmRU.jpg Hear the Conversation 22:07 – 12.6 mb mp3

Robin Usborne is a communications manager in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University. Robin is also the owner of East of Eden vineyard in Beulah, Michigan. She graduated from Michigan State University, with a degree in agriculture and natural resources communication. She has been involved in agriculture all of her life.

“My father is a second or third generation farmer. We have relatives who’ve been involved in agriculture. I’ve worked on dairy farms with my cousins. I remember helping my dad with the calves. That’s kind of what I have always been interested in.”

Usborne was excited when she received her acceptance letter to MSU. “When I got my letter that says ‘Congratulations, you are a Spartan,’ I said okay—that’s the only place I want to go.”

After graduation and years of working in industry, in 2004, Robin decided to return to her alma mater and signed up for the Ag Technology program of viticulture and enology. Read more »

Copyright © 2016 The Spartan Podcast. All rights reserved.

Social Widgets powered by