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HSsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 22:35 – 12.9 mb mp3

Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon engages Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis and Communications and Brand Strategy Vice President Heather Swain in a conversation on branding MSU and the roll social media plays in the process.

All agree that MSU’s genuineness drives the university’s brand.

“Whenever you’re doing branding really well, you are as much declaring what you are not as you are declaring what you are,” says Swain.

They talk about the decision to use both the Block S and the Spartan helmet in branding MSU. Read more »

asb photo.jpg Hear the Conversation 13:59 – 8 mb mp3

Spring Break.

For many college students, those two words mean sandy beaches, warm weather and a break from spring semester classes. But for others – for a group of Spartans – spring break takes an alternate meaning. To them, the week in March offers the opportunity to hit the road, roll up their sleeves and get to work bettering communities all across the United States. They are members of MSU’s student-service organization, Alternative Spartan Breaks, which is part of the Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement.

With 18 trips taken during spring break and three trips taken during winter break, members of ASB participate in service trips that touch on 12 different social issues. Everything from urban farming to indigenous rights, Spartans have a hand in improving during their experiences with ASB. Read more »

mbsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 32:39 – 18.6 mb mp3

“In Washington our primary areas of concern related to funding are for research and student financial aid,” Mark Burnham, MSU’s vice president for governmental affairs, tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. Burnham joins Simon and Hollis to analyze recently-proposed budgets from President Obama and Governor Snyder, and they assess the impact of both on MSU and higher education.

“In Lansing it’s more about our core funding. Overall we get about $300 million from the state to support our general operations, MSU Extension and MSU AgBioResearch.”

Burnham explains how the cost of an education hasn’t really gone up much when adjusted for inflation. It’s who’s paying that’s changed.

“The growth beyond inflation from 2001 to 2012 was only $65.” Now students pick up more of the cost of an education.

The trio talks about the need for a reinvention of education in Michigan that would lead to a more educated workforce.

russmic.jpg Hear the Conversation 17:46 – 10.1 mb mp3

“We’re optimistic about FRIB because we’re now in the stage where it’s not a new thing,” Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon tells Russ White in her mid-semester update for MSU Today on all things MSU. Their first topic is her reaction to recently proposed budgets by President Obama and Governor Snyder.

“And we’re on the trajectory for funding to get the project done on time. At the state level, the tax credit issue genuinely took a lot of people by surprise. In the world of this budget, two percent is viewed as a very good number. It’s not what we planned, but it’s a very good number.”

MSU marked its 160th birthday on February 12, and President Simon says MSU “is committed to be better tomorrow than it is today” and she describes the hyper-competitive world of “recruiting 5-star faculty who can go anywhere.” Read more »

MSU Today on News/Talk 760 WJR

February 5th, 2015

wjr_logo.jpg Hear the Show 53:30 min – 30 mb mp3

Michigan State University Provost June Pierce Youatt sits in for President Simon on this edition of MSU Today.

Youatt and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis talk with Spartan Football returning leaders Shilique Calhoun and Connor Cook. Then they introduce you to the new dean of MSU’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences Prabu David.

The show concludes with a cogent discussion on the state of media and public relations in the digital age with MSU’s top two PR guys: Kent Cassella from Communications and Brand Strategy and John Lewandowski from Spartan Athletics.

footballsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 17:38 – 10 mb mp3

“We’re at the point now where an eleven-win season isn’t good enough, and that’s awesome that Coach D has brought us to that point,” Spartans quarterback Connor Cook tells Michigan State University Provost June Pierce Youatt and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today.

“It was a great season; we made a lot of great memories and finished super strong in the Cotton Bowl.”

Cook’s teammate, defensive lineman Shilique Calhoun, adds that “We’re going to take strides to try to be better next year because we understand our talent level and what we need to do to be the best.”

Calhoun says he appreciates the discipline Coach D has instilled in him, and Cook says Dantonio has taught him the importance of surrounding oneself with the right people. Read more »

Prabusp.jpg Hear the Conversation 16:55 – 9.7 mb mp3

“The exciting stuff that’s happening (in the communications world) is also the challenge,” says Prabu David, new dean of the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University. David talks with MSU Provost June Pierce Youatt and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today.

“The excitement is about change. Every day something changes; we live in a very dynamic media environment. The challenge is keeping up with the change and knowing which one is a trend that’s going to persist and which one is just a blip on the radar.

“So we train our students to be digitally savvy; every student in the program should have core digital skills. At the same time they should also have the critical thinking skills to tell the difference between what is right and what is wrong and to make those important decisions that could have phenomenal impact.”

Dean David says today’s students need to be global, too, immerse themselves in experiential learning, and be entrepreneurial. And he emphasizes that “writing is so critical.”

David says MSU has one of the best colleges of communication arts and sciences; it has depth and breadth in both the arts and sciences. He wants even more of a seamless integration of the arts and sciences and more interdisciplinary connections on campus “to attack big social problems.”

PRsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 20 min – 11.4 mb mp3

“There’s a difference in the needs of media when you look at athletic and sports media versus mainstream or straight news,” Kent Cassella tells Michigan State University Provost June Pierce Youatt and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today.

“Strategies to serve both are mostly about reputation management – and sometimes we have to defend our reputation – and the other side of it is figuring out how to tell the hundreds of great stories we have to tell in the most effective way.”

Cassella is MSU’s associate vice president for communications and senior public relations strategist.

John Lewandowski is Spartan Athletics‘ associate athletic director for communications. He says one of his challenges in the modern media world is making student-athletes aware that they’re public figures who need to realize the level of exposure they have as Spartan athletes. Read more »

Shelley2DWsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 28:16 min – 16.1 mb mp3

“When you think about the privilege of being part of Michigan State and Spartan Athletics, you walk with people who are amazing and do incredible things,” says Spartans’ associate athletic director Shelley Appelbaum to Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and MSU Alumni Association Executive Director Scott Westerman.

Helping all student-athletes reach their potential is Appelbaum’s top goal. She says Spartan Athletics is filled with people who feel “gratitude and not entitlement” to be part of Team MSU.

When Appelbaum and her colleagues around the country look to the future of intercollegiate athletics, “We want to make sure that student-athletes are still having fun and that ultimately we’re not overtraining and overworking them. We work hard at MSU to create a balance. It’s all about the balance of recruitment, retention, graduation and placement.

“There’s a pathway to success, and graduation is the goal here. It’s not a wish or a hope or a prayer, it’s the plan.” Read more »

PGR14.jpg Hear the Conversation 9:13 – 4.2 mb mp3

Michigan State University will celebrate Martin Luther King Day 2015 by paying tribute to its Project 60/50 “Crossing Borders, Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges.”

“We wanted to educate and engage the community, and we think we’ve done that,” says MSU Office of Inclusion leader Paulette Granberry Russell. “Racial inequality still persists in our country. We have to create space for people to talk about these issues in a respectful and civil way. We need more dialogue and conversation. We have no political agenda.

“The goal now is to sustain the work in a meaningful way that allows the legacy of 60/50 and the safe space it created for dialogue.”

The tribute and celebration will include a Saturday gala that “celebrates a year’s worth of effort;” free Sunday jazz concerts that are “our gift to the community;” a Monday luncheon in partnership with the Greater Lansing King Commemorative Celebration Commission; a student leadership conference begins Monday morning; a commemorative march from the Union to Beaumont Tower; an exhibit at the MSU Museum; and a Union Activities Board event after Saturday gala on spoken word where you’ll see “the talent of our students and the commitment around these issues” reflected.

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