The Spartan Podcast


phelan18.jpg Hear the Conversation 27:02 – 15.4 mb mp3

“There’s never been a bigger show if you’re a fan of new pickup trucks,” Detroit Free Press automotive critic Mark Phelan tells Kirk Heinze about the 2018 North American International Auto Show. “We have new ones from Chevy, RAM, and the rebirth of the Ford Ranger. We have production and concept SUVs coming out of our ears, too, because that’s the direction the market is moving toward.

“And there are a lot of driver assistance and safety features on these vehicles that are getting us closer to the eventual autonomy of vehicles.”

Phelan adds that there’s a lot of work going on to enhance cyber security in our vehicles, which are becoming more connected by the day.

“Technology and automobiles are inextricably intertwined these days.” And underscoring those linkages is the ever-growing number of technology company exhibits at the auto show, including first-timers Intel Corp. and Blackberry. Read more »


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

Each month, MSU professors Charles Ballard and Matt Grossmann engage in a lively discussion of Michigan policy and current events. This Month on State of the State: k-12 education finance and policy with guest Kristi Bowman.

State of the State is a monthly discussion with MSU researchers who provide context and evidence to inform Michigan policy debates. Grossmann, political scientist and Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and co-host Ballard, economist and Director of the State of the State Survey welcome MSU College of Law Vice Dean and Professor of Law Kristi Bowman to this month’s discussion.

Bowman explains how the latest round of education rights litigation focuses on the “right to literacy” in federal court in Michigan. The trio discusses the state of k-12 education finance and policy and talk about where it may be headed. Read more »


Byrums182.jpg Hear the Conversation 20:25 – 11.6 mb mp3

Despite the projected continuation of lower commodity prices for farmers, Jim and Dianne Byrum remain very optimistic about the agricultural sector, especially in Michigan.

Jim, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, and Dianne, partner and co-founder of Byrum and Fisk Advocacy Communications, recently joined me to discuss several key agricultural issues that will be front and center in 2018.

“Trade is a huge issue,” says Jim. “Whatever we produce agriculturally we have to export a very large percentage of it. NAFTA has been under attack since day one of the Trump White House. Because of the rhetoric coming from this administration, some of our most trusted trade partners are looking elsewhere for product even though NAFTA hasn’t actually been changed yet.” Read more »


MiKisp.jpg Hear the Conversation 9:53 – 5.7 mb mp3

MSU alumnus Mike King is regional vice president for Gray Television and general manager of WILX-TV 10 in Lansing.

King recalls the limited options of the television world in the early 80’s when he entered the business and how the content options for consumers have exploded. “The content is still important,” says King. “The platform has really become more agnostic to us.”

King says Channel 10 now delivers its content through the web, mobile, Hulu, and Amazon. And local news is still really important to people, and it’s something they find more difficult to find online. Read more »


purtansp.jpg Hear the Conversation 45:51 – 26.2 mb mp3

My first hero in a lifelong love affair with the radio medium was the legendary Dick Purtan, who tells me how he first began visiting Detroit with his father when he was a child. And he recalls fondly his days at the famous Keener 13, his first stop in Detroit radio.

He says Keener was a fun place to work and a natural fit for his evolving talents.

Then as the Big 8 CKLW began to demolish the competition in Detroit radio, Purtan recalls a time when he had to stick up for himself and the kind of radio show he thought listeners wanted to hear.

And he was becoming increasingly weary of the trend to program radio stations from New York rather than locally, like at WXYZ, a station where Dick would eventually work. Read more »


tt2.jpg Hear the Conversation 12:36 – 7.2 mb mp3

Terrie Taylor, B.A., D.O., is an internationally recognized expert on malaria and other tropical diseases. Six months of the year, Taylor works in Malawi, Africa conducting research and treating patients. She is a driving force in the global initiative to eliminate malaria deaths.

She joins Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today.

“My unusual schedule has made such a difference in terms of my credibility in Malawi, and it is so emblematic of the way MSU works abroad: embedded, grass roots, and shoulder-to-shoulder with colleagues,” says Taylor. Read more »


dand17.jpg Hear the Conversation 27:35 – 15.7 mb mp3

Detroit Tigers radio play-by-play man Dan Dickerson visits with Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on this segment of MSU Today.

Dickerson says the game he loves and calls for Tigers fans around the world is indeed changing and that he recently had the opportunity to talk with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred about the topic.

“He’s a fascinating guy and a smart guy and he’s thinking outside the box about changes the game needs to meet with attention spans that are growing shorter while the games are getting longer.

“We may see a pitch clock in baseball. I don’t like the idea, and yet when you talk to the commissioner you realize this may be one of the things that has to be done to move the game along. It’s a game of home runs and strikeouts right now. It is changing. But it’s also a time, at least in the last 20 years, with probably the best group of 25 and 26 year old and younger stars who are really driving the game.” Read more »


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 »

Copyright © 2018 The Spartan Podcast. All rights reserved.

Social Widgets powered by