The Spartan Podcast


Freedsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 9:06 – 5.2 mb mp3

With the recent, explosive growth in craft breweries, Michigan has become a hub for brewers and beer enthusiasts around the country. The Great Lakes State ranks among the top U.S. destinations for exploring craft beer, even adopting the nickname, “The Great Beer State.”

With the growing demand for unique and locally produced brewing ingredients, researchers at Michigan State University are working to bring back the Spartan barley variety which is especially well-suited to Michigan’s environment and local brewing needs.

As beer aficionados well know, one of those key brewing ingredients is malt, processed directly from barley by maltsters. Read more »

In the Field: Dana Kirk

July 21st, 2016


danakraig.jpg Hear the Conversation 15:38 – 9 mb mp3

“My parents and grandparents and everyone worked off the farm—they had full-time jobs and we did all the work related to the farm at night and on weekends; so it was a lot of long days” Dana Kirk, anaerobic digester manager and assistant professor in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State University, tells Kraig Ehm on In the Field.

Kirk grew up near St. Johns, Mich., and the farm life taught him a good work ethic. “Lots of hard work, lots of small, square bales and stacking them over your head, and sweating it. It was a good work ethic and a lot of hard work.” Read more »


Schram16sp.jpg Hear the Conversation 23:34 – 13.4 mb mp3

“I have a fondness and appreciation for the state of Michigan and for the broadcasters I have worked with and for the idea and the prospect of what broadcasting means,” MSU alumnus Steve Schram tells Russ White on MSU Today in reflecting on his August 2016 induction into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Schram is the executive director of Michigan Radio.

“It means a lot to me to be able to run a successful broadcast operation that’s focused on news and information and public service – that’s what broadcasting is all about.”

Schram says that, over the years, technology has played an increasing role in how listeners access audio content. Read more »


oboc16.jpg Hear the Conversation 12:46 – 7.3 mb mp3

Migration and refugee issues aren’t just fodder for presidential candidates, they’re also at the forefront of Michigan State University and East Lansing’s 2016 One Book, One Book Community Program. The theme, “Faces of Migration: The Human Experiences,” features “Enrique’s Journey” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario and “City of Thorns” by Ben Rawlence.

OBOC is a nationwide program that encourages communities to come together over a common media experience – reading the same book, watching the same video, etc. Each community can determine its own themes and media selections and then choose events and activities surrounding those selections and themes. Read more »


wjr_logo.jpg Hear the Show 52:54 min – 30.3 mb mp3

“Actually I hadn’t focused on the fact that it’s been ten years because it seems like they’ve been part of our family for such a long time,” Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon says in referring to the tenth anniversary of the MSU/WJR partnership, which officially began on July 1, 2006.

“The Great Voice of the Great Lakes resonates,” adds Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis. “We’re proud to be partners with them and they are with us. The legacy that Mike Fezzey left behind continues to thrive ten years later. We’ve had ten wonderful years, and we’re looking forward to the future.”

President Simon and AD Hollis talk with Spartans Hockey Coach Tom Anastos. Read more »


Selkesp.jpg Hear the Conversation 18:56 – 10.8 mb mp3

“MSU established the packaging education program in 1952, the first university-based packaging education program in the world,” Susan Selke, professor of packaging at MSU and director of MSU’s School of Packaging tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis. “So MSU can lay claim to establishing packaging as an academic discipline.

“We feel a responsibility to continue to advance the science and technology of packaging.”

Selke says the exponential increase in the use of plastic in packaging has been, and continues to be, the biggest leap in the industry’s history. Read more »


Treysp.jpg Hear the Conversation 26:32 – 15.1 mb mp3

“Our job as researchers is not to react to what’s happening today; what’s happening today we should have been reacting to 10 or 15 years ago, and we were,” turfgrass management guru and professor of plant, soil and microbial sciences at MSU John “Trey” Rogers tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis. “We have been ahead of what Michigan needs for quite a while now, and our Spartan grads are everywhere.”

Rogers talks about the rewarding experience of being a parent to a MSU student-athlete and describes in more detail the research he and his team perform at the Hancock Turfgrass Research Center. Read more »


mreiter.jpg Hear the Conversation 9:29 – 13 mb mp3

“I found the Michigan State University Graphic Design program, and it was my life-long goal to be an artist. I wanted to be a scientific illustrator—that was one of my goals” Marian Reiter, graphic artist in ANR Creative in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University, tells Kraig Ehm on In the Field.

Reiter grew up as a youngster in Spartan Village and has spent the past 40 years weaving her graphical magic on the MSU campus. “I have the chance to work with some amazing, creative teams. You say ’40 years, that has to be really boring to do the same thing for 40 years.’ But it has not been the same thing and I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing teams of people. Every day is another day with great people.” Read more »


TomA16.jpg Hear the Conversation 20:48 – 12 mb mp3

“I always talk about my locker room MBA because you learn so many lessons playing sports and especially team sports,” Spartans hockey coach Tom Anastos tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis.

Anastos discusses the challenges of the recruiting process where younger and younger players – 15 or 16 – are being recruited, in part due to the competition from the Canadian junior leagues.

“The irony in our sport – as crazy as this is – is the average entry level age of a kid now is over 20 years old, yet we’re recruiting them at younger ages.” Read more »


JLKLH.jpg Hear the Conversation 15:32 – 8.9 mb mp3

“I think to deny climate change at this point is like denying that the world is round,” much-honored and highly-respected journalist and political analyst Jack Lessenberry tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “We just have to figure out the best way to deal with it so we can have a sustainable future on this planet.”

Lessenberry gave the keynote at the 2016 Sustainable Living Summit.

He laments our country’s seeming lack of interest in science and updates Heinze on some controversial energy legislation before the Legislature in Michigan.

They discuss the controversial pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. Read more »

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