The Spartan Podcast


GGD.jpg Hear the Conversation 5:43 – 3.3 mb mp3

Give Green Day is Michigan State University’s participation in the national day of giving,” says Lisa Parker, the MSU Alumni Association’s senior director of alumni engagement and professional initiatives. “It’s an opportunity for alumni and friends to support student-related funds at the university.”

The ultimate goal of Give Green Day is to engage alumni and friends in an online effort to make real-time, fast, easy, and secure gifts in support of students.

Kathleen Deneau is senior director of development at MSU. She talks about the “plethora of funds” from which to choose and that there’s likely one “that will resonate with everyone. But all of them will make a difference in students’ lives.” Read more »


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Andrew Lane and Katy Storey from Great Britain’s Northumbria University visit with Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis. The universities partner on international learning abroad opportunities for student-athletes.

Lane is the university’s Deputy Director of International Development and Storey is International Development Manager for Sport at Northumbria University.

The group compares and contrasts student-athlete opportunities and participation in the United States and United Kingdom.

Northumbria University, officially the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, is a university located in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. It’s a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence.


Kaleb2.jpg Hear the Conversation 8:58 – 5.1 mb mp3

MSU alumnus Kaleb Thornhill is the director of player engagement for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.

“It’s an all-encompassing role with many obligations,” says Thornhill. “I get the opportunity to impact lives, which is what I love.”

It may not be an NFL position you’ve heard of before, but Thornhill says every team has one. He describes how he wants to be a “guiding light” for young NFL players.

“How do you leverage the NFL, not as the end point in your life and the pinnacle, but just the beginning and the catalyst towards the future?

“The most fun part of the job is that I don’t know what’s coming from day to day. But I have to be ready with a solution for whatever issue walks through the door.” Read more »


LorenzoS.jpg Hear the Conversation 18:19 – 10.4 mb mp3

ASMSU President Lorenzo Santavicca tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today that he’s grateful that the MSU student body “has placed their trust in me to be their voice at Michigan State University.”

Santavicca is a senior studying international relations and political economy in James Madison College.

“It’s really there that I found my love for this university because you have this small college feel at this big institution where there are so many interests.”

Santavicca describes what he means by vulnerable storytelling, and the trio talks about the value of putting our phones down and engaging face-to-face. And he says we should celebrate the good things MSU students do and focus less on the ten percent that can generate negative headlines. Read more »


qualman.jpg Hear the Conversation 15:03 – 8.6 mb mp3

MSU alumnus Erik Qualman – better known as Equal Man – likes to empower people.

“My mission is to empower 7 billion people this century,” he says. Equal Man does that through edu-tainment.

Qualman relates specific tactics to help one achieve empowerment and be a “superhero.”

Equal Man is well known for his best seller Socialnomics. Now, though, he’s finding he has to write about focus.

“Some people have stepped too far into the technology and are walking around like zombies with their phones in their face.” He says we need to step back a bit from the technology. “The technology is great, but you can’t replace face-to-face.”

Qualman says social media is here to stay, even if it does become less of an overwhelming force in our lives over time.

Erik Qualman is on the cover of the newly designed Michigan State University Alumni Magazine now titled Spartan. The Spartan issue featuring Equal Man on the cover focuses on entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship has become somewhat of a buzzword that means different things to different people. He thinks entrepreneurship is a mindset more than anything else. Read more »


JKirkpic.jpg Hear the Conversation 9:39 – 11.7 mb mp3

Southfield native and MSU alumnus Jonathan Kirkland is playing George Washington in the Chicago production of Hamilton. He recently received a distinguished young alumnus award from his alma mater.

“It’s such an honor to know that a place that helped groom me and a place that helped cultivate who I really am has followed my career and what I’ve done.” He says he wouldn’t be in Hamilton today if not for his time at MSU.

He loves the family feel at MSU. “And what MSU did for me specifically was make it OK to be who I am.” Read more »


izzo17.jpg Hear the Conversation 20:30 – 11.7 mb mp3

“He was special to Michigan State and special to me,” Tom Izzo says of his mentor Jud Heathcote during his annual conversation with Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. “He taught me a lot of things. And some things I thought at the time that were crazy I keep saying to my secretary ‘now I know why Jud did that.’”

Izzo reflects on the October 20 dedication of Breslin Center’s Gilbert Pavilion and Tom Izzo Hall of History, Miles Bridges’ Sports Illustrated cover, and the October 29 charity game in Grand Rapids.

“The way the Michigan State people showed up for that in such a short period of time to me means we have a good program and not just a good team. If people respect your program, they show up for events like that.” Read more »


MC2.jpg Hear the Conversation 22:25 – 12.8 mb mp3

This is the inaugural State of the State podcast.

Each month, MSU professors Charles Ballard and Matt Grossmann will aim for a lively discussion of Michigan policy and current events.

They’ll run down 3 or 4 hot topics, pointing to research on each policy issue.

In this edition, they cover income tax cuts, Detroit’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, and the proposal for a part-time legislature.

Here they’ll aim to promote historical and national context. They won’t be your best source for day-to-day legislative politics, who’s winning and losing, and political strategy advice. But they can provide researchers’ views of how policy differs across states, how Michigan is positioned nationally, and the influence of policy on economic and social outcomes.

They’ll have guests on future shows.


kfinale.jpg Hear the Conversation 6:14 – 3.6 mb mp3

“After a wonderful, 9+ year run, Greening of the Great Lakes will transition to a new show, and the host of the show is going to be my outstanding producer and great friend, Russ White,” says Kirk Heinze on the final edition of Greening of the Great Lakes as a stand-alone program. “It has been a true pleasure working with Russ, a real radio pro.”

Michigan State University and News/Talk 760 WJR in September 2008 began partnering to more broadly communicate sustainability efforts in the Great Lakes region. Greening of the Great Lakes evolved from a conversation between MSU President Lou Anna Simon and then WJR President and CEO Mike Fezzey on how that communication might occur. Read more »


prezksteppy2.jpg Hear the Conversation 13:47 – 7.9 mb mp3

Michigan State University is involved in Detroit and Michigan’s effort to land Amazon’s second headquarters. Whether we land the bid or not, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon likes how this effort “shows the state’s capacity to come together for big things and let’s us be a place that can compete with anyplace in the country.”

MSU Extension is celebrating its 100th anniversary this fall. President Simon see that “as an opportunity to shed some light on things that people take for granted every day in their neighborhoods. We can be that place that doesn’t diminish its presence because it’s in more than one place; in fact, it’s a multiplier by being in more than one place.”

Some recent studies in the news have questioned the value of a 4-year college degree.

“Quality does matter in the ROI of education,” says Simon. “And I don’t know how you put a premium on the capacity to learn for the future. You need a college education for today’s knowledge and the capacity to grow for tomorrow. And that’s where the real ROI is.”

Copyright © 2017 The Spartan Podcast. All rights reserved.

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