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Hit the Highway: Join Fellow Spartans for Pre-Game Tailgate in Ohio

Cheer the football team to victory Nov. 21

Hit the road and join fellow Spartans for a pregame tailgate at The Ohio State University before the Spartans take on the Buckeyes in Columbus. Enjoy good food, music, prizes and the camaraderie of the Green & White!

When: Saturday, Nov. 21. Begins 2 ½ hours prior to kickoff (TBD).

Where: The Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus, Ohio.

Prices: $35 per adult and $15 per child (ages 12 and under). Price includes buffet meal and cash bar. Please note: the price does not include game tickets. Register now.

Pick, Click, Purchase

Spartan entrepreneurs making waves with new online advertising, sales technology

Two Spartan alumni have joined forces to market a new technology, named Clicktivated, that's garnering positive responses around the world for its innovative purchasing and advertising qualities.
"Our proprietary (video) technology allows viewers to interact with any item (while viewing select videos online) with a simple click, generating a “bookmark” that presents additional information, links or a call to action prompting the users to view or buy the item(s) they have selected," notes CEO Chris Roebuck, co-founder, in his LinkedIn profile. Roebuck earned a bachelor's degree from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 2006.
"Clicktivated was designed to be non-disruptive and does not compromise the content or viewer experience. Rather, it enriches it by providing information on demand," he adds.
Ben Hatala, chief operations officer and company partner adds: "We've seen some amazing growth. We have launched our new generation player/experience, expanded internationally (United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, China) and have launched significant campaigns with clients such as HSN, Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF), PureWow, StyleTV, Bohemian Guitars and recently just signed a comprehensive contract with the State of Michigan to Clicktivate their Pure Michigan video series!"
Hatala earned a bachelor's degree in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 2010. "We have also been featured at large video conferences around the country as the leaders in the transformation and monetization of online video," he says. See how it works.

Spartan Golfers: Play the Historic Pebble Beach Resort Course this Summer

Space is limited so register today

Calling all Spartan golfers! Join the Central Coast Spartans for a bucket list opportunity--golfing at the historic Pebble Beach Resort in California. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is open to the first 50 teams (two best ball, four-person handicapped team format) that register.

This exciting event is open to all to MSU alumni, family and friends, and will feature prizes, auctions, a wine bar reception and a closing night awards dinner.

Space is limited so be sure to register online now for this exciting event.

Savor the Sands and Shores of the Caribbean

Beat the winter blahs and cruise to picturesque isles with Spartan friends

Departing from Miami, cruise aboard Oceania Cruises’ newest ship, Riviera, along the white sands and sun-kissed shores of spectacular islands, including Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, St. Maarten, Tortola, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. Surround yourself with serene beauty on Grand Turk, where colonial architecture mingles with Caribbean-style dwellings. Experience the charming colonial character of Old San Juan; stroll along Gustavia’s glittering harbor lined with sleek yachts; relax on Tortola’s famous Cane Garden Bay Beach; admire Philipsburg’s colorful Dutch architecture; and explore Cayo Levantado’s tranquil, palm-fringed beaches. Before returning to Miami, encounter a blend of beautifully restored Victorian mansions, candy-colored parliament buildings and 18th-century forts in cosmopolitan Nassau.
The excursion will take place Feb. 24 through March 2, 2016. Individual costs begin at $6,285, plus airfare. Visit the Alumni Association’s travel website for more information on this exciting trip. To request a travel brochure, simply fill out our online form.

James Madison College Alumnus Twists Time in Historical Fact-Based Novel

Author Andy Kutler's day job is in Washington, D.C.'s national security community

Andy Kutler's public service career spans 22 years in federal government positions, all based in Washington, D.C. A 1992 graduate of James Madison College, he's served as a senior legislative aide for two U.S. senators and worked for the Secret Service.

Now, he is employed in the U.S. security community. During his off hours, he writes. He recently released his first novel, The Other Side of Life.  

Here's the set-up:

"December 1941, Pearl Harbor. A peaceful Sunday morning turns into a devastating attack on American soil. Naval officer Malcolm "Mac" Kelsey is severely wounded while defending his ship. A flawed man abandoned long ago by his alcoholic wife, Kelsey has been mired in despair and hopelessness following the accidental death of Lucy, the young daughter he considers the only redemptive aspect of his life.

"Near the point of death, Kelsey is brought to what he believes to be an afterlife where he is offered an opportunity to shed his past memories and embark upon an alternate path in another place and time. Eager to escape his torment and begin a more tranquil existence, Kelsey accepts, only to feel quickly betrayed as he soon finds himself back in the midst of battle, this time as a Union soldier at the dawn of the Civil War." Learn more. 

NPR's Political Correspondent Don Gonyea Recalls His MSU Days

If you listen to NPR, you're familiar with his voice. "This is Don Gonyea." One of the finest national political correspondents today, Gonyea recently visited MSU, his alma mater, and discussed his student days and their influence on his long-standing career.

"So the first time I sat behind a microphone and recorded something onto tape was here at Michigan State University, and it was in Gary Reid’s class,”  Gonyea told Russ White on MSU Today.

Reid is director of broadcasting and general manager of WDBM-FM, WKAR-AM/FM/TV. 

Gonyea: “I have told him that the things I do every day at National Public Radio are things that he taught me to do when I was here at Michigan State." Gonyea earned a pair of bachelor's degrees from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 1980.

Despite all the competing audio options nowadays, Gonyea says radio is not dead. “Millions of people tune in every day. NPR’s audience is in excess of 30 million very loyal listeners every week. But the way people are using this medium and getting the content that we produce for the radio is changing.”
NPR’s strategy to maintain and grow listeners in this new world of technology involves a renewed focus on telling good stories. “I like to think of radio as just an oral medium for telling stories.”  Hear the entire podcast.

MSU Alumna's Documentary Shines Light on a Detroit Blight Buster

After covering her share of sad news stories in Detroit, TV reporter Nancy McCauley Branstetter found a dedicated city dweller whose decades worth of good deeds are helping formerly rundown neighborhoods become habitable and friendly.

The force for good? John George, a member of Motor City's Blight Busters.

Branstetter, a Spartan, recently brought George's story, dubbed Urban Warrior, to television screens in Southeast Michigan. 

Help and encouragement on the project came from an MSU journalism professor, Sue Carter, and then-student Alex Tepik, a filmaker who has since graduated. Others provided gifts of support along the way.

"I am now attempting to navigate the film festival circuit, so I can enter the documentary and allow a wider audience to learn about the life and mission of John George and the Motor City Blight Busters," Branstetter says. Watch it here.

MSU Graduate Named U.S. Fulbright Scholar

Jenny Chabot, of Ohio University, carries unusual cargo to Canada

This fall, Ohio University's Jennifer “Jenny” Chabot is teaching classes, meeting with students and attending to departmental matters. A three-degree graduate of MSU's College of Social Science, she'll soon start packing for a Fulbright appointment in Canada.
Among her must haves are SOREL boots and cans filled with sand, she says. “My dad keeps me supplied with coffee cans filled with Lake Superior sand,” says Chabot, who teaches in Ohio University's Department of Social and Public Health. “There’s nothing better to get me out when a tire is stuck in packed snow!” 
Chabot, the recipient of a $25,000 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Teaching Award, will spend spring 2016 at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, teaching in its renowned child life studies program. Here's the rest of her story.

Alumni Tom and Kevin Cocozzoli Pen Book of Cartoons

Cousins collaborate on comic relief

Tom and Kevin Cocozzoli are Spartans, cousins and co-authors of a new book, called Cartoons That Changed the World. 

Their book's notes promise that: "The cartoons in this book will change your life—not necessarily for the better, but you will be affected! You may laugh so hard you bust a gut and have to be rushed to the emergency room where, while waiting for hours to see a doctor, you may come upon this very same book in the waiting room and burst some blood vessels while reading it again.

"Hopefully you have good medical insurance. This book combines the thoughtfulness of Gary Larson with the unique insight of Frank and Ernest. They are mostly puns, many of them ‘groaners’. But all of them in good fun." Find it at area bookstores and at

Young Men of Sparta

Sprites embody Sparty mascot

A pair of young Sparty look-alikes thrilled MSU fans and followers when they rang doorbells on Halloween. Wyatt, left, and Anthony Wickersham donned costumes made by their mom, Lisa Boyer, an MSU staff member.

The boys first wore their costumes in public Oct. 24, the day the Spartan Football team beat Indiana University's Hoosiers, 52-26, at MSU.Their mom says the boys were thrilled to hear the familiar shout out: "Go Green!"  

Spartan Football's Freshman Legend Finally Meets the Press

Injured Jalen Watts-Jackson makes press conference appearance, talks about game-changing touchdown

Jalen Watts-Jackson had 10 seconds in the national spotlight. But on Oct. 21, the redshirt freshman and Michigan State defensive back spent some hard-earned time in the limelight.

Although his improbable 38-yard fumble return for a touchdown Oct. 17 provided the decisive points for the Spartans as time expired in Saturday night's unbelievable 27-23 victory at Michigan, Watts-Jackson has been otherwise preoccupied.
He dislocated and fractured his hip as he crossed the goal line and was rushed immediately to the University of Michigan Hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair the injury. Riddled with excruciating pain from the time he was dragged down by Wolverine tight end Jake Butt until in recovery, Watts-Jackson didn't join the wild celebration that ensued until much later.

"Even when I got to the hospital and things were settling down and people were telling me good play, I still wasn't really thinking about it because man, my hip hurt," Watts-Jackson said. "I didn't have my phone all weekend, so it first really hit me when after I got surgery and my family came.

"I was in the hospital room by myself looking at ESPN and they just kept playing it back, kept playing it back, and I'm like, `Wow, that really happened.' So it didn't really hit me at all until I was by myself in the hospital room just watching TV."

The victory kept the Spartans in contention for the Big Ten East Division title, the conference championship and the College Football Playoff, in addition to adding Watts-Jackson's name to college football lore. Watch the interview and read the rest of the story.

Spartan Athletic Trainer Dave Carrier Inducted into National Hall of Fame

Nearly 40 years after learning basic first-aid as an aspiring coach fresh out of the U.S. Army, Michigan State associate head athletic trainer Dave Carrier is a Hall of Famer.
Carrier, Michigan State hockey's athletic trainer for the past 31 years, will be inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in St. Louis.
"It was joyful, tearful and made me think how I got selected for this," Carrier said. "I had flashbacks to 1976 when I first started. All of those emotions run through you in those seconds someone tells you you're in the Hall of Fame."
The Albion native is the third athletic trainer currently at MSU to be elected to the NATA Hall of Fame, alongside head athletic trainer Dr. Sally Nogle and Dr. John Powell. He is the eighth MSU-employed trainer to be voted into the hall.
"It's nerve-wracking to stand up next to these people who are Hall of Famers but are also your peers," Carrier said. "We've known that Michigan State has one of the best athletic training programs in the country, and this continually solidifies what we've known for a long time."
Dr. Nogle, who was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame in 2012, said she was ecstatic to hear Carrier would be receiving the prestigious honor.
"I was incredibly excited and happy for him," said Nogle, who has worked at MSU since 1983. "Dave is a consummate professional and he represents himself, his family and MSU with respect. His hands-on and rehabilitation skills set him apart from most athletic trainers around the country, and we are blessed to have someone so valuable."
The 2014-15 hockey season was Carrier's 31st with the program, but his journey started at Ferris State. An athletic training class opened up a whole new world for Carrier, one he would immediately fall in love with. He graduated with a bachelor's of science in physical education from Ferris in 1979 and spent five years as the university's assistant coordinator of sports medicine. Read more.

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