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@MSU Newsletter | July 2016 Home » @MSU Newsletter


Musicians with MSU ties invite you to upcoming concert and dance

John Clarkson, a 1979 graduate of the College of Human Medicine, has been a physician for 30 years. But he’s been a country musician for more than 40.

Clarkson and his wife Tess, also a physician, make up the Jack Clarkson Band, a variety band that covers rock 'n' roll, country music and bluegrass.

On July 13, the band will join Motown greats Martha and the Vandellas at the St. John’s Amphitheater for a concert. Clarkson feels strongly about the theme, “Why Don’t We Just Dance?” 

The upcoming concert in St. John’s, MI is meant to promote dancing among Baby Boomers, which Clarkson feels is the best antidote to dementia.

“We feel that our music careers have probably contributed more to health and well-being than our combined years as physicians. We’ve done over 3,000 engagements and the majority have been dances.” 

For more information, visit the band's website.


Looking for something new and exciting to do this summer? Jacob Santangelo, a 2014 graduate of the College of Social Science, created an app called Adventurate, which offers discounts for activities. 

Find reduced price kayaking, canoeing, biking, skydiving, fishing or city tours in Michigan and beyond.

Once on the app, users can view a list of activities offered in a city, select what they want and book it from their mobile device. Download the app on the Apple App Store. 

"It's awesome for small (adventure) businesses because it helps give them more customers and helps people explore," Santangelo said.  "I wanted to create an app that made it easy to go on an adventure."


You can help welcome more than 8,000 new Spartans to campus when you volunteer for this year’s residence hall Spartan Move-in.

You'll work alongside other alumni in the campus neighborhood of your choice on August 20 or August 27-29.

Volunteers receive a T-shirt, a meal in an award-winning campus dining hall and complimentary parking.

Register today at


January 11-17, 2017

This winter, please join us on a special seven-day wildlife expedition to Yellowstone National Park–North America’s best wolf-watching habitat. Amidst crisp air, bare trees, frosted earth and brilliant thermal features, wildlife viewing is better in winter than any other time of year.

Search for wolves, travel in safari vehicles and interpret tell-tale signs of the canines with the help of an Oxbridge Expedition leader. Don’t miss this extraordinary experience in what's been called the “Serengeti of North America.”

The cost of the trip is $3,795 per person, plus airfare.

Visit the MSU Alumni Association’s travel website for more information on this exciting trip. To request a travel brochure, simply fill out our online form.


Sandra Seaton, a 1989 graduate from the College of Arts and Letters, penned a poem that inspired the solo opera From the Diary of Sally Hemings.

The piece invites the audience to imagine what could be divined if Sally Hemings had kept a diary of her life. A slave owned by Thomas Jefferson, Hemings is believed to have borne six children with the owner of the Monticello plantation in Virginia.

The opera was recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

“Seaton imaginatively reconstructs the figure of a strong, intelligent woman who remained in a relationship with Jefferson for decades and had several children with him, but is keenly aware of the contradictions and disadvantages of her position. It is an evocative and gripping text that creates less a song cycle than a monodrama," a reviewer for the Washington Post wrote.


Juan Calvillo, a 1980 graduate from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, has released a book about fly-fishing in Oregon. Redband Trout Waters: A Fly-Fishing Road Trip to Oregon's Crooked, Deschutes & Metolius Rivers is a beautifully photographed guide, in color from cover to cover. 

The book includes hatch charts, campground maps, fishing access locations, fishing techniques, information on flows and patterns to tie flies. Whether you are a novice fisherman or an old pro, take this book along to help you catch redband trout in Oregon. 

Calvillo, a seasoned photographer, hopes to expand the travel series to include different adventure spots across North America.

The book can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Noble


Ashley Gold is a 2000 graduate from the Eli Broad College of Business. She recently launched her own online jewelry business, She also earned a certification from the Gemological Institute of America.

For years, Gold managed a successful pawn shop in Detroit, which caught the attention of television channel, TRUtv. The network created Hardcore Pawn, a reality TV show about Gold and her shop, for which the program was named.

Thanks to years as an experienced gem buyer, Gold has learned the ins and outs of fashion jewelry. That led to her latest business venture. 

"I have attended countless jewelry shows, both national and international, and am often asked about the accessories and jewelry that I'm wearing," Gold said.

"Now shoppers everywhere are able to get the best deals on jewelry at a fraction of the price," she said. 

Gold frequently blogs and speaks about jewelry fashion in the media. She interviews Hollywood's who's who on her weekly radio show, Pawn Chick Radio.

She also appraises collectibles and runs a social media consulting business.


The Handbook of Small Business is the latest book penned by MSU alumnus Dick Baynton, a successful business owner, author and consultant.

The book explains key aspects and information necessary to run a thriving company. It's written in short, digestible chapters. It covers everything from hiring and firing employees to sales management and ethics.

Baynton started his career in the home construction industry. Post-retirement, he became a business broker and earned an MBA.

He graduated from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in 1949.

His book can be found at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon.


Richard “Ky” Owen recently published a memoir, None Call Me Dad. It's about raising children in an alternative family.

Owen covers the challenges of truancy and Type 1 diabetes, hopping trains and and helping kids to find their own paths in life. He recounts trips with kids to the Rose Bowl, New Orleans' French Quarter and Nashville, Tennessee.

None Call Me Dad is a story of forgiveness, acceptance, and love.“They’re my kids, and I’ll always be here for them. Even though none call me dad," he wrote.

He's a 1981 graduate of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

You can find the book on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble


Christine Lonski, who received her master’s degree from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 1985, recently published a book about her Polish heritage entitled, Bootleg Buggy: Stories Of My Polish Family.

It tells the story of her family, starting with her grandfather, who made a living by selling bootleg liquor out of a “big black baby buggy” in Depression-era Detroit. She also tells the stories of her childhood, attending Polish weddings and festivals with her family. The book won an award as part of the 23rd annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

The book is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble


Alumna and former Spartan rower Emily Regan, '10, will compete for the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Regan will be a part of the U.S. women's eight which seeks a historic 11th-consecutive world or Olympic title in Rio.

"We're excited to have our first-ever representative of Michigan State among the Olympic rowers. She is truly deserving and a fantastic representative of our University and our rowing program," noted Michigan State head coach Matt Weise. 
Another rowing alumnae heading to the Summer Games will be 2006 MSU graduate Christie Daiss. Daiss, who competed for the Spartans from 2002-06, will serve as part of the medical services team in Rio for Team USA. She has been assigned to work as a pharmacist in the Olympic Village.
Read the rest of the story.
Follow the action on Twitter.


Michigan State University Athletics Director Mark Hollis announced Wednesday the hiring of Kim Bruno as the new head women’s tennis coach, effective July 1, 2016, replacing former head coach Simone Jardim, who resigned in May to relocate to Florida with her family.
Bruno comes to Michigan State after 11 seasons at Northern Arizona University. She served as the director of tennis and oversaw both Lumberjack tennis programs for five years from 2008-13. She helped rebuild the NAU women’s tennis program, capturing its first Big Sky regular-season title in 2016. Bruno was also named Big Sky Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2016.
“We’re extremely excited to have Kim Bruno as our new head women’s tennis coach,” said Hollis. “She brings a winning pedigree and an impressive amount of experience from her time coaching at Northern Arizona.
"She not only led her teams to success on the court, but also was publically recognized for her work with the team in the classroom as well. We’re looking forward to Coach Bruno leading our women’s tennis program and carrying out our mission of teaching, supporting and celebrating our student-athletes in their quest for excellence.”


Beverly Phillips, a 1970 graduate from the College of Social Science, and her husband a 1970 and 1973 (masters) graduate from the College of Education, ran into a fellow Spartan in an unlikely place.

While on a Road Scholar hiking trip in Peru, their travel group was hiking in Sacred Valley. There, they ran into Maywa C. Blanco-Zamalloa, a local university professor who teaches courses in genetics, the biodiversity of Andean crops and agricultural research. She graduated from MSU's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in 1995. She received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at MSU. After graduation, Zamalloa returned to Cusco, Peru to work helping impoverished communities. 


Who would ever believe that 54 years after college you'd meet another couple who lived in the very same married-housing apartment in which you did at MSU?
That's what happened to me and my wife.
We'd been invited to a card party while visiting friends in a 55+ residential development.
MSU came up in the conversation. And we learned that Duane and Vickie Fournier had lived in apartment 1614-B Spartan Village, as had my wife and I.
The most amazing part is that they had moved out in June 1962 and we moved in that August. It sure is exciting and unbelievable to everyone there that night, as we compared notes about the tiny apartment, the neighbors and all the fun things we did back then.
We now have new friends and whenever we see each other, we shake our heads with big smiles as we tell everyone this amazing story.
Imagine how many couples have lived in that apartment and we met the couple who lived there right before us, just 52 years later!
-Jack ('64 College of Business) and Jan Patrick 

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