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Audrey Mabiza

Grand Awards Gala: Spartans Will

By Audrey Mabiza
Published on: October 18th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

It's not every day that you get to dress to the nines, mingle with Spartans who are making it big in the world, eat food that is fit for a king and spend time with nine wonderful Spartan seniors. Not everyone gets this honor but I am humbled to have been a part of the evening that was the Grand Awards Gala.

When we first started preparations for the homecoming court, I had no idea what the Grand Awards Gala was. As homecoming week drew closer the event became clearer to me. I knew that this event was held during homecoming week to honor Spartans who are making great strides and raising the Spartan flag high in their fields of expertise. Being a graduating senior, the thought of being surrounded by such people was nerve- racking. So in order to be well prepared for my nearing encounters I practiced my elevator speech until I knew it like the back of my hand.

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Zachary DeRade

We are Spartans: 2013 MSU Homecoming parade

By Zachary DeRade
Published on: October 14th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

The last time I remember riding in a parade was when I was twelve years old. It was the homecoming parade for my school district that year, and I was riding my bike in the parade all decked out in black and orange, my school colors. I remember the excitement I felt riding my bike down the road lined with people, tossing candy to eager children along the way. Once I got to high school, I always had the opportunity to ride in the parade, but my love for student government started young and I spent my four years in high school planning and coordinating the homecoming parade through my student council. I've always enjoyed watching parades from the street and seeing the floats and flashy cars, but I had nearly forgotten what it was like to ride in a parade.

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Lexis Zeidan

Destination Detroit super heroes

By Lexis Zeidan
Published on: October 4th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

It's simple – if you're a Spartan you're a born super hero and if you weren't born one you at least have this sense of urgency to become one and Spartans are able to accomplish this in a number of ways.

One way in particular is being a Destination Detroit super hero. If you're not familiar with Destination Detroit, it is a relatively new registered student organization that is a groundbreaking initiative focused on building bridges between diverse student groups through meaningful service that engages Detroit students.

Several students groups have been involved with Destination Detroit such as the Black Student Alliance, Arab Cultural Society, Jewish Student Union, Ask Big Questions, Asian Pacific Student Organization and Culturas de las Razas Unidas.

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Mairin Chesney

Live on, live off, live in between

By Mairin Chesney
Published on: October 4th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

Around Homecoming week, I always start to reflect on the bits and pieces of the Spartan experience that have had the largest impact on my time here. Snapshots in my brain include running alongside the Red Cedar in early fall as leaves start to turn, presenting my research to a board of representatives from the National Science Foundation and working my first shift at the Wharton Center. But the people and places that have shaped me the most are the places I have lived and the people I have lived with. And it's quite a range.

Freshman year I opted to live on the honors floor in Case Hall. As an engineering student, I was trying to decide between an honors floor or an engineering floor. I figured I'd be spending my days with other engineers, so I opted to live on an honors floor. I could write a novel detailing the adventures I got up to freshman year, but the "too long, didn't read" version is the following: hundreds of episodes of "Chopped," a nightly sing-a-long with my floor-mates of "I'll Make a Man Out of You" and some new best friends. Every day I was in awe of the fact that my best friends were no more than 100 meters away. Living in such close contact is a uniquely collegiate experience.

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Elliot Zirulnik

My SPARTAN Self

By Elliot Zirulnik
Published on: October 1st, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

S – Spot: The MSU Museum

P – Person/People: The Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities staff

A – Activity: Seeing shows at the Wharton Center

R – Ritual or tradition: Small Animals Day

T – Time of the year: May

A – Academic class or subject: Zoo and aquarium science

N – Noise I hear: Birds in the spring

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Mingming Zhou

My SPARTAN Self

By Mingming Zhou
Published on: October 1st, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

S – Spot: The trail behind the main library, the children's garden and the botanical garden

P – Person/People: My friends, my mentors and my advisers (Arslan, Alaa, Stephen, Bristol, Kevin, Nhi, Teja, Sandy, Charisma, Jiyoon)

A – Activity: The International Student Associaton Valentine's Day Ball and alternative spring break every year

R – Ritual or tradition: The midnight scream before finals

T – Time of the year: Sophomore year, the year I lived in Shaw

A – Academic class or subject: Math classes

N – Noise I hear: Fight songs and the cheering sound from football games

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Zachary DeRade

The amazing support of student groups

By Zachary DeRade
Published on: September 26th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

I was the first person in my family to come to college and not join the Air Force, so when I arrived at MSU, I knew I would have to figure some things out on my own. I was fortunate enough that my partner, Justin, had been at MSU for a few years before me, but it would still take some work on my end. One thing Justin had told me about was the various student groups on campus I could get involved with. He knew that I was very involved in high school and would probably like these opportunities. He also told me of the LGBT caucuses I could get involved with. Since I was coming from a small, homogenous town devoid of such groups, I was excited to learn more about them. That year, I ended up joining the East Neighborhood LGBT caucus, Spectrum, and became their Residence Halls Association representative. Little did I know that joining this one group would forever shape my experiences at MSU.

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Lexis Zeidan

My SPARTAN Self

By Lexis Zeidan
Published on: September 23th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

S – Spot: The botanical gardens

P – Person/People: All my Spartans

A – Activity: Attending football games and participating in Destination Detroit events

R – Ritual or tradition: Changing my porch light bulb to green during homecoming week

T – Time of the year: Summer

A – Academic class or subject: All sociology classes

N – Noise I hear: Spartan Stadium chanting "Go Green! Go White!"

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Jessica Pedersen

My SPARTAN Self

By Jessica Pedersen
Published on: September 23th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

S – Spot: By the Red Cedar behind the Hannah Administration Building

P – Person/People: My West Circle RA family

A – Activity: Planning events with MSU Women's Alliance

R – Ritual or tradition: Sparty pictures

T – Time of the year: August/September when everybody's coming back

A – Academic class or subject: Constitutional law, Media Law and Ethics

N – Noise I hear: The Beaumont Tower bells

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Jessica Pedersen

President's Reception: an unforgettable experience

By Jessica Pedersen
Published on: September 18th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog
Jessica

This week the other Homecoming Court members and I had the amazing opportunity to attend the President's Reception at Cowles House. It was a truly inspiring experience and something I'll never forget.

Going into the event, I had mixed feelings. This is my fourth year living in West Circle, so I've walked past Cowles House hundreds of times. I was super excited to finally be able to go in there and see for myself what it looked like. I was also looking forward to seeing all of the other court members again.

Despite this, I was still really, really nervous. I knew this was an event where there would be a lot of mingling with really important people - President Simon was going to be there! - and to be perfectly honest, I was really scared of saying something embarrassing or doing something wrong.

Of course, as soon as I walked up to Cowles House, I knew right away that I had nothing to be worried about. It was so exciting to get to meet the guests and mentors the other court members invited, and introduce myself to some very exceptional and important people here at MSU. Everybody was incredibly nice and easy to talk to.

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Audrey Mabiza

Homecoming and the international student

By Audrey Mabiza
Published on: September 17th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog
Audrey driving a boat

Audrey Mabiza is originally from Harare, Zimbabwe.

If you were to ask me what exactly MSU homecoming is and what it entails, I would deliver the most eloquent spiel that would blow both you and me away. The reason it would blow me away is that if you were to ask me about Homecoming three years ago I would stare at you with a blank face and answer, "I...am...not...quite...sure." This is a response that I think that most international students can identify with. If you are an international student and you are reading this I must congratulate you on discovering the MSU homecoming website! Knowing about homecoming could be that difference in your MSU career.

At this point you are probably wondering, "What is homecoming?"

Well I like to think of it this way: homecoming is a time when MSU alumni, current Spartans and future Spartans come together and celebrate being a Spartan. Some of the main events that surround homecoming are the football game, the parade, the Green and White Brunch and the college tailgates. This is a time to make connections! This is a time to celebrate achievements! This is a time to reminisce!

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Craig Pearson

My SPARTAN Self

By Craig Pearson
Published on: September 16th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

S – Spot: The map library

P – Person/People: My research mentors and fellow undergraduate researchers in the lab

A – Activity: Running along the river, reading in places both new and old and writing in creative writing workshops with fellow English majors

R – Ritual or tradition: Watching the marching band play and march into the football games

T – Time of the year: The last day of August

A – Academic class or subject: Neurobiology

N – Noise I hear: Birds chirping and rivers running

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Janisse Patino-Martinez

My SPARTAN Self

By Janisse Patino-Martinez
Published on: September 16th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

S – Spot: Spartan Stadium

P – Person/People: Sparty! Scott Westerman and Jodi Roberto Hancock

A – Activity: Being part of the Women's Initiative for Leadership Development

R – Ritual or tradition: Taking a picture with Sparty every year

T – Time of the year: Fall

A – Academic class or subject: Public relations

N – Noise I hear: Beaumont Tower bells

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Audrey Mabiza

My SPARTAN Self

By Audrey Mabiza
Published on: September 9th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

S – Spot: My room, my floor, the tennis courts, the Engineering Building, Beaumont Tower

P – Person/People: My friends, my OCAT family

A – Activity: Drinking tea and catching up with friends, reading in my room, writing poetry

R – Ritual or tradition: My pre-finals/finals week tradition, reading the One Book, One Community book and going to convocation

T – Time of the year: Any time when there is no snow on the ground and the sun is out

A – Academic class or subject: Chemical Engineering Separations

N – Noise I hear: The Beaumont Tower clock and the sounds of the train

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Zachary DeRade

My SPARTAN Self

By Zachary DeRade
Published on: September 9th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

S – Spot: The woodlot behind Holmes and McDonel Halls

P – Person/People: My RHA family, my wonderful Shaw staff, Mathias Koller and my two favorite professors, Dr. Fata-Hartley and Dr. Montgomery

A – Activity: Residence Hall Association.

R – Ritual or tradition: The drag show

T – Time of the year: Fall

A – Academic class or subject: The History, Philosophy and Sociology of Gender and Evolution.

N – Noise I hear: The beautiful and natural silence in the woods

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Mairin Chesney

My SPARTAN Self

By Mairin Chesney
Published on: September 5th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

S – Spot: The Michigan 4-H Children's Gardens - so many memories

P – Person/People: Sparty, of course! Drew Kim, Bess German, Teresa Vandersloot and all my wonderful friends have also made my Spartan experience better

A – Activity: Football and sitting by the Red Cedar talking with a friend

R – Ritual or tradition: I love the One Book, One Community program

T – Time of the year: Fall when the trees turn colors

A – Academic class or subject: CSE476 - Android Application Development

N – Noise I hear: Cheers from Spartan Stadium

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Kara Brewer

My SPARTAN Self

By Kara Brewer
Published on: September 5th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

S – Spot: The Beal Botanical Garden

P – Person/People: Alternative Spartan Break family, Spartan Marching Band, family and friends

A – Activity: Spartan Marching Band

R – Ritual or tradition: Doing the series with the Spartan Marching Band

T – Time of the year: The fall, football season and marching band season

A – Academic class or subject: International relations

N – Noise I hear: The Spartan Marching Band practicing

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Lexis Zeidan

Welcome class of 2017!

By Lexis Zeidan
Published on: August 28th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog
Lexis sitting infront of The White House

"If I could write a letter to me, and send it back in time to myself at 17; first I'd prove it's me by saying look under your bed..."

Hold up, Lexi you could write a letter to yourself, but instead, let's write a letter to MSU's incoming freshmen.

Thanks for the inspiration, Brad Paisley.

First and foremost, welcome class of 2017! If you have not officially been dubbed a Spartan, I dub you one via this blog post. You're part of the Green and White family and there is nothing (at least not yet) you should be more proud of!

So, freshmen:

As I type, I sit in my room replaying the same song "One Moment in Time" over and over again. I reflect on the line, "Each day I live, I want to be, a day to give the best of me. I'm only one, but not alone; my finest day is yet unknown."

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Kara Brewer

Pentwater Homecoming

By Kara Brewer
Published on: August 19th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog
3 homecoming court members holding banner

Pentwater has an abundance of enthusiastic and devoted Michigan State alumni. Each year, the city of Pentwater hosts a parade and Spartans young and old use the small town's celebration to show off their Spartan pride. The Homecoming Court was invited to participate in the events and I jumped at the opportunity to show my spirit with fellow Spartans.

I was very excited for the day and left early to ensure I wouldn't be late to the event. I ended up arriving to the first event, a breakfast at an alumnus' house, about 45 minutes before my peers. Not knowing a single person at the party, I parked my car and nervously approached the group already at the event. Immediately all of my nerves subsided as I was welcomed graciously to the party simply because I was wearing green and white. Even though I hadn't known a single person, it was if we had all been friends for years.

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Elliot Zirulnik

Studying abroad: Twice the fun

By Elliot Zirulnik
Published on: August 5th, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

2013-14 Homecoming Court ambassador Elliot Zirulnik is participating in his second study abroad trip while at MSU. He shares what his experiences living and learning abroad have been like.

I am one of a very fortunate few students who have participated in two study abroad programs during their time at MSU. Every time I think about the locations I have visited and the unforgettable sights I have seen, a wave of awe, gratitude, and disbelief runs through my body. Most spectacularly of all, nearly all of my expenses have been covered by scholarships!

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Janisse Patino-Martinez

I did it!

By Janisse Patino-Martinez
Published on: June 3rd, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

Four years ago I made a commitment to myself that one day I will be on the Michigan State Homecoming Court. There are about 48,000 students at MSU, and four years ago I began the journey to distinguish myself, achieve this goal and - most importantly - enjoy the ride.

I am a first-generation college student and a daughter of a single immigrant mother. I was born and raised in the beautiful Miami and came all the way to MSU for a brighter future. You see, in my family the women marry young and take charge of the household. MSU gave me the opportunity to change that trend and further my education. I now have aspirations to make a positive impact anywhere I go and take steps to better myself as an individual. I am determined to showcase what MSU is all about - giving students like me life-changing opportunities.

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Homecoming Court

By Jennifer Orlando
Published on: May 10, 2013 | Posted in: Homecoming Blog

Ambassadors, who were endorsed by an individual or an organization, were chosen through a highly selective process. The students were evaluated based on his or her leadership, community involvement, academic excellence and Spartan pride.

The students will begin their duties as ambassadors this summer, as they will represent the MSU student body at various alumni, community and university engagements. They will continue their commitment through the 2013-14 school year.

During homecoming week, Oct. 7-12, court ambassadors will attend many functions, including the parade on Oct. 11 and the football game on Oct. 12.

Meet your 2013-2014 MSU Homecoming Court and follow their Spartan journeys.

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