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Coffee with the Profs

Cup of coffee with a notebook and pile of books

One of the MSU Alumni Office's long-standing featured offerings, the Coffee with the Profs series highlights research and work done by some of MSU’s finest faculty and staff. This lifelong education program is open to all. 

Things will be happening a little differently this fall as participants will not be joining us in person on campus. Instead, it’s a virtual experience that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Registration is now open.

    • For the Oct. 5 presentation – Register by Oct. 2
    • For the Oct. 12 presentation – Register by Oct. 7
    • For the Oct. 19 presentation –Register by Oct. 14
    • For the Oct. 26 presentation – Register by Oct. 21

New this fall, guests can register for individual presentations, as well as the series. Traditionally, we’ve only offered the program as a package deal.

For each presentation you register for, there will be a different link to join. You’ll receive an email with the link and password by the Wednesday prior to each presentation.

We strongly encourage you to submit your questions before the event. There will be an opportunity to ask questions live, but we may not have time to cover all questions. The best way to get your questions answered is to submit them in advance. Deadlines to submit questions for each session will be provided in the confirmation you receive when you register.

Fall Presentations

OCT. 5
MSU Sustainability in Action – Think, Act, Inspire
Amy Butler, director, Campus Sustainability and Laura Young, program coordinator, Campus Sustainability
In 2019, for the first time, MSU achieved a Gold Rating in sustainability from the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and was 19th in the Princeton Review’s Top 50 Green Colleges. These rankings reflect significant progress in the four pillars of MSU’s sustainability framework: campus, curriculum, community and culture. Learn more about MSU sustainability, where every student, faculty, staff and alumnus can contribute to sustaining future generations of Spartans.


OCT. 12
Journalism in the Crosshairs and at a Crossroads
Tim Vos, professor and director, School of Journalism
Journalists have long seen their profession as an essential feature of democratic life, providing an independent and authoritative source of information to citizens and policymakers. This commitment made journalism a powerful social force and an attractive profession to civically-minded persons. However, in the 21st century, journalism has faced significant disruptions, which have exposed journalism’s shortcomings and made it a target from all sides. For many, the need for good journalism is profoundly clear, but what constitutes good journalism is much less clear than what it once was. That’s left journalism and journalism education at a crossroads.


OCT. 19
Where Are Autonomous Vehicles Taking Us?
Mark Wilson, professor, School of Planning, Design and Construction
Autonomous vehicles are a disruptive technology that will bring change, good and bad, to our cities. One lesson from the past is not to leave preparation for technological change to the last minute but to be proactive about how we live in the future. To plan, we need to understand now how autonomous vehicles will affect our daily life in the future.


OCT. 26
Grayling in Michigan: Challenges in Species Reintroduction
Dan Hayes, professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Grayling were once one of the dominant fish in northern Michigan, but this species was lost from the state by the 1930s. Management agencies have tried multiple times to reintroduce this species, but all efforts so far have failed. We’ll explore the reasons Grayling went extinct, insights into impediments to reintroduction and current research exploring ways to enhance our chances for success.  


Archived Series

Several presentations from the series are livestreamed each semester. Check out our Livestream archive for past presentations that you can watch at any time.

For more information: If you have questions about the Coffee with the Profs program or would like to be added to the email list, please contact Elizabeth Wheeler via email or by calling (517) 884-2106.