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Michigan State University

From the President - Spring 2022

Spartans Serve

Another successful academic year is behind us, including the graduation of more than 9,200 undergraduate and graduate degree-earners. They move on to the next chapter in their lives equipped with the skills and the determination to be contributors and leaders in their communities and beyond.

This commitment to service is part of what makes us Spartans, a legacy that is acknowledged in our MSU 2030 strategic plan. It is a recurring theme in recognitions given to our outstanding students, faculty and staff. It is reflected in our ranking by U.S. News & World Report—No. 2 among public universities— for service learning. And in this issue, we meet a number of Spartans who represent our engaged and giving spirit.

Service to our communities, such as that pursued for more than a century by MSU Extension, is a deliberate expression of the university’s mission statement to advance outreach, engagement and economic development activities that are innovative, research-driven and lead to a better quality of life.

The amount of service-oriented education, research and outreach at MSU is truly impressive, as are the people who do it. Those who attended our Winter University sessions in Florida earlier this year heard several undergraduate students speak about their experiences. One of them, Mariam Sayed, delivered the April Board of Trustees meeting research presentation focusing on her work aimed at enhancing non-speaking autistic individuals’ ability to communicate.

Service expectations today are built into many of our colleges’ programs, and opportunities for service across the university are facilitated through the MSU Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL), which has been preparing students for lifelong civic and social responsibility for over 50 years. Even in the pandemic-influenced 2020–2021 academic year, the CCEL reported more than 20,200 student community-engaged learning registrations.

It was my pleasure again this spring to congratulate MSU’s 10 Community Engagement Scholars Program (CESP) participants, who are connected to community organizations by the CCEL. The CESP is a supervised service-learning program sponsored in part by my office. This year, students were placed in organizations in Lansing and Detroit, and I’m proud of their good work.

As you will read in the following pages, the spirit of service lives strongly in Spartans’ hearts. I salute all those who engage in making a positive difference.

Go Green!

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.

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