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Spartan Newsletter | May 2015



Thank You for Participating in a Global Day of Service

The MSU Alumni Association wants to thank the thousands of people who contributed to the recent SPARTANS WILL. POWER A Global Day of Service. Together you helped us clean beaches, plant gardens, feed the hungry and tear down blighted buildings, making our communities stronger.

Check out the photos of the extraordinary impact Spartans made in a single day and be sure to save the date for next year’s event, to be held April 16, 2016.

Get Ready for the Trip of a Lifetime: Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands

Join MSU Professor Dr. Alan Prather and the MSU Alumni Association on an adventure in which you will experience two of South America’s treasures–the enigmatic ruins at Machu Picchu and the fascinating Galapagos Islands. The excursion is offered through the association's travel program.
The trip will run from Nov. 24 through Dec. 8. Costs begin at $7,393 per person, including airfare from various gateway cities. 
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.

Join MSU Alumni and Indulge Your Pacific Dreams of the Tahitian Islands

Experience one of the world’s most exotic journeys to the dreamy islands of the South Pacific. Savor the vanilla-scented air on the Sacred Island of Raiatea, visit the coral gardens and flawless beaches of Bora Bora and see the deep bays and majestic waterfalls of Nuku Hiva.
The trip will run from Jan. 25 through Feb. 4. Costs start at $3,999 per person, including airfare from various gateway cities. 
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.

Help Those Worldwide: Join Spartans Without Borders

Show the world that you’re a Spartan leader, problem solver and game changer this year by working alongside Spartans Without Borders. Spartans Without Borders has volunteer projects around the globe in such communities as Rome, Italy; Merida, Mexico; and San Ignacio, Belize.

Visit to learn how you can make a difference.

Learn from MSU Coaches and Leaders How To Build Winning Teams

Ever wonder how Spartan coaches like Tom Izzo and Suzy Merchant are able to build successful programs year after year? They’ll share their tips at this year’s Building Winning Teams: A Quest for Excellence workshop. 
From June 2-4, they’ll work alongside MSU faculty to help participants become better leaders, decision makers and managers. The popular program will take place in The James B. Henry Center for Executive Development in Lansing. 
Those in organizations, businesses and other ventures can cultivate their abilities to promote accountability, encourage creativity and manage conflicts.
For more information, or to register, visit the Building Winning Teams website.

Spartans on the Move

Spartan's First Cookbook Inspired by Her Lebanese-American Upbringing

When chef and CNN personality Anthony Bourdain praises a new cookbook, you know it must be special. Well, he did exactly that after seeing Rose Water and Orange Blossoms, the first such book from Michigan State graduate Maureen Abood. What’s more, Publishers Weekly calls it one of the top 10 cookbooks for spring.
Imagine pomegranates and pistachios. Floral waters and cinnamon. Bulgur wheat, lentils and succulent lamb. These and other lush flavors were ever present when Abood, who is Lebanese-American, was growing up. 
Now, the foods that sustained her family are highlighted in her first cookbook. It is filled with easy-to-follow fresh and classic recipes and includes beautiful photographs. Throughout the book, Abood sprinkles stories about her culinary mentors, from grandparents to parents, and cousins to aunts.
Foodies can meet her in person at several upcoming book signings.
Abood earned an MA in English from the MSU College of Arts and Letters in 1992.

New Book Explains Everything Freshmen Need to Know About College

But are afraid to ask

Know someone about to head off to college? You'll want to share a new book by Gina DeLapa. Stuff You Already Know: And Every College Student Should, tackles everything from choosing a major to knowing when to ditch your roommate.

Some of these insights are serious, some of them are funny and some are just plain random. One's college years can be  filled with promise and excitement—or filled with frustration and missed opportunities—depending on your choices.

DeLapa's  how-to handbook aims to give newbies a head start and set them up for success in their academic endeavors. She earned a BA from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, with a major in advertising, in 1987.

Spartan Pens Novel about Notre Dame's Iconic Chaplain

Late, beloved Father James Riehle influenced generations of collegians

Holy Smokes: Golden Guidance From Championship's Chaplain, captures the life of Notre Dame's late priest Father James Riehle. 
Paul Dykewicz, the book's author, notes that the Rev. Riehle “never threw a touchdown pass, scored a game-winning goal or called a play to set up a buzzer-beating basket. However he had a unique role of serving as a confidant, adviser and motivational force to those who attained high levels of success. And endured the criticism that can accompany public failure.”
The novel includes tales of Riehle’s influence on football and basketball players as well as students across campus. Among the sports figures singing the novel's accolades are: Ara Parseghian, former Notre Dame football coach; Joe Theismann, former Notre Dame and Super Bowl-winning Washington Redskin; Dick Vitale, ESPN basketball analyst; and Richard "Digger" Phelps, former Notre Dame basketball coach.
Dykewicz earned an MA from the MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences, majoring in journalism in 1986. He works for Crain Communications in Washington, D.C. 

Chris Berggren releases his new book

MSU graduate Chris Berggren just released his new book Badlands Basketball. It's a fictional and sometimes humorous story told by the new coach at South Dakota Tech, which has the single worst Division 1 record in NCAA history.

The fictional coach, Jimmy Dowkens, paints the picture: "The problem with coaching at South Dakota Tech is that you're automatically in a hole--the second you take the job there's a slow ticking sound over your shoulder...(Meanwhile) my marriage has fallen apart, I'm clearly not where I envisioned myself--and yet I'm doing what I love...and better yet...I've got nothing to lose." 

Basketball fans may want to add this book to their spring reading list. Berggren earned a BA from the College of Social Sciences, majoring in political science, in 1994. 

Sports News

MSU Student-Athletes Honored at Annual Academic Excellence Gala

Spartan student-athletes were recently honored at the 18th annual Spartan Academic Excellence Gala in the Breslin Center. The event is sponsored by Michigan State's Student-Athlete Support Services and recognizes academic achievements.
Student-athletes with at least a sophomore academic standing and a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA were honored, as well as a number of individual award winners who excelled not only in the classroom, but in other endeavors as well. In all, 322 student-athletes were honored, the most ever in the event's history.
This year's distinguished keynote speaker was Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. A native of Holland, he finished his career as Michigan State's all-time record holder in passing touchdowns, completions, passing efficiency, total offense and 200-yard passing games.
Cousins was one of MSU's most involved student-athletes. He volunteered at the pediatric ward at Sparrow Hospital and the Sparrow Children's Miracle Network Telethon. In addition, he was the 2012 MSU recipient of the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor.
Dr. Bruce and Linda Cohen hosted the celebration. See the full story and a photo gallery.