Volume 14 - Issue 2 - Home Page

Message from the Interim Associate Provost

Laurie Van Egeren, Interim Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement

MSU's 2030 Strategic Plan Strengthens Commitment to Community Engagement

Dear Engaged Spartans and our partners in Michigan and around the world,

At the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year, Michigan State University unveiled a bold new vision in the MSU 2030 Strategic Plan.

Twenty months in the making, the ambitious plan launches MSU on a trajectory that will expand opportunity, advance equity, elevate excellence, strengthen community, and foster stewardship. Far from mere visionary rhetoric, the MSU 2030 Strategic Plan, conceived by a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, administrators, and trustees, lays out specific, tangible ways in which MSU will enact these qualities across its mission.

The MSU 2030 Strategic Plan identifies six themes: student success; staff and faculty success; innovation for global impact; sustainable health; stewardship and sustainability; and diversity, equity, and inclusion ... Read more

Featured MSU Engaged Scholars

Ph.D. student, Garrett Weidig, demonstrates new wheelchair capabilities in Bush's mechanical engineering lab

Wheelchair Users Find Relief with MSU Professor's Innovation

For individuals who are wheelchair dependent, pressure injuries are common and can be a major deterrent to enjoying a high quality of life. These injuries are typically caused by a constant force being applied to the skin and tissues beneath the skin. In collaboration with individuals affected by these injuries, Tamara Reid Bush, professor and interim chairperson of MSU's Department of Mechanical Engineering, and her research team are using their knowledge of biomechanical design to create a wheelchair to ultimately prevent these life-threatening wounds from ever forming.

Before delving into the redesign of wheelchairs, Bush and her team were first approached by Adient, formerly Johnson Controls, a leading maker of innovative automotive seating ...


With libraries hosting AI literacy programs, underserved youth will learn about the fundamentals of AI and envision how AI can benefit local industries.

The Future Workplace: Youth Learn to Work with AI

Human-robot interaction has long been an interest of Hee Rin Lee, assistant professor with the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU. For Lee, the concept of positively combining human work with artificial intelligence (AI) through the use of robots, began while observing individuals in manufacturing plants. She found in these settings, robots have a high chance of replacing human workers, leaving production workers out of employment.

"Researchers in robotics are often intent on exploring the vast opportunities new technology can provide, but don't necessarily consider the potentiality of negative influences," Lee said. "My initial research focused on confronting detrimental consequences of new technologies on production workers." ...


Damon Ross, program officer at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and Lottie Ferguson, chief resilience officer for the City of Flint, network at a Flint Leverage Points Project community event.

Tipping Points to Leverage Points: Modeling Flint's Food Systems

Food agency—the ability to choose and acquire food that we like and that is healthy—is something many take for granted. But for some, enjoying a variety of food options may not be so easy. Lack of access, availability, resources, or transportation can cause some city residents to experience "food apartheid," a situation in which they are entrapped by dependence on emergency or supplemental food systems. For many urban areas, food access is an ongoing problem hovering at a tipping point.

Many local Flint experts, residents, and stakeholders are collaborating with a group of MSU researchers, led by Steven Gray, associate professor with the Department of Community Sustainability (CSUS), to discuss and model the city's food systems ...


Looking for Community Partners

Collaboration and partnership with communities are at the core of engaged scholarship. In all of its work, University Outreach and Engagement emphasizes university-community partnerships that are collaborative, participatory, empowering, systemic, transformative, and anchored in scholarship. If you are a faculty or academic staff member wanting to establish a community partnership, University Outreach and Engagement may be able to help you. Our staff and researchers have connections across the state in areas such as education, mental health, human services, business, and government. For more information, contact Burton Bargerstock, Executive Director of the Office for Public Engagement and Scholarship, at (517) 353-8977 or bb@msu.edu.


We would like to hear from you. Contact us with comments, suggestions, announcements, or "engaged scholar" project information for future e-newsletters. Send to: engaged.scholar@msu.edu.


MSU Graduate Certification in Community Engagement
This program prepares graduate students for careers that integrate scholarship with community engagement. It offers students a transcript notation indicating that they have completed the program.

Community Engagement Toolkits
Designed by the Center for Community Engaged Learning to guide and support MSU faculty, students, staff, and community partners.

Transformations in Higher Education: The Scholarship of Engagement Series
Available from Michigan State University Press

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