News and Notes

Awards and Honors

Lou Anna K. SimonMSU President Lou Anna K. Simon received the 2017 John DiBiaggio Beacon Award for Presidential Leadership from Michigan Campus Compact (MiCC). The award honors a president or chancellor for his/ her significant contributions to the institutionalization of community engagement; inspiring a vision for service on the campus and supporting faculty, staff, students, and campus-community partnerships; and for outstanding participation and leadership within the MiCC network.


Hiram E. FitzgeraldHiram E. Fitzgerald was presented with the Michigan Campus Compact (MiCC) Lifetime Achievement Award during the annual MSU Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Awards ceremony in April. Fitzgerald is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology and Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement (UOE). The award recognizes both the body of work accomplished during an individual's career and the commitment and leadership that is demonstrated while doing it. The Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement and UOE have worked closely with MiCC to promote the education and commitment of Michigan college students to be civically engaged citizens.

University Outreach and Engagement received an Outstanding Contributions by a Unit award for 2016-2017 from the MSU Faculty Emeriti Association. The award recognizes an academic or support unit that does an outstanding job of creating opportunities for MSU faculty emeriti to participate in the life of the University.

New Ventures

MSU Museum PartnersThe MSU Museum has received a $100,000 planning grant from MSU's Alliance for African Partnership. In its first-ever grant competition, the Alliance selected the Museum's Ubuntu: Museums and Communities Connect project as one of 15 winning proposals that exemplify AAP's mission of effecting positive change in Africa. All proposals are led by teams that include both MSU faculty and partners from African organizations, and have the potential to create or build on long-term, sustainable collaborations. MSU partners include Marsha MacDowell, Kurt Dewhurst, Aleia Brown, and Tiffany Caesar. Partners at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, are Bongani Mgijima, Masa Soko, and Ulrich Wolff.

Marsha MacDowell, Mary Worrall, Lynne Swanson, and Beth Donaldson received the 2016 Elli Köngäs-Maranda Prize, given by the Women's Section of the American Folklore Society, for their book Quilts and Human Rights. In honor of pioneering scholar Elli Köngäs-Maranda, the prize recognizes superior work on women's traditional, vernacular, or local culture and/or feminist theory and folklore.

New Appointments

Mark AuslanderMark Auslander, a sociocultural anthropologist, has been appointed director of the Michigan State University Museum. Auslander comes to MSU from Central Washington University, where he oversaw the museum studies program and directed the university's Museum of Culture and Environment. He also served on the exhibition development core team for the Smithsonian National Museum for Natural History's permanent exhibition of the African Diaspora. His scholarly work includes papers on African witch-finding movements, Zulu iconography in global contexts, popular narratives of slavery in the rural American South, and "living history" reenactments of traumatic events, including lynchings and slave auctions. His book, The Accidental Slaveowner: Revisiting a Myth of Race and Finding an American Family, received two national academic awards.

Graham PierceGraham Pierce has been promoted to assistant director of Usability/ Accessibility Research and Consulting (UARC) at University Outreach and Engagement. Pierce has been instrumental in the success of UARC over the past several years, both on grants and on accessibility consulting projects, and has represented UARC on a variety of committees, advisory panels, and working groups inside and outside the University.