Some people think of January 1st as the start of a new year. I consider the last week of August, when students and faculty launch another school year, to be the real New Year's. And, this is absolutely my favorite time of the year. All you need to do is walk the halls to feel the excitement and energy that comes with all the fresh faces and ideas among the students and faculty. This year, we also have some fresh paint, carpet (yes, we are replacing the 30-year-old carpet!) and new furnishings in the mix.
In recognition that the pulse of this college comes from our students, we are launching some new, cool student space in the building! In early September, we will host the official opening of "The Avenue" on the first floor of the CAS building. "The Avenue" runs along the west corridor of the CAS building and is home to an array of space dedicated to our undergraduates. They access advising off "The Avenue," as well as career services and internship consultation. In addition, we have added comfortable spaces for student collaboration. With financial support from Microsoft and super star alumni Craig Murray, CAS students helped design these great new spaces.
CAS has a great reputation for attracting and graduating amazingly creative students who now shape the landscape of many business sectors and nonprofits around the world. Until now, however, we haven’t had dedicated, prime space right on the main floor for students to get together after class and hammer out that next big idea.
To celebrate the opening of "The Avenue," undergrad associate dean Dr. Janet Lillie and the talented Advising and Career Services staff are hosting an event for CAS undergraduates on Thursday, Sept. 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students, come walk along "The Avenue" for a "progressive munchies crawl,” including popcorn, mini-sub sandwiches and cookies, depending on where and when you visit different areas within the west corridor. We want to make sure our students know that the people, resources and space in this area are here to make their experience at CAS more meaningful and productive.
Another exciting renovation underway is the CAS website. It, too, is undergoing a major facelift, putting a much stronger emphasis on better serving prospective and current students, as well as alumni who want to stay better connected with the college and your MSU friends. The new site, which will be gradually rolled out over the next few months, will also feature a core area with timely postings by and for students. A team of student interns are designing this virtual space and having a blast doing so. We are moving into the “testing” phase now, so stay tuned!
The most essential ingredient of a world-class education is first and foremost the caliber of faculty who teach, mentor and open minds and doors for our students. As CAS has evolved and substantially increased its emphasis on health and risk communication, emerging technology and its quality-of-life implications at the interpersonal level, on society and internationally, funding for faculty-led research has substantially increased.
That translates into extraordinary new opportunities for our graduate and undergraduate students to participate in cutting-edge research and applications. It also requires an intensified level of recruiting for faculty who are involved in leading research and also share our passion for creative approaches to teaching and learning.
We have eight new faculty joining the CAS team this school year along with a new chair for the Communication department. In the next year, we will be striving to fill an additional 15 new faculty positions.
As you read the profiles about new faculty in the accompanying article, I hope you agree that we are building on CAS’ legacy of pioneering communication research and education, and taking the college to a new level of excellence.
I encourage you to reach out to new students, faculty and staff, and help make them feel a part of the Spartan family!
Please join me in wishing the entire CAS team a fantastic year ahead—GO GREEN!
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