W. Scott Westerman III 2017-07-24 00:20:27
WONDER WOMEN I vividly remember sitting across from Spartan Geoff Johns—who helms DC Entertainment—at an L.A. restaurant as he talked about his wildly successful film Wonder Woman. “Women were born to be superheroes,” he said. “Their stories inspire us all.” He’s right. There are hundreds of Spartan women writing inspiring chapters in MSU’s encyclopedia of accomplishments. Some are well-known on campus. Two great women leaders helm the university. President Lou Anna K. Simon, the first female to lead MSU, is a role model for generations of those who aspire to advance knowledge and help unlock the secrets that lie at the end of the research rainbow. We also celebrate Provost June Pierce Youatt, whose passion is ensuring students receive high-quality, engaging, and inclusive learning experiences. Take faculty member Terrie Taylor, who’s working to eradicate malaria in Africa. And alumna Susan Packard, the force behind HGTV, now dedicated to helping other women succeed. Add Susan Goldberg, the first woman to edit National Geographic. I think about Spartan athletes like Pam Steckroat Treadway and Cheryl Gilliam. They are among the philanthropists ensuring future generations will be able to earn MSU degrees. There is Debbie Stabenow, the first woman in Michigan to be elected to the U.S. Senate. And MSUAA’s Sue Petrisin, the first woman ever to lead Kiwanis International. Let’s not forget others whose names you may not be familiar with. They include dedicated teachers like Ellen Closs-Sully and Terry Deniston. And Planned Parenthood’s dynamic Kelley Wall, Microsoft’s Betsy Weber, Airbnb sparkplug Megan Gebhart, and Jordyn Castor, who is enhancing accessibility at Apple. I think of my good friend, Traci Ruiz, who grew up in Lansing and protects its people today as a police officer. Katie Von Till has taken on the storied mantle as the voice of Disney’s Snow White in Hollywood. Merri Jo Bales spent a career guiding the strategic direction of Consumer’s Energy. Susi Elkins recently became head of broadcasting at WKAR radio and TV, as well as its interactive media channels. MSU has made it possible for countless gifted women to create and leave legacies. Paulette Granberry-Russell has spent nearly two decades expanding MSU’s commitment to inclusiveness as senior advisor to the president for diversity and director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. In an issue dedicated to Spartan Peace Corps volunteers, we celebrate some of the wonder women and super men who drank in classroom enlightenment, put what they learned to work, and helped create a better world for those who crossed their paths. W. Scott Westerman III Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations
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