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Dean's note: Feels like fall

September 28, 2022

We went from summer weather to the fall season with barely a moment’s notice. Although it is a bit jarring for me still when I step outside, I suspect the chill in the air won’t slow us down. Campus is full of activity and Case Hall is no exception.

I see evidence of this when I look at my calendar and when I walk through the hallways of the third floor. Flyers promoting events like the opening of the JMC Reading and Writing Center, the first meeting for the student group JMC Women of Color (WOC), a recruitment event for the JMC Human Rights Lab, information sessions for education abroad and academic majors…The list goes on.

After two years of mostly Zoom activities, it’s reassuring to see evidence of a more normal campus life. Although COVID isn’t going away, it is apparent we are adapting and discovering ways to reboot and recharge our residential community.

I continue to work toward striking a balance between the research I am doing, meetings with faculty and staff and attending special events like the MSU Investiture for Endowed Faculty that was held on September 14 at Wharton Center and the MSU Alumni Grand Awards ceremony last week. James Madison alumnus Howard Akumiah received a Young Alumni Award. Seeing so many Spartans recognized for their contributions to the university and making great strides in their careers is inspiring.

I have no doubt I will feel similarly when I attend my first Green and White Gala in Washington D.C. later this week. The event, hosted by D.C. Spartans, is a philanthropic event that raises funds for endowed scholarships and recognizes distinguished alumni.

While attending awards ceremonies and fundraisers is helpful as I continue to gain institutional knowledge about the university, one of the events I most enjoy is my monthly lunch(es) with students in Case Hall.

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with some first- and second-year students who are members of JMC Student Senate. I love their enthusiasm and tenacity. Listening to students discuss ways to improve the living-learning experience and troubleshoot ways to enact change gives me needed insight about what is on their minds and how to better serve the college as a whole.

Next month, I look forward to even more opportunities to meet with students and alumni as we celebrate Homecoming. If you haven’t registered for JMC’s Homecoming Tailgate, be sure to do so. Also, our Fall Visit Days for prospective students and families begin October 14. Spread the word and GO GREEN!

Cameron Thies

Dean and MSU Foundation Professor