The State – 02/01/23

Rachel Fulton

Happy February! Today’s weather forecast is predicting partly cloudy with a high of 26 degrees and a low of 17 degrees.

Trust, transparency, transformative leadership: Vassar shares goals for term as board

At the end of 2022, the MSU Board of Trustees left campus in the wake of several no-confidence votes from students and faculty, a presidential resignation, a trustee resignation and admissions of distrust within the board. Newly-elected board chair Rema Vassar, who took over the position of chair on Jan. 11, said restoring trust and transparency is her first priority.

With two new board members, Dennis Denno and Sandy Pierce, Vassar said she is optimistic about a fresh start. The board will also begin professional development, which Vassar hopes will be “the glue that brings (the board) together.”

Vassar said she will be responsive to concerns around issues that happened outside of her term as chair or as a trustee.

She also said establishing better working relationships within the board is essential to the work she wants to accomplish as chair. Her goal is to provide “transformative leadership” to the entire Spartan community.

One of Vassar’s larger goals as chair is to bring rural and urban students together for a “cross-cultural experience.” She envisions an on-campus experience for eighth through tenth grade students to encourage their potential.

Overall, she hopes to use this opportunity to empower others during her two year term as chair.

Broadway musical ‘Jagged Little Pill’ coming to the Wharton Center

“Jagged Little Pill” has come to the Wharton Center as of yesterday and will be here through Sunday, Feb. 5. The musical is centered around the idea of the imperfect Healy family as they deal with tribulations presented by modern-day struggles.

“Jagged Little Pill” is a jukebox musical; its namesake an album by Canadian-American singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette.

Lani Corson, who plays the role of Mary Jane Healy, describes the story of “Jagged Little Pill” as surrounding a “seemingly perfect family who is actually dealing with a myriad of issues.”

Corson said the musical touches on several topics that are relevant in today’s society.

In addition to playing the role of Mary Jane Healy, Corson also participates in the production as an ensemble cast member.

Corson said being a member of the ensemble cast involves “being an integral part of the storytelling. Members of the ensemble are known as the “conscience” of the performance, she said.

Corson takes on the roles that lean “more on the comedic side” as an ensemble member. In order to accomplish this, she said she must find the voices and mannerisms of each of her characters.

Corson hopes the audience will see themselves in the characters portrayed in the musical.

Those who are looking to buy tickets can find them on the Wharton Center website.

MSU names Wilson Centennial Farms as 2023 Dairy Farm of the Year

The MSU Department of Animal Science will be presenting its 2023 Dairy Farm of the Year Award this upcoming Friday. This year, the department has recognized Nancy and Brent Wilson of Wilson Centennial Farms as recipients of the award.

According to chairperson of the Department of Animal Science Cathy Ernst, the selection begins with a competitive nomination process, during which people on and off campus may nominate farms they feel represent the best of Michigan.

Wilson Centennial Farms is a seventh generation family farm with Brent and Nancy Wilson being the fifth generation. They have two sons, Tyler and Ben, who are set to continue managing the farm in the years to come.

Brent Wilson said the history of the farm reaches back to 1851 when his great great grandfather came from Portage County, Ohio and officially established Wilson Centennial Farms. Over the years, the family has continued to expand the farm and its scope of success.

Beyond individual farm success, the Wilsons have also opened their farm to many MSU students and researchers, providing opportunities for internships, research and more.

The award is set to be given on Feb. 3 in Mount Pleasant at the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference, where Brent and Nancy Wilson will be in attendance to receive it.

Based on original reporting by Vivian Barrett, Jaden Beard and Siya Modi.