MSU Today with Russ White

Sundays at 4 p.m. on AM 870

MSU Today is a lively look at MSU-related people, places, events and attitudes put into focus by Russ White.  Conversations with Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis are featured, too.  And Dr. Kirk Heinze shares his sustainability-focused Greening of the Great Lakes conversations.  MSU Alumni Association leader Scott Westerman shares his observations on living the Spartan Life.

One major take away from the 2017 Energy Summit in Grand Rapids is increased optimism about Michigan’s energy future.  A summit feature is recognizing the winners of the Michigan Battle of the Buildings ‘Biggest Loser’ competition—building owners and operators who achieved significant energy reduction in 2016.  The competition is organized and hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council-West Michigan Chapter.


I recently caught up with Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon. She says MSU continues to work on travel, study, and research issues for its faculty and staff.

“Some of the logistics are being worked out,” she says. “And I think that we’re getting a little bit of smoothness in the entire system so that people feel some consistency. I think we’re in a calming period.”


Russ White

“Forty-seven years ago, on April 22, 1970, we celebrated the inaugural Earth Day, and the New York Times cover read:  “Millions Join Earth Day Observances Across the Nation.”  Closing in on five decades later, Earth Day is an international observance and global sustainability issues are constantly in the news,” Kirk Heinze says on Greening of the Great Lakes as he convenes his annual Earth Day panel discussion.


Russ White

Back at the helm of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources after a demanding tenure leading the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Director Keith Creagh and Kirk Heinze resumed their annual conversation on a variety of salient natural resources-related topics.  And as our conversation unfolded, I got the distinct impression he is very pleased to be back ‘home’ at the DNR.


Russ White

Food for Thought is a show about starting or changing the conversation about hunger and food security within the state of Michigan,” Phillip Knight tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “We believe we can be the first state in the entire U.S. to solve hunger.”


Russ White

Michigan State University has launched a “MSU Mobility” initiative which has a number of components but an overarching goal of safety.


Russ White

“Supply chain, particularly from a Michigan State perspective, means the end to end movement of product from the raw material from a mine or the ocean, through all the production processes, and to the consumer,” Professor David Closs tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “And increasingly today with the greening of the economy, we also deal with recycling and returning those products.


Russ White

The Michigan potato industry accounts for about 3,400 jobs and an approximately $550 million annual contribution to the state’s economy.  And, according to Mike Wenkel, manager of the Potato Growers of Michigan, producers are increasingly committed to wise water management and soil health to ensure the long-term vitality of the industry.


Recommendations show the way to more recycling

Apr 3, 2017

Two recent reports have major implications for increasing Michigan’s recycling rate while decreasing solid waste in our landfills.  Kirk Heinze discusses these reports, recommendations and key next steps with Kerrin O’Brien, executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition, on Greening of the Great Lakes.


Over the eight years Greening of the Great Lakes has aired, we have remained largely steadfast in our efforts to educate, not advocate.  However, controversies occasionally arise which are so fundamentally deleterious to our sustainability ethos that it is morally imperative we take a strong position.  Such is the case with the Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposal calling for the elimination of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).


MSU Today | March 26, 2017

Mar 26, 2017

Kirk Heinze catches up with MSU’s internationally renowned Dr. Mona.  Also, the greening of Ford’s supply chain, our dynamic forest and lumber industry, an effort to enlighten more of us on where our food comes from, and how to earn a Governor’s Energy Excellence Award.


Jeana-Dee Allen

Michigan State University alumnus Mike Mordell is executive vice president for international operations for Universal Forest Products International, a Universal Forest Products company.  He says the lumber industry features a dynamic supply chain and that the business operates a lot like the stock market.


Corporate Responsibility Puts Ford Among World’s Most Ethical Companies for Eighth Straight Year

With its focus on being a good corporate citizen, Ford Motor Company has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute for the eighth straight year – the longest streak for any auto manufacturer.


“I have the honor of seeing our Flint kids almost every day in clinic, and they’re amazing,” Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “They are smart, they are strong, they are bright, they’re resilient and they’re brave. They appear to be doing well, but time will tell. Our work in Flint is really just beginning.”


Enbridge officials attended a meeting in Lansing on March 13 to try to assuage fears and concerns about the company's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. Valerie Brader is executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy and co-chair of the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board.


Pages