College Saddened by Passing of Long-Serving Faculty Member

The College of Arts & Letters is saddened by the passing of one of its longest-serving faculty members, former Associate Professor of Philosophy, James Roper, who retired from Michigan State University in May 2018 at the age of 79 after a 54-year career with the University. Roper died on October 16, 2020. He was 82 years old.  Joining MSU’s Department…

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Emergency Response Archive of Puerto Rico Receives Mellon Foundation Grant

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Michigan State University a $325,000 grant to support the first phase of the “Emergency Response Archive of Puerto Rico,” a digital open-access repository of Puerto Rican artifacts of disasters pertaining to Hurricane María (2017), the Guayanilla earthquakes (2020), and COVID-19 (2020). The project involves collaboration between MSU, the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras,…

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Humanities Commons Is Moving to Michigan State University

Michigan State University has taken over hosting and development of Humanities Commons, an online network for people working in the humanities. The site was launched by the Modern Language Association (MLA) in December 2016 and has become a key piece of online scholarly infrastructure with nearly 25,000 users. The transfer to MSU provides an institutional home that gives the platform…

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Putting Tests to the Test: Assessing High-Stakes Exams for Second Language Learners

While earning undergraduate degrees in French and Philosophy, Paula Winke was inspired to blend her interests in language learning, research, and social justice. Today, she’s an applied linguist, researching the ethics and effectiveness of foreign language testing as Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages and Director of the Second Language Studies Program Winke works in foreign language…

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Closing the Health Care Gap Through Patient Engagement, Partnership

Michigan State University researchers have been awarded a $3.75 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for research focused on decreasing cardiovascular disease risk morbidity and mortality for minority and low-income populations with diabetes mellitus.  Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related morbidity and mortality. The researchers have found that better patient engagement and communication between patients and physicians may…

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Studying How COVID Pandemic Is Affecting Language Change

COVID-19 has had a major impact on people around the world, but how is the pandemic changing our language and the way we communicate? That is the question being studied by a team of researchers at Michigan State University, led by Associate Professor Suzanne Wagner and Assistant Professor Betsy Sneller. The MI COVID Diaries project, run by MSU’s Sociolinguistics Lab, has been…

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Learning While Meeting Community Needs for Mental Health Resource

Lorelei Blackburn wants her students to do more than simply read, complete assignments, and take tests.  Each semester, the Assistant Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures personalizes the learning experience for her students by pairing classwork with community-based projects. Last fall, a chance encounter led Blackburn to the perfect student opportunity as well as for MSU researchers involved in an ongoing mental…

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Examining the Power of Pop Culture to Shape Perception, Issues, and Trends

Kinitra Brooks grew up connecting ideas, asking questions, and demanding the freedom to do so. Today, the Associate Professor in MSU’s Department of English continues to push boundaries through her study of Black women, genre fiction, popular culture, and the work of conjure women as intellectual history. “Basically, I teach and research Black women creating weird stuff,” Brooks said. “That includes Black women…

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