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Dean's Remarks

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Steven D. Hanson
Associate Provost and Dean


Building Beyond Tomorrow: 
MSU in the World

The world around us is changing rapidly. For every scientific and technological innovation that lifts the human spirit, there are pitfalls that test our humanity. But in the face of these grand challenges, our response is unwavering. My colleagues and I at MSU International Studies and Programs focus on the positives while diligently working to turn challenges into opportunities—not just for the university, but for the world.

How do we do that? By focusing on our world grant values—humility and hard work; seeking knowledge and solutions in collaboration with world-class faculty; a diverse community that includes thousands of international students and visiting scholars; and establishing relationships and partnerships in the far corners of the world.  

These values inform our approach and our work in the world around us. Our faculty, in collaboration with our global partners, are working on innovative solutions to solve today’s biggest problems. But we are also constantly looking to develop transdisciplinary solutions that will have lasting impacts and adaptability in this ever-changing and increasingly complex world.

Our global engagement is about looking beyond tomorrow. We’re taking on today’s big challenges with an eye on the future—focusing on building a world of sustainable, resilient communities that will thrive in the years and decades to come.

An initiative that exemplifies these values and approaches is The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, a $500 million, 10-year initiative of The MasterCard Foundation to educate and develop a cohort of next-generation leaders who are committed to giving back to their communities. Through this program, MSU and The MasterCard Foundation are equipping 185 young African scholars with skills and competencies—in disciplines ranging from communications arts to the agricultural sciences—that will enable them to spur economic growth and social development on the African continent.

Decades down the road, I envision MSU’s MasterCard Foundation scholars continuing to make lasting, meaningful contributions in Africa and around the world. ISP, within MSU, remains on the forefront of creating a greater impact on Africa with African input, expertise and leadership. In the coming months, I will share our plans for a new initiative supporting Africa’s transformation.  

I invite you to stay engaged with ISP and join us in building programs and initiatives that are helping us make an impact today, tomorrow, and beyond. 

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