I have some exciting news to share with you. In 2016, Michigan State University (MSU) created the MSU Distinguished Partnership Awards to recognize highly engaged and scholarly community-based work that creates positive change in the community and in scholarship. I am honored to be the recipient of the MSU Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Service. On February 21, 2017, I received this award for my work with building a statewide research network based on community engagement. The award honored almost a decade of my work with community partners to build a statewide network for the MSU College of Human Medicine and to bring together health-focused professionals from the university with communities across Michigan.
I am proud of my work, but I feel that this is only the beginning. My vision for my role in MSU Extension is to increase our networks and partnerships across the state, and I am committed to working alongside you as you do the same. We are all important in seeking out and bringing together partners to serve Michigan residents. Your role as boots on the ground in our communities is absolutely essential. Your work to make strategic connections and grow relationships is a core component of our ability to meet community needs.
In reflecting on my award, I remember what Mother Theresa once said: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Each of us has an important role to play in creating ripples across our state to nourish and grow our communities. We can build strong networks together.