Podcasts and Videos

Charles Ballard, MSU Economist, Weighs in on GOP Tax Plan


Ballard says he believes President Donald Trump’s proposed tax plan would not be a good replacement to the current system. According to him, the plan would hurt Michigan by eliminating deductions for state and local taxes. But it would also benefit wealthier taxpayers the most.

To listen to the interview, click here


MSU Archives Detail Close Relationship with South Vietnam in 1950's

6-20-13D8-111-A001793 (1).jpg

Years before the escalation, Michigan State University became very close with the South Vietnamese government. An archive at MSU containing 80,000 documents -- including papers, film and pictures contains the information. 

Click here to listen to WKAR's Reginald Hardwick interview about the MSU Vietnam Archives project

WKAR’s Reginald Hardwick talked with Cynthia Ghering, director of the MSU archives and professor Dr. Charles Keith, a modern Vietnam historian.

Dr. Keith started off by talking about MSU professor Dr. Wesley Fishel, a close friend and consultant to South Vietnamese President Diem in 1950’s.

Click here for a link to the archives.


Hall_Ron_SW.jpgRacism is not too endemic to stop

WKAR’s Kevin Lavery speaks with Dr. Ron Hall, a professor of social work at Michigan State University, about what motivates people to join hate groups.

Hear the full interview.




A student scholar’s powerful talk on gun violence in the U.S.

Madeline MacLean delivers a powerful message called Beyond the Headlines: Mass Media and the Alteration of Risk Perception. Her presentation was part of the TEDxMSU event at the Wharton Center.

Madeline, a member of the Social Science Scholars program and a Criminal Justice major, was able to conduct research during her freshman year under the guidance of Dr. April Zeoli.  Their research on the newsworthiness of mass shootings led to Madeline’s talk on what makes a mass shooting newsworthy and why this matters in our society today, as well as how we can apply this to our lives in general.


Isaac_William_PLS_PhD_2017.jpgUsing big data to predict crime might be a flawed approach

William Isaac, a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Michigan State University, joined the radio program Stateside to talk about predictive policing, and if it's the right approach for law enforcement. Listen to the full interview here.





Taylor_Carl_3c_gl_360_542.JPGAre We Desensitized to Viral Violence?

Sociologist Carl Taylor on WDET radio

There’s a familiar cycle emerging when it comes to violent encounters between police and civilians: a hastily shot cell phone video—or maybe dashboard camera footage—goes viral immediately. A hashtag is born, and whether it’s Michael Brown or Philando Castile, we go on to encounter that video countless times throughout the news cycle. 

Carl Taylor, a sociology professor at Michigan State University, explores this new normal with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson.





NiCole T. Buchanan delivers TEDxMSU talk on bias

Dr. NiCole T. Buchanan, associate professor in the MSU Department of Psychology, discusses bias (implicit and explicit), explains how it is harmful to individuals, educational spaces, and institutions of higher learning, and shares her vision for how colleges and universities can be leaders in teaching future generations how to reduce bias and foster equity for all members of society.


Should Michigan have a part-time legislature?

Grossmann_Matt-profile-2015_directory.jpgMatt Grossmann is an associate professor of political science at Michigan State University, where he directs the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. Grossmann joined Stateside to break down what a part-time legislature could look like for Michigan.

He said based on the research, if quality is a priority for you, this might not be the best approach.

"The associations that we've seen nationally are that if you want good quality, good government legislation, then you might not be in favor of a part-time legislature," Grossmann said. "Less professionalized legislatures tend to produce less policy that wins awards, or that's copied by other states and more policy that gets overturned by the courts."

Hear the full interview here.


Joe Messina on what turned out not to be a miracle in Malawi

Hear the full interview on The Food Fix, a project of the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.

Messina_Joe_from Food Fix podcast_2017.png

When Professor of Geography and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Social Science Joe Messina first analyzed satellite images of Malawi farm fields, he figured he had made a mistake. Almost everywhere he looked he found maize harvest declines in the East African nation over the previous decade. But this was the site of the Malawi Miracle, a fertilizer subsidy program so successful that it was lauded by researchers in scientific journals and by writers in the New York Times and The Economist. It became a model program used to justify similar enormous investments by the international community in other African nations. “I assumed I was wrong,” said Messina, a researcher at Michigan State University’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation. And so began a detective story recently published in the journal Nature Plants. It is a story that doesn’t prove Messina wrong. Rather, it reveals a series of missteps, assumptions, faulty data and a desire to confirm success that led other researchers astray.


Ballard_Charles_2009.JPGMichigan’s Role in the Rise of the Middle Class

Southeast Michigan is, in many ways, the birthplace of the American Middle Class. Since the early 20th Century, the region has played a central role in American manufacturing and the health of middle-income Americans’ economic status.

What were the economic conditions that allowed the Middle Class as we know it to emerge and stick around for decades? And what does Michigan’s economy now say about the future of the Middle Class? 

Hear the WDET interview with MSU Economics Professor Charles Ballard here. 



Hall_Ron_SW.jpgProfessor Ron Hall featured on Michigan Radio

"Race is merely a proxy for skin color," Hall said. "'Skin color' we can define and we can measure. Race is just a political and social construct that we've used since the Antebellum [pre-Civil War period]. More and more, as we get closer to the next century ... we're going to come to a time when you won't be able to look at individuals and differentiate their so-called 'race' based on their hair texture, eye color, skin color ... racial miscegenation will be the norm at that point." 

Hear the full interview here. 


Aerni-Flessner_John_HST_sm.jpgAerni-Flessner featured on WLNS


John Aerni-Flessner of the Department of History shares information on the life of Malcolm X in Lansing, Michigan. 

See the video and read the story here.





IPPSR's Matt Grossman discusses autonomous vehicles and public policy

Grossmann_Matt_w-Russ White-Kirk Heinze_WKAR interview_Feb15-2017.jpg

“Our mission is to inform state public policy and improve governance in Michigan, and a forum like this one is part of our broader mission to connect the university with the Capitol downtown,” Matt Grossmann tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes from the February 15 "Michigan's Drive toward Autonomous Vehicles" forum held by the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) at Michigan State University.

Listen to the full WKAR interview online.


Nawyn_Stephanie_HonColl_Sharper Focus_Wider Lens_2017.jpg

Stephanie Nawyn is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Director of Academic Programs, Outreach, and Engagement, Center for Gender in Global Context.

Her research and teaching areas of expertise are in gender and immigration, with a focus on forced migration, exclusion, and social inequality. Since coming to Michigan State, Stephanie has conducted research on community development among immigrants and the importance of social networks and social capital to immigrant and refugee incorporation, as well as the socioeconomic advancement of African-born immigrants in the United States.

Through a Fulbright Fellowship in Istanbul, she studies the trafficking of migrants in Turkey, focusing on trafficking in sex and other types of labor. Currently she is working on the vulnerability of Syrian refugees to trafficking in Turkey.

Stephanie earned her doctorate from the University of Southern California. 



Koufopoulou_Sophia_SOC_at Sharper Focus-Wider Lens_2017.jpg

Sophia Koufopoulou is fixed term faculty member with the Department of Sociology at, where this semester she teaches international development and the refugee crisis, social stratification and family and society. In 1989 Sophia was one of the very first Greek scholars to pursue in-depth field research in neighboring Turkey through which she explored, described, and explained how individuals and families (Greek and Turkish) forcibly relocated through the terms and conditions of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne preserved their identity through the remainder of the 20th century.

Since 2003, Sophia has led the MSU “Contemporary Culture, Politics, and Society in Greece and Turkey” study abroad program through which over 600 MSU undergraduates have traveled, lived and studied in Greece and Turkey. Most recently she was an invited participant on the European Union/Government of Turkey sponsored project “Women on the Move: Refugees in Turkey” where she spent time in Turkey visiting refugee camps on the Turkish Syrian border.

She earned her master’s degree from the University of the Aegean.


Approaching Challenges with Empathy

Lisa Cook is an associate professor of economics in MSU’s College of Social Science and James Madison College. What sets Cook and fellow Spartans apart is approaching challenges with empathy and a solution-oriented attitude.



Freshman Colloquium 2016

Welcome home Spartans! Students at MSU can go down so many paths, there's always somebody there to help guide you.

Featuring Monica Williamson (Anthropology) and Dean Rachel Croson of the College of Social Science, Alan Green (Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Education) and Dean Christopher P. Long of the College of Arts & Letters, and Greg Hunter (Theatre) and Dean Ron Hendrick of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.



Angela Hall featured at Sharper Focus/Wider Lens

Hall_Angela_HRLR_Assistant Professor_2016.jpg

Dr. Angela Hall of the MSU School of Human Resources and Labor Relations in the College of Social Science was once of the featured panelists at the Sharper Focus/Wider Lens forum entitled Brave New Workplace: The Next Careers.

Listen to Dr. Hall's portion of the event below.

Watch the entire session here.


Dad's Mental Health Matters

Vallotton_Claire_HDFS.jpgHuman Development and Family Studies Associate Professor Claire Vallotton was featured in Inside Higher Ed's Academic Minute.






Andresen_Jeff_2016.jpgWhy is the southern half of Michigan among the driest in the Midwest? 

Get the answers from Geography Professor and State Climatologist Jeffrey Andresen from his interview on Michigan Public Radio, June 30, 2016




Grossmann_Matt_horiz_looking_left.jpgGoing beneath the surface of politics

Listen to political scientist Matt Grossmann, director of MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, as interviewed on the Jack Lessenberry radio program, June 30, 2016.



Recent alumna offers great advice for students

Courtney Woods recently earned her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Social Science.  Now in graduate school at Harvard, Courtney made this video herself to share her experience working with TRIO SSS, a program on MSU's campus that is dedicated to student success through academic assistance, career counseling, personal advising, and academic support for first-generation college students, students who come from low-income backgrounds, and disabled students. TRIO is a great program that spans the university, but all students, no matter their backgound, should consider following Courtney's lead.


Dr. Mike Colaresi

Sharper Focus/Wider Lens: It's All Politics is part of an ongoing series created by the Honors College and sponsored by several university departments and colleges including the College of Social Science. This event features Dr. Mike Colaresi, professor in the Department of Political Science.


Groundbreaking research on stuttering by Professor J. Devin McAuley of the Department of Psychology featured on WLNS-TV news


Charles Ballard


Charles Ballard is a professor in the Department of Economics in the College of Social Science.

He has served as a consultant with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Health & Human Services, and Treasury, and with research institutes in Australia, Denmark, and Finland. His books include “Michigan at the Millennium” and “Michigan’s Economic Future.”

In 2007, Charles became director of the State of the State Survey, in MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. Also in 2007, he won the Outstanding Teacher Award in MSU’s College of Social Science. In 2011, he joined the Board of Directors of the Michigan League for Public Policy.


NiCole T. Buchanan

buchanan.jpgNiCole T. Buchanan is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Social Science.
NiCole is a licensed clinical psychologist who teaches social justice and multicultural psychology. Her research focuses on the intersections of gender and race/ethnicity with an emphasis on harassment targeting African American and Latina women.

Her recent publications examine racialized sexual harassment, race- and gender-based harassment among college students and working adults, race and gender-role ideology as moderators of harassment and outcomes among white and black women, contrapower harassment in academia, gendered bullying, and therapeutic concerns of racially ambiguous and non-visible minority women.

NiCole is part of The Research Consortium on Gender-based Violence at MSU, which provides a collaborative, multi-disciplinary vehicle for faculty and students to engage in social action research that influences significant local, state, national and international practice and policy related to gender-based violence.


Angie Kennedy

kennedy.jpgAngie Kennedy is an associate professor and director of the doctoral program in the School of Social Work in the College of Social Science.

Her work focuses on cumulative victimization (including community and school violence, family violence, and intimate partner violence) and associated outcomes among adolescents and young adults. She is especially interested in using innovative methods to examine patterns of co-occurring and cumulative victimization over time; she has expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Angie is also part of The Research Consortium on Gender-based Violence at MSU.


Blanchard Forum enjoys tremendous start with Clinton

The Governor Jim Blanchard Public Service Forum got off to an amazing start with its first featured speaker, President Bill Clinton.

President Clinton was recognized as the first recipient of the Spartan Statesmanship Award for Distinguished Public Service. Governor Blanchard, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, and Political Science senior Robert Parsons also spoke during the program which was attended by over 700 guests, nearly 300 of them being MSU students.

MSU Alumni LENS provided video footage of the entire event and broadcast it via  livestream. Enjoy the full program below.


Jiaguo Qi


Jiaguo Qi is a professor in the Department of Geography and director of the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations. He serves as a project scientist for NASA’s Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Studies (MAIRS) program. His research focuses on two areas: integrating biophysical and social processes and methods in understanding land use and land cover change and transforming data into information and knowledge. The geographic areas of his research include North America, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, East and West Africa, South America, and Australia.

Recently, he initiated and implemented an innovative undergraduate and graduate program with China's universities to jointly train senior undergraduate and graduates and initiated a joint hire between MSU and Zhejiang University faculty to further facilitate exchanges with Chinese institutions. The Center for Global Change and Earth Observations has also hosted more than 15 scholars from China and other Asia countries.


Andrea Louie


Andrea Louie is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and director of the Asian Pacific American Studies program at MSU.

She has conducted research exploring how ideas constructed around “Chineseness” as a racial and cultural identity have been reworked as transnational processes bring Chinese from different parts of the world into contact with one another. She is interested in using multi-sited ethnography to examine relationships between globalization and the continued importance of native origins and place for the rooting of identities.

Her book “Chineseness Across Borders: Re-negotiating Chinese Identities in China and the U.S.” won the Association for Asian American Studies Social Sciences book award in 2006. Her current research focuses on the “cultural socialization” and racialization of children adopted from China in the U.S.


HDFS professor honored by MSU Extension

Holly Brophy-Herb, associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, has been honored with a Key Partner Award from Michigan State University’s Extension Office.  The award recognizes Dr. Brophy-Herb’s rigor, excellence and steadfast commitment to partnering with MSU Extension to translate cutting-edge research into meaningful implementation with individuals, families and communities in greatest need across Michigan.  She was nominated by Extension Specialist Carrie Shrier.


Taking a Nonlinear Path: Tim Vogelsang


Thomas Dietz

Dr. Thomas DietzThomas Dietz is a professor of sociology and environmental science and policy in the College of Social Science and assistant vice president for environmental research at Michigan State University.  He was featured at a Sharper Focus/Wider Lens event on April 3, 2015, a lecture series sponsored by the MSU Honors College.  Listen to the podcast of his remarks here.


Glenn Stutzky

Glenn StutzkyGlenn Stutzky is a senior clinical instructor in the School of Social Work within the College of Social Science.  He was featured at a Sharper Focus/Wider Lens event on February 4, 2015, a lecture series sponsored by the MSU Honors College. Listen to the podcast of his remarks here.


Malcolm Magee

Malcolm MageeMalcolm Magee is an associate professor in the Department of History in the College of Social Science and the Department of Religious Studies within the College of Arts and Letters.  He was featured at a Sharper Focus/Wider Lens event on February 4, 2015, a lecture series sponsored by the MSU Honors College. Listen to the podcast of his remarks here.


"Fifty Shades" sparks MSU domestic abuse study


Amy Bonomi is a professor in MSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies. She studies domestic violence and abusive relationships.

Current State host Mark Bashore talks with Bonomi about the connection between the novel and its readers. She claims her research shows “Fifty Shades of Grey” perpetuates violence against women.




Student View:

Sean Fitzpatrick - Live your learning

Sean Fitzpatrick is a senior in MSU's Honors College, pursuing degrees in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and in interdisciplinary studies in the College of Social Science with a focus on community, governance and advocacy. He spent the first half of this summer in New York City as an intern with city councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, an ’82 MSU graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in political theory. He spent the second half of his summer on a study abroad program in Mali.