Grad Student Community

Each week, we ask a member of the College of Education grad student community to share three picks related to one of their passions. View some of our recent features below:

School Psychology doctoral student Lamia Bagasrawala, shares 3 spots to create and experience art:
I love all things art – creating it, witnessing it and experiencing it! My inclination towards art strengthened during my training in arts-based therapy. In the midst of busy grad school schedules, I always try and find some time to create and experience art, either individually or in collective spaces. Here are three spots on campus where I often go to immerse myself in art:

  1. Makerspace, MSU Main Library: If you are looking to unwind with art, Hollander Makerspace at the MSU library is a great place on campus. I have enjoyed the Perler beads and slime-making workshops hosted by them. In my experience, their events do not require any prior art knowledge or skills and their team is present to guide and help. Look out for their workshops all through the semester but especially their rest and relax events during finals week!
  2. MSU Broad Art Museum: The MSU Broad Art Museum is one of my favorite places on campus especially because a lot of their exhibitions are interactive and amplify local stories and social issues. In the past, I have enjoyed Zaha Hadid’s “Untold” and more recently, the ongoing “Shouldn’t you be working?” exhibition, which presents the dynamic nature of labor in domestic spaces. Most of their exhibitions are free and they also have some fun art-making events throughout the semester.
  3. Wharton Center for Performing Arts: From participating in multilingual dramas in school and being part of a production team for Chekov’s short stories in college to working with school students for their annual performance of Shakespeare’s classics, I have always enjoyed theatre and plays. Wharton Center has a great lineup of Broadway shows, plays and concerts. This year, I’m looking forward to Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird and of course, the Mamma Mia musical! Don’t forget, COGS has discounted tickets for students!

Darice Brooks, a Kinesiology doctoral student, shares 3 favorite local spots for maintaining health and wellness:
As a kinesiology student and ex-collegiate soccer and track and field athlete, finding ways to exercise is built into my daily routine. Knowing the consequences of minimal physical activity makes a lack of it hard to ignore. I have a few favorite spots, as you will, in the area that help me maintain my health and wellness:

  1. Running Trails: As I prepare for the Detroit International Half-Marathon, I frequent the trails in the area. The Lansing River Trail stems from Old Town to Downtown to REO Town, Potter Park Zoo and even gets to campus. It gives me reason to explore an area I am otherwise unaware of. I also enjoy running the trail out at Hawk Island Park. The sights are beautiful and the trail is flat — great for a speedy runner like myself.
  2. People’s Yoga: I never attended yoga until moving to the Lansing area. People’s Yoga changed this. Located in REO Town with a fantastic owner (Misty Belous), People’s Yoga has classes for anyone and everyone, from beginner to advanced yogis. I could not suggest this place more for a comfortable and accepting yoga experience. I personally attend the intermediate and core classes when I can. 
  3. SoccerZone/GLOS soccer: Being an ex-collegiate soccer athlete, I really missed the game when my time competing ended. Luckily there are so many opportunities to play in “for fun” and competitive leagues in the area. I’ve met some great friends and my significant other while playing the game I love thanks to the SoccerZone (indoor) and GLOS (outdoor) communities.

Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education doctoral student Jermaine Howell, shares 3 Jamaican dishes:
I have shared three Jamaican dishes that you can make for breakfast, lunch/dinner and a tasty pastry for dessert. I have linked the recipe to make each item. I hope you get a chance to make and enjoy some Jamaican food! #onelove!

  1. Breakfast – Oats Porridge is a light breakfast that is easy to prepare. Most times, I would add pieces of bread or crackers when eating it.
  2. Lunch & Dinner – I enjoy eating Jamaican Jerked Chickenand festival! Though I would eat it for lunch, you can also make it for dinner. I like the mixture of the different herbs and spices. The festival is a semi-sweet fried dumpling which is a good combination to eat with the jerked chicken.
  3. Dessert – Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding is a sweet pastry that I enjoy eating. As a child, I would help my grandma mix the ingredients. 

Before joining MSU as a PhD student in HALE, I received a master’s degree in Irish literature from Trinity College in Dublin. My top three picks for Irish and Irish-American literature are:

  1. TransAtlantic by Irish-American author Colum McCann: TransAtlantic is the story of three important Irish events told from the viewpoint of famous men, and the fictional account of three women who tie these stories together over more than a century. 
  2. Translations by Irish playwright Brian Friel: Translations is a play set in the West of Ireland in the early 1800s. The play focuses on the loss of the Irish language as a result of continued British colonization of the island. 
  3. The Story of Lucy Gault by Irish novelist and playwright William Trevor: This novel is a “Big House” novel (think Downton Abbey but in Ireland). The Big Houses were owned by the Anglo-Irish ruling class, and there is a whole genre of Irish literature paralleling the decline of the Anglo-Irish power to the physical decline of their big houses in the early 20th century. 

Julia Barnes, master’s student in the Student Affairs Administration program, shares three local restaurant suggestions:
Food is so important to me because it can tell stories, strengthen connection with others, and evoke memories long forgotten. I hope these restaurant suggestions are helpful to anyone who is looking to find inspiration during their next meal away from campus:

  • Korea House, East Lansing. I love taking people here for barbecue, sushi, and Korean soups. I seem to always reflect about my family and history here, and I feel a great sense of comfort when I visit.
  • Don Pancho Market, Lansing. This grocery store has my favorite tacos. I love taking them to campus and then sit in the MSU Horticulture Gardens. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon reflecting. 
  • Ruckus Ramen at The Avenue Cafe, Lansing. This place is nested within a bar, surrounded by dozens of pinball machines. It’s my go-to spot to take friends and family since not only the ramen and bao are amazing, but the games are too.

Chelsi Ricketts, fourth-year doctoral candidate in Kinesiology, shares three favorite songs:
I have always been passionate about music and its ability to lighten the mood, prepare the body for carrying out various tasks, and bring attention to the things that truly matter in life. When I want to do any or all of the above, here are a few songs that I will listen to:

  1. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley & the Wailers sends the message to not worry when things get tough, but to instead trust that things will always work out. This reggae tune always lightens the mood and brings me hope and peace in difficult times. 
  2. Jerusalema by Master KG ft. Nomcebo is a high-energy, ‘vibey,’ fun, but uplifting Afrobeat tune that always helps me get ready for a good workout. This song is not only great for getting your body ready for movement, but its lyrics are also symbolic of victory.
  3. Simple Blessings by Tarrus Riley ft Konshens reminds me to pause every now and again to appreciate the things that make life beautiful, meaningful and worthwhile (e.g., family, nature, rest).

School Psychology Ed.S. student Grace Gadwood, shares 3 favorite books:
Reading is my favorite pastime, as it allows me to escape into an alternate reality and learn more about the world around me. It has enhanced my perceptive and reflective nature and encouraged me to engage in my surroundings more…when my nose is not in a book, of course. I have included a few of my favorite, most thought-provoking and inspiring books: 

  1. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult: Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors. Her writing challenges the reader to process the hard things in life and to see what is going on around them. In Small Great Things, Picoult is honest about the social injustices of this world, yet she creates a beautiful space for you to fall in love with the vulnerability of the story and its characters.
  2. The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom: As a Michigan native, Mitch Albom is a near-and-dear author to my heart. With his work, The Stranger in the Lifeboat, the reader is able to navigate with the other lifeboat passengers what it could look like to be approached by divine intervention in a true time of need. The novel pushes the reader to reflect deeply about what lies beyond their current stream of conscious thoughts and envelope themselves in the thoughts of what could be. 
  3. True Biz by Sara Nović: This novel is a beautiful depiction of the desire for human connection. As the reader follows students and faculty at a residential school for the Deaf, they will be immersed in a greater knowledge and understanding of the Deaf community. Learning about a wide range of life perspectives helps us to navigate situations and interactions with empathy and grace, and True Biz contributes to that need remarkably.