Welcome to a New Academic Year

Christina Brogdon, Vice President of MSU Human Resources

Dear Spartan Colleagues,

I am pleased to welcome everyone to a new academic year. The fall semester always provides a sense of newness and hope. As we look forward to the new opportunities that lie ahead, we will undoubtedly reflect on the past and what we experienced together—successes and challenges, joys and tragedies. It’s important to remember that healing is not linear, nor is it quick, but I am grateful that we have each other for support through it all.

This fall, I am especially excited about HR’s opportunity to invest further in talent management, a key contributor in making MSU HR a thriving, transformative and engaged business unit implementing strategic people solutions with great care. The first is New Hire Orientation for support staff, with sessions starting this month. The innovative full-day program will transform how we welcome and support new employees at MSU. The program will cover essential topics such as employee benefits, payroll, information technology access, and RVSM. These sessions will foster a sense of belonging and empowerment while advancing MSU’s 2030 Strategic Plan in Staff Success and DEI.

I am also excited for HR’s new Director of Talent, Sherri Reese! This role is new to HR and was developed in response to the Strategic Plan’s objective for the university to become an employer of choice. Beginning October 1, Sherri will be responsible for the oversight, organization and implementation of strategic talent management initiatives related to recruitment, onboarding, consultation, and workforce planning. She will help lay the foundation for the future development of a robust Business Partner approach. Business partners will better support unit HR needs by collaborating and advising on all aspects of talent acquisition and management.

Thank you for your continued dedication and Spartan Will to the University, our students, and our land-grant mission. On behalf of Human Resources, I wish you a safe, healthy, and successful academic year in which you take advantage of fresh opportunities and new beginnings.

Go Green!

Christina Brogdon, PHR
Vice President of Human Resources

Back-to-School Discounts for the 2023-24 School Year

Whether your family loves shopping for back to school, or they dread it every year, MSU Benefits Plus has you covered. All benefit-eligible employees can log into the MSU Benefits Plus portal with their MSU email address, and find dozens of discounts to get you and your family heading back to school in style without paying full price. 

Below are just a few examples of what might be useful this time of year. 

Computer & Electronics

Technology is now an essential part of the school supply list so enjoy extra savings on those investments through a variety of retailers, even here at MSU. 

  • Apple: Employee pricing on everything you purchase
  • HP: Up to 62% off computers and accessories
  • Dell: Up to 30% off using the Member ID PS113067902
  • Lenovo: Back to School savings of up to 72% off until August 20!
  • MSU Tech Store: Purchase all kinds of tech with prices exclusive to MSU staff, faculty, and students

Clothing and Apparel

Everyone wants a great outfit for their first day of school, whether you’re a student, an educator, or even if it’s just another day at the office. 

  • Bombas: 20% off with code CORE20 (plus a pair is donated with every pair purchased!) 
  • Crocs: Save $20 off a purchase of $100 or more using the code SAVE20
  • Spartan Spirit Shops: Visit any Shop in person and show your Faculty/Staff ID for 20% off!


Learn a new skill, stock up on textbooks for those fall courses, and show your Spartan spirit, all at a discount through these local organizations. 

For all of these discounts and more visit the HR Website or the MSU Benefits Plus portal. Employees can also call Benefits Plus at 888-758-7575 with any questions. Back to School is on at Michigan State!

Staycation Activities

Are you looking for some fun activities for the family this summer, but want to stay local? Check out these East Lansing gems for family fun or date nights.

The Graduate

The Graduate Hotel in East Lansing features the Graduate Rock Bar. This rooftop restaurant is perfect for the whole family or date night. Enjoy their incredible view of MSU campus. The Graduate Rock Bar is open seven days a week and 21+ only after 8 p.m. For more information, click here.

East Lansing Family Aquatic Center

Now open! The East Lansing Family Aquatic Center is the perfect place to soak in the sun with the whole family. The Aquatic Center has a variety of features including a sunbathing deck, drop slide, splash park and more. The Aquatic Center is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. For more information on rates and passes, click here.

East Lansing Farmers Market

This growers-only market is the perfect place for a Sunday getaway. The market features Michigan products and produce like fruit, cheese, flowers and more. The market is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Valley Court Park. For more information, click here.

U Pick Fruit

Fresh Michigan fruit is always a highlight but picking it yourself makes it even sweeter! U Pick farms in-and-around Lansing have a wide selection of blueberries, strawberries, peaches and apples. U Pick Fruit is the perfect excuse to get outside and support Michigan farmers. For more information on U Pick Fruit near you, click here

ArtPath Lansing

Lansing Art Gallery and Exhibition is partnering with the City of Lansing for their 6th annual ArtPath. Find sculptures, murals and natural materials along two and half miles of the Lansing River Trail. ArtPath is the perfect interactive and creative summer activity for families. To view the locations for ArtPath 2023, click here

River Town Adventures

Looking for a way to cool off without heading to Lake Michigan? River Town Adventures is located in Downtown Lansing and accepts walk-ups/appointments for kayak/canoe rentals. River Town Adventures showcases the beauty of the Grand River and other local waterways. For more information on rentals and their environmental mission, click here

Potter Park Zoo

Potter Park Zoo is open 364 days a year and always welcomes visitors to see their wide variety of wildlife. Tickets can be purchased online or in-person, however, members & Ingham County Residents must login prior to making selections to receive discounted rates. For ticket pricing and a list of attractions, click here

Fitzgerald Park Disc Golf 
Looking for a new favorite outdoor sport? Fitzgerald Park in Eaton County has its own free disc golf course. If you are in need of equipment, starter set rentals are available with the park’s gate attendant. For more information and a map of the course, click here.

What’s your favorite local activity or destination? Share with us in the comments!

Deals and Discounts for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and if you are still looking to show the dad in your life that you care, look no further than these discounts! Whether it’s your dad, husband, father-in-law or any other important guy in your life, take advantage of these Father’s Day savings using MSU Benefits Plus.

To access all the discounts, visit MSU Benefits Plus and sign up for a free account using your ZPID number (located on your Spartan Card ID badge or in the EBS Portal).

Check out some of these deals that you can find through MSU Benefits Plus:


  • Forest Akers Golf Course – MSU employees with a valid MSU ID receive reduced rates on playing and shopping at the two 18-hole championship layout golf courses and two full-service golf shops!
  • Premium Seats USA – Get 10% off sporting event tickets on Premium Seats USA using the code CORESTREAM at checkout!


  • HP – Save between 10% and 50% using the HP Employee Purchase Program (EPP), which offers HP’s consumer products at a discounted rate!
  • Apple – MSU employees qualify for preferred pricing on all of Apple’s latest products. This includes employee pricing and ratings and reviews on accessories and software. Order from the online Apple EPP store and identify yourself as a Corestream member when purchasing!

Shopping and Entertainment:

  • AMC Theaters – MSU employees can save over 30% on E-tickets at AMC Theaters and all associated theaters including AMC Loews, AMC Showplace, Cineplex, Odeon, Magic Johnson and Star Theaters!
  • MSU Meat Lab – MSU employees with a valid MSU ID can receive a discount on quality meats and other items right on campus!
  • Stock Yards – Save 20% on gourmet steaks, chops, and seafood by using the code CSTREAM at checkout!

Find these savings as well as many other benefits by visiting the MSU Benefits Plus portal. Sign up or log in today and have a fun, family-filled Father’s Day.

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! Let’s celebrate by doing our part in helping the planet. Recycling is great, but there’s so much more we can do. Here are some ways you can help our Spartan community go green. Whether you are working from home, heading into the office or any combination, use these great tips and resources to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

MSU Recycling Center always leads the charge for reusable materials at MSU. The center is open seven days a week for dropping off materials. These materials can be anything and everything from books, cardboard, glass, plastics and more. Find their hours along with what and how to drop things off at the MSU Recycling Center website

If you do spend some or all of your workday away from home, consider looking into clean commuting options. You can MSU Bikes offers new and ready-to-ride affordable used bikes for sale plus a full menu of bike repair services with one of the largest workshops in Michigan.  They also rent bikes if you’re needing a bike for a shorter to longer term and don’t want the headache of maintaining a bike or selling it when you leave campus.  MSU Bikes also offers 1-on-1 bike services, like commuter assistance, helping you find the safest, lowest-stress route from your home to campus.  MSU Parking now offers secure covered bike parking and MSU has many DIY repair and air stations in every neighborhood of campus for your convenience.  Full details can be found on MSU Bikes’ website.  

Capital Area Transportation Authority offers multiple clean commute options with travel modes that fit your work hours and location. CATA also offers a commute cost calculator by examining how much money you spend driving and how much you can save by using the bus and other CATA services. Visit the CATA website to learn how to add CATA to your sustainable daily routine. 

Spin electric scooters are the newest addition to clean, affordable, convenient and fun ways to get around campus. These scooters are dockless, so no need to find a charger to pick them up or drop them off. They operate seven days a week during all daylight hours. To ride these electric scooters that travel up to 14 miles per hour, just download the Spin App and scan the unique QR code on the scooter you want to ride. Get ready to ride on and around campus by going to MSU’s Spin Scooter landing page

Are you looking for some new accessories to improve your work space? The MSU Surplus Store is worth checking out! Finding items second hand is a great way to make a pledge to go green, especially when everything is at such great prices. Read MSU HR’s feature on the Surplus Store to learn more about the great services and items they offer!

This Earth Day, it has never been easier to make a pledge and go green. Reduce your carbon footprint with a clean commute, reuse and shop second hand at the MSU Surplus Store, and of course, recycle at the MSU Recycling Center. Putting in the effort this Earth Day and every day after will make a difference for our planet.

Deals and Discounts for Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day (May 14), show the mom in your life that you appreciate them with a thoughtful gift – whether that’s your mom, mother to your kiddos, stepmom, mother-in-law, or any maternal figure in your life. MSU benefits-eligible employees have access to many discounts and savings through MSU Benefits Plus.

To access all the discounts, visit MSU Benefits Plus and sign in or sign-up for a free account using your ZPID number (located on your Spartan Card ID badge), or you can find the number in EBS.

Check out some of these deals that you can find through MSU Benefits Plus:


  • Rose Farmers is committed to providing luxury roses for every special occasion. Get 35% off luxury long-stem roses delivered from the farm to your doorstep.
  • Want to send a bouquet of fresh flowers? Enjoy 20% off from 1-800 Flowers, including Fruit Bouquets!
  • Take 20% off your ReVased flower bouquet or plant purchase.
  • From You Flowers is perfect for any occasion and every sentiment. Save 25% all year!


  • Give the gift of a great show at Wharton Center and enjoy up to 15% off through MSU Benefits Plus.
  • Find up to 75% off tech gear – such as Bluetooth speakers, headphones, cases, and more – with Tech Perks. You’ll find deep discounts on brands like Otterbox, JBL, Casemate, Kate Spade, Belkin, Skullcandy and more.
  • Gift a great getaway to the beach, theme park, or a golf excursion with up to 40% through HVN, the exclusive provider of professionally serviced apartments, homes, villas, and vacation rentals.


  • Go with a gift that’s sure to be a hit and save 15% off chocolate-covered strawberries, one of the most popular gifts from Shari’s Berries.
  • Get 15% off your next order of fine chocolate from the artisanal chocolatier, Gearharts Fine Chocolates.
  • Get $15 towards popcorn and treats at Jody’s Gourmet Popcorn.

Find these discounts and many more by visiting the MSU Benefits Plus website. For questions, please contact the MSU Benefits Plus customer care team at 888-758-7575.

Spring Break Discounts

Contrary to the weather in Michigan, Spring Break for many area schools is quickly approaching. Before finalizing your plans, review your exclusive employee discounts through MSU Benefits Plus to determine if any may be useful to your family.

To access all the discounts, visit the MSU Benefits Plus website and log in or sign up for a free account.

  • First Time Users: Enter your MSU email, click Get Started and fill out the form. You will need your MSU ZPID number, which is located on your MSU Spartan ID Card or in the EBS Portal. Use a capital “Z” when putting in your ZPID number.
  • Existing Users: Enter you email address and click Get Started, then enter your password and click Log In.


National Car Rental: Enjoy up to 20% off your reservation rate when booking through our exclusive link. Discount automatically applied with the link. 

Tickets at Work: Go someplace new in 2023 with up to 60% off exclusive hotel rates at top destinations worldwide. 

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts: As an MSU employee, you will save up to 20% off at over 8,000 participating hotels worldwide.

Universal Orlando Resort: Save on multi-day ticket packages to Universal Studios Orlando when you book through our exclusive link! 


Premium Seats USA: Save 10% on ticket purchases to professional and collegiate sporting events, including football, baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf, auto racing, wrestling and more when you use promo code CORESTREAM. 

AMC Theaters: Save over 40% on E-Tickets at AMC Theatres. AMC Theatres® movie ticket products are good at any AMC Theatres®, AMC® Loews, AMC Showplace, Cineplex® Odeon, Magic Johnson and Star Theatres, excluding Canadian theaters. 

Tiqets: Save over 40% on Museums worldwide. Access top museums across the country and around the world! Save an additional 10% at checkout, just for MSU Employees!

Restaurant.com: Get $25 Restaurant gift certificates for only $5 when you buy through our exclusive link! 

Find these savings as well as many other discounts by visiting the MSU Benefits Plus website. The MSU Benefits Plus Customer Care Team is available to answer questions at 888-758-7575.

America Saves Week 2023

This week is America Saves Week, an annual event that encourages you to learn and plan for increased savings, lower debt, investing and preparing for retirement. This year’s focus is on financial confidence. America Saves Week defines financial confidence as, “the intersection of building a savings habit, knowing what resources you have available to support your financial stability, and taking advantage of those resources as needed.” 

You can do all this using resources provided to employees by the university and our benefits partners. Both of MSU’s retirement partners, Fidelity and TIAA, offer tips and tricks, courses for financial literacy, and other resources. Through America Saves Week, you also have access to planning tools for managing financial emergencies.

Fidelity Resources

Fidelity provides many resources to MSU employees that can help you learn how to save better and prioritize your financial confidence. You can access your Fidelity account here to get started. Interested in learning the specifics about Fidelity’s rainy day investment and savings plans? Visit their Netbenefits site. Other tools and calculators provided by Fidelity to their MSU members can be found here.

TIAA Resources

If you feel dissatisfied about your current financial situation, TIAA wants to remind you that you are not alone. Read the 2023 TIAA Personal Finance Index and learn that it’s not just you. Some ways to start building financial resiliency with TIAA include contributing to your retirement savings, paying down debt, and growing an emergency fund. According to a survey conducted by TIAA, having more in retirement savings is a top contributor to financial resiliency. Visit the EBS portal to learn more about your contribution options.

Schedule a Virtual Consultation with Fidelity or TIAA

Both Fidelity and TIAA offer virtual appointments with financial consultants. Be sure to set up an appointment to get your questions answered for no additional cost. Set up your Fidelity consulting appointment here or set up your TIAA consulting appointment here.

For general questions about retirement, contact the HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or (517) 353-4434 or visit the HR website. For questions about your specific financial plans, contact your vendor.

Happy National Clean Out Your Computer Day!

It’s National Clean Out Your Computer Day, so we wanted to share some tips and tricks for cleaning out your computer. Whether you work remotely or in-person, it’s easy to let your computer organization get away from you. Organization is one of the key components of maintaining a productive workspace, so let’s start with your computer!

Delete unused apps and programs

Don’t let apps and programs you don’t use anymore take up space. Clear out any of these unused items to streamline your computer usage.

Clear up your storage

Find what abandoned projects are using up your storage. You can do this by accessing your settings and checking your storage space. Clear out any files or projects that are no longer of use to you.

Utilize Spartan365 for cloud and virtual storage

Utilizing OneDrive, available through Spartan365, can help reduce clutter by saving files on the cloud. Spartan Drive offers users a simple way to store, sync and share files with other people and devices. Spartan365 is available for students, faculty, researchers, and staff.

Clean the outside of your computer

While it’s important to organize the contents of your computer, it’s just as important to clean the computer itself. Your computer collects dust which can delay the cooling process. Give your computer the quick polishing that it deserves!

For more information about how to clean your computer, click here.

February Events Round-Up

Are you looking for activities for you and your family in the upcoming month? There are events (in-person and virtual) on campus and in the Greater Lansing community. Many events require registration, so be sure to click the links to learn more.

Campus Events

February 13The Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards Ceremony: Join the campus community in recognition of the exceptional and innovative contributions of students, staff and faculty in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in teaching, research, programming, service, community outreach and organizational change.

Starts February 17Charlotte’s Web: Enjoy this classic story at the Fairchild Theatre from the MSU Department of Theatre. 

February 17 DIE/GEST Opening Reception (free): Visit the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum to see the opening of this interactive mixed media installation. This will include a special live music and spoken-word performance by jazz musician, Albert Marquès and Keith LaMar, a writer, artist and activist who has spent almost 30 years in solitary confinement on death row in Ohio.

February 26National Geographic Live: Head to the Wharton Center to learn all about whales.

Learning Opportunities

Starts February 7Implicit Bias Certificate (free): This series allows participants to examine the multiple facets of implicit bias and the impact on our community through a series of modules.

Starts February 7 Crucial Conversations for Accountability: This in-person series teaches nine powerful skills for resolving performance problems, strengthening trust and reliability and eliminating inconsistency through group discussion, real-time practice, and group support and coaching.

February 7 Disbursement Voucher Processing (free): This virtual class will provide detailed information about processing a disbursement voucher (DV) in KFS. 

February 8Building Cohesive Teams: Learn tactics for building collaboration within a team and skills for improving team performance in this virtual course.

February 10An Introduction to MSU Commons (free): This workshop will provide an introduction to the new open access platform, MSU Commons. This platform allows you to deposit your educational and scholarly work and connect with others. 

February 14Adoption Through Foster Care (free): The Family Resource Group is hosting this Zoom presentation to discuss the process of adoption through the foster care system.

February 15 Building a Framework for Resilient Leadership: Explore with other campus leaders some essential resilience skills required for effective leadership for the common good.

February 15Emotional Intelligence as a Foundation to DEI Work (free): As part of the “Confident Women Series,” this Zoom session will help you develop a deeper understanding of emotional intelligence as it relates to DEI.

February 15Identify and Maximize Your Strengths: This assessment identifies your natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, so that you can discover what makes you exceptional and maximize your potential.

February 16 Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace: This humorous virtual session will cover the seven habits of negativity.

February 20Cultural Competency (free): This in-person session will cover cultural awareness and inclusivity skills that strengthen cultural competence.

February 21 Finding Time: Time Management Strategies for Busy Professionals (free): This class will explore strategies to more efficiently allocate your minutes, streamline workflow and relieve some pressure in the process.

February 22 Strategic Planning: Learn how to move from ideas to action in this virtual workshop.

Health and Wellness

Starts February 8Boundaries (free): This weekly Zoom workshop will help you learn how to establish boundaries in the workplace and at home.

Starts February 1Food and Nutrition Counseling (free): Take advantage of a one-on-one session with a registered dietitian to discuss how your lifestyle and eating habits may impact your health.

Family-Friendly Activities

Starts February 3Skywatchers of Africa: Visit the Abrams Planetarium to learn about the diversity of African astronomy in this new show. 

Starts February 5A Story of Survival Dinosaurs: Visit the Abrams Planetarium to see this fictional story about real-life dinosaur evolution. 

February 4 Family Day: EDIT (free): Join the MSU Broad Art Museum for their monthly family day. For this month’s theme, copy, cut and paste to see something new.

Starts February 11 Ice Safari: Visit the Potter Park Zoo to see ice sculptures and some of your favorite winter animals.

February 13Monday Night Open House (free): View insects from all over the world at the MSU Bug House. 

Starts February 25 Greater Lansing Orchid Society Show and Sale (free): Enjoy the beautiful flowers and exhibits while learning how to grow orchids.