By Dave Isbell

This week, this little blog turned one year old! To celebrate, I decided it would be fun to give a gift to one lucky Spartan who follows us and shares us with friends. So, I went out and found a pile of cool MSU swag to give away just for entering a drawing.*

I also decided it would be fun to add a little competition into the mix (for some reason, I thought Spartans might like that.) So I added a $20 gift card to the MSU Bookstore, along with a pile of swag, and I am going to give that to the one who celebrates with us the most!*


On Thursday 01/19/2012 we are going to draw the lucky person’s name out of a hat and send the cool MSU swag to him or her.  

If you want your name to be in the aforementioned hat (which will more likely be a box since we don’t wear hats around here very often), then here is what you need to do to make that happen:

  1. To enter, simply follow us on Twitter (if you are not already), then tweet your favorite SHS blog post of 2011 and include our name (@helpingspartans) in the tweet. This needs to be done between 12/16/2011 and 4pm on 01/19/2012.

     2.   If you are super excited about getting the gift, you can expand your chances:

Your name will be entered into the hat again every time you tweet one of our posts (only if you  include @Helping Spartans in the tweet), RT one of our tweets, include us in your #followfriday posts, or tell someone on Twitter about us (by using @HelpingSpartans) between 12/16/2011 and 4pm on 01/19/2012.


For you competitive types who just have to win, and really want that $20 gift card, all you need to do is follow the above steps to enter the drawing, then be the person who most frequently shares our posts, RT’s our Tweets, and tells others to follow @helpingspartans (it only counts if you use our entire twitter name: @HelpingSpartans in your 140 characters) from 12/16/2011 until 4pm on 01/19/2012.

The lucky recipient and winner will both be announced on Twitter by 5pm on Friday 01/20/2012. Failure to claim the prize by 5pm on Monday 01/23/2012 will result in forfeiting it to some other lucky Spartan!

*(Employees of the MSUAA are not eligible. No purchase or MSUAA membership necessary. You do not need to have attended MSU to enter or win.)

Now, with all of that said, as I wrap up this year, I owe a HUGE thank you to all of those people who added so much to this blog during our first year of infancy. This was never meant to be a solo endeavor and I am happy to have collaborated with so many great people to get stories and ideas out there for the one person (or more, sometimes) who needed to read what was written that day.

First of all, I owe a very special thank you to Jessica Colombo who helped me to launch this blog, and I’m pretty sure still holds the record for writing the most posts, and she still has the most views from any one blog post. (Not bad at all for an undergrad “sidekick” who was stumbling along in the dark with me as we tried to figure out how to get this thing going. I’m honored to have worked with you and so proud of you for all that you have to done to go on to become a full-fledged superhero!)

Thank you to the students who I have been fortunate enough to have on staff. I know you do the work because I pay you, but you put your heart into it because you want to, and that makes all of the difference in the world to me!

Kimberly Toman (Extra special thanks for all the editing, and the additional writing for the website!)

Shannia Sumugat

John Mattos

Calvin McDaniel

Tiffany Gaston

Lacretia Davis

And, in order of appearance, thank you to all of you who wrote, contributed, edited, or let us interview you. I would love to have your voice on this site again in 2012!

Ashleigh Heck

Bruce Leech

Kenneth Gutow

Jim Beirmeister

Piotr Pasik

Scott Westerman

Kelsey Herrinton

Adam Wenger

Brett Kopf

Becky Johns

Tim Bograkos

Eric Jorgenson

Corin VanWyck

Kate Tykocki

Robin Miner-Swartz

Lisa Wiley-Parker

Breanna Camarillo

Emily White

Elizabeth Battiste

Megan Gebhart

Jess Knott

Chris Sell

Thank you to the hundreds of people who have read our words even though they were often meandering and clunky. Specifically, thank you to the 32 followers who liked us enough to subscribe this year so we can invade your inbox with our posts. If you ever have something you want to write that might help a Spartan then you know where to find us!  

I have some good plans for this blog in the next year as we try to get it to mature toward toddlerhood, but I always welcome your thoughts and ideas about what you want us to write about.

Go Green!


Dave Isbell is the Alumni Career Service Coordinator at Michigan State University. He has been a Career Coach since 1999. He is also pursuing a Master’s in Social Work/Family Studies at MSU.  When he is not working or studying, he is enjoying domestic bliss with his wife and kids, or playing rock music on his bass guitar. You can find him on Twitter (@helpingspartans) and sometimes he writes about compassion, collaboration, and career for this blog, which he owns and begs other Spartans to write for.


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