NatSci Profiles

The challenges facing society in the 21st century are complex.

In true Spartan fashion, the extraordinary individuals and groups that comprise the MSU College of Natural Science (NatSci) family – faculty members, staff members, students and alumni – are hard at work every day, making a difference in their classrooms, labs, businesses, communities and the world around them. In an effort to tell their stories, we've created this collection of profiles to feature people in our NatSci family and how they are contributing to the common good in ways both big and small. SPARTANS WILL.


Marc Conlin: A dedicated Spartan gives back
Marc Conlin: A dedicated Spartan gives back

MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy staffer Marc Conlin has invested some 50 years in Michigan State. His Spartan legacy goes beyond eager learning, devoted professional acumen and trusted leadership to significant financial support.

Kathy Doig and Ric Benson: Making the connection - The Tao of t-shirts
Kathy Doig and Ric Benson: Making the connection - The Tao of t-shirts

MSU professor Kathy Doig and her husband, Ric Benson, have a nearly 40-year philanthropic history with MSU; the relationship was sparked by the couple’s need for two Powdermilk Biscuit t-shirts. While the shirts have long since disintegrated into tatters, Doig and Benson’s connection to MSU continues to deepen and expand.

Megan Donahue and Mark Voit: Making a difference with science
Megan Donahue and Mark Voit: Making a difference with science

Megan Donahue and Mark Voit, professors of physics and astronomy who are both internationally known for their research on galaxy formation, went to two of the most prestigious undergraduate institutions in the country (Princeton and MIT, respectively). But the couple feel a much deeper kinship with MSU than any other school.

Pam Fraker: Pioneering professor pays it forward
Pam Fraker: Pioneering professor pays it forward

As a young girl growing up in the tiny town of Williamsport, Ind., her desire was to become a farmer—not a pioneer. But today, Pam Fraker is recognized as a pioneer in the field of nutritional immunology and as an avid supporter of students, both academically and financially.

Dan and Karen Friderici: Helping aspiring scientists
Dan and Karen Friderici: Helping aspiring scientists

Dan and Karen Friderici, both retired professors from the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, have created the Friderici Undergraduate Research Scholarship in the College of Natural Science, to help demystify laboratory life for aspiring scientists and provide the financial flexibility for students to participate in research.

Laurie and Joe Thorp:  The pull of the Earth--A father's gift paid forward
Laurie and Joe Thorp: The pull of the Earth--A father's gift paid forward

Laurie Thorp credits her father with instilling in her a passion for gardening and a deep love of the land and nature, and has combined this love with her commitment to undergraduate education at MSU and the importance of experiential learning for student development. Her husband, Joe, also firmly believes in the value of the land grant mission and its transformative impact on students and the world. This commitment and belief has compelled the couple to make a gift in support of undergraduate education.

Warren and Anneliese Wood: Making education value-added
Warren and Anneliese Wood: Making education value-added

MSU visiting professor Warren Wood and his wife, Anneliese, believe that paid internships are an excellent way for students to integrate what they learn, so they’ve crafted a giving philosophy that aims to help MSU students get a better integrated education.