In this post we recognize Pat Manley, Professor of Geology for her 25 years of service to Middlebury. Pat shares with us her current activities in Geoscience beyond the College, her hobbies, and the experience of becoming a grandmother. Pat’s declaration that the “Geology Department rocks!” describes her time at Middlebury. Read on to learn more about Midd from Pat’s point of view.
What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?
I was in graduate school at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University. We lived in Rockland County, near Palisades NY.
What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?
I have worked my way through tenure. So I started as an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and finally Full Professor. I also served the college as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Research for 4 years (2006-2010).
Take us back to your first year as an employee at the College. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?
I would have to say, raising my two young children at the same time while trying to teach 5 new courses my first year here. I also became part of a group of families that met (and still meet) every Friday night – Pizza Night group. These people have become my extended family here in Middlebury and our children all grew up together and we celebrate holidays and special events together (e.g. Thanksgiving, Christmas – a progressive dinner, Easter brunch, Chili bowl (Superbowl Sunday), birthdays, Baby showers, Bridal Showers, camping trips to name just a few).
What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?
I am actively involved at the National level in two organizations: Council on Undergraduate Research where I am Chair of the Geoscience Division and the Association of Women Geoscientist where I Chair the Outstanding Educator Award. On a more personal level I play piano for a local church, continue with my hobbies of hiking and knitting, and just became a Grandmother for the first time.
Have your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at the College or due to your association with others who work here?
My hobbies have been music and knitting which I continue to do. I have turned from playing tennis and running to now learning to play golf, but I still water ski every summer at our camp in upstate NY. I learned to water ski when I was 5 years old and haven’t missed a summer yet.
What is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at Middlebury?
There are two: 1) I am most proud of starting the Undergraduate Research Office and initiating the Student Spring Symposium. The very first Symposium in 2007 was small but very special in my heart as it was the fulfillment of a dream I had since I first arrived at Middlebury College. 2) The arrival of the RV Folger in Lake Champlain. Having spent two+ years writing the grant, planning the boat design, seeing it built and then finally standing on her deck for the first time was awesome.
Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?
That’s easy, it is teaching wonderful, talented, and interesting undergraduate students and a wonderful department with great colleagues. Geology Department rocks!
Do you have a favorite place on campus?
Is there any person on campus (or retiree, former employer) that mentored you, or you feel helped you grow into your job, grow to enjoy your work and your time at the College?
Ray Coish hired me, mentored me and has been a good friend for the past 25 years. We all know that Ray is someone special.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at Middlebury, what would it be?
Enjoy the ride. Don’t get so wrapped up in the politics of the place that you forget the reason we are here: teaching and learning from our students.