Collaboration News

Collaboration across Middlebury programs takes many forms, some more visible than others, but all helping to leverage expertise and build relationships. Here are a few examples:

Organizational development


Managing at Middlebury

Middlebury took the next step toward an integrated approach to organizational and staff development when the Digital Learning Commons’ Assistant Director for Special Projects, Melissa Sorenson, traveled to Vermont to assist in facilitating the most recent Managing at Middlebury program. Working with Sheila Cameron and Deb Allen, Melissa is acquiring skills that she can use to help extend a common set of management vocabulary and practices across both campuses.



MIIS has a very small facilities staff and generally has to hire external contractors to undertake important tasks that in Vermont are carried out by Middlebury staff to a very high standard of quality. Recently, Dan Stearns and Michael Moore from the Vermont facilities department were on the MIIS campus for a two-week visit to perform repairs, create improvements in efficiency and replace life safety equipment.  Lighting in the student center was upgraded to energy efficient LED tubes, and several campus exterior lights were improved to LED. A new heating and cooling system was installed in a classroom building, and numerous campus wide emergency exit signs and lighting were replaced.  The initial concept for these trips has been focused on improvement of the Monterey campus mechanical electrical and plumbing systems.  Many of the preventive maintenance procedures used in Vermont have been implemented in Monterey. This sharing of expertise results in cost-savings for the Middlebury enterprise, promotes consistent standards of facilities management across both campuses, and builds the network of personal relationships on which sound planning and innovation depend.


Shared courses and faculty exchanges

This winter and spring, we will be leveraging faculty expertise across both the Vermont and Monterey campuses more than ever. During Winter Term, Rich Wolfson will offer a course at MIIS on the Science of Climate Change, filling a critical gap in the International Environmental Policy program. MIIS applied linguistics professor Thor Sawin will spend January in Middlebury, augmenting the College’s offerings in linguistics with a course entitled Language and Media, in which he he will examine social networking, microblogging, and content-sharing platforms as a mainstay of contemporary information flow that require new ways of using language, approaching textual identity, and modeling author-reader relationships.

Also during Winter Term, five Middlebury undergraduates will have the opportunity to travel to Monterey to participate in a three-week program on international development and social change: Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation (DPMI).

The spring semester will include three courses offered via video-conferencing to students on both campuses. President Laurie Patton will team up with professors Dan Brayton (College) and Lyuba Zarsky (Institute) to launch the President’s Course “Water in an Insecure World,” an examination of water through the lenses of many disciplines. This course showcases the varieties of expertise exemplified by the faculty from across Middlebury programs who will contribute to the course. Alumni will also be able to participate virtually. Orion Lewis will teach a course that compares insurgencies and terrorism for the Non-Proliferation and Terrorism Studies program at MIIS (by approval for Middlebury undergrads), and Middlebury College Food Studies professor Molly Anderson will team up with MIIS faculty member Brett Melone to team-teach a course entitled Fixing Food Systems.