25 Years @ Midd with Vickie Backus

In this post we recognize Vickie Backus, Associate Laboratory Professor in Biology, for her 25 years of Service to Middlebury. Vickie mentions her favorite spot on campus, reveals some of her interests and hobbies, and shares some advice to new employees. Read on to learn more about Midd from Vickie’s point of view.

What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?
I was a Post Doctoral Fellow at the University of Houston. Prior to that I was a Ph.D. student at the University of Vermont and actually taught a one semester course BIOL0190 Ecology in the fall of 2011 as a visiting professor.

What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?
Assistant in Science Teaching, Associate in Science teaching, Visiting Professor, Associate Laboratory Professor. Associate in Laboratory Professor is my current job title.

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 got married to Wesley Wright.

What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?
Still married to Wesley Wright. Our son William is 18 and a senior at Mt. Abraham Union Middle and High School.

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?
I am a member of the Invertebrate Scientific Advisory Group for the State of Vermont. We advise the Endangered Species Committee for the State of Vermont on applications for listing to the Endangered Species List.

What is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at Middlebury?
The students that I’ve help over the years. I love hearing from them and finding out what they are doing.

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?
This is a really interesting career. Science is always changing, the way teachers work changes and the students have changed quite a bit. It is a different thing every day and I get to learn something new every day.

What are your plans for the next 25 years?
Keep working for several more years, then travel.

Do you have a favorite place on campus?
The roof of Bicentennial Hall. The view is spectacular.

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?
So many but to list two: George Saul and Tom Root–they were/are both amazing teachers and taught me a lot.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at Middlebury, what would it be?
Take advantage of the opportunities here. It is an amazing place and there is so much you can do.