Author Archives: Frances Farnsworth

Monday Lunchtime Bridge Group

Would you like to exercise your brain at lunch time on Mondays?  A group of us play every week in the Davis Family Library staff room from 12-1. We’re looking for more regular players or substitutes. We’re very informal – we don’t keep score and table talk is OK. If you want to learn, you can come watch and then eventually move into playing.    If your bridge skills are rusty, you’ll be in good company. If you have any questions, contact Franci Farnsworth ( or Cynthia Watters (

Peter Nelson – grant for international research project

Peter Nelson (Geography) and a colleague at Point Park University have received a three year grant from the National Science Foundation for a project titled International Rural Gentrification; research teams from the United Kingdom and France are also funded via their own respective national funding agencies.  The entire project is part of the Open Research Area funding scheme for international social science research  that now involves agencies in four European countries as well as the NSF. The objective of this multi-national collaborative project is to undertake the first in-depth cross-national integrated comparative study of the theory, forms and dynamics of rural gentrification encompassing France, UK and USA.      The US team will compile a comprehensive database of rural gentrification indicators for each of the three countries, and then identify a set of communities in the US in which to carry out in depth case study analysis focusing on the different forms of rural gentrification and the various actors involved in the process. Scholars from the UK and France will do similar case study analyses in their respective countries. In addition to funding all the costs of the research in the US, the grant will also fund trips to Europe to meet with the entire research team; this research will be the focus of Pete’s academic leave in 2015-16.   Three undergraduate students will be involved in this research.

Susan Burch and Tara Affolter – AALAC workshop funding

Susan Burch (American Studies) and Tara Affolter (Education Studies), with colleagues from Barnard, Haverford, Macalester, Oberlin, Vassar, and Scripps, have been awarded funding from the AALAC consortium (Alliance for the Advancement of Liberal Arts Colleges), the successor to the  Mellon 23 program, for a collaborative workshop that will be held at  Barnard  in the fall of 2015.  The workshop, titled Critical Disability Studies and Universal Design for Learning,  will bring together participants from 10-13 liberal arts colleges and Columbia University who have varied levels of expertise in these related topics that are so critical to better educating disabled and nondisabled students. Participants will collaborate to pursue four related goals:   curricular development, pedagogical development, faculty collaboration with disability support services, and inter-institutional development across and between colleges.

Febe Armanios – Fellowship for Middle East research

Febe Armanios (History) has been awarded a Fellowship from the Gerda Henkel Foundation (Germany) in support of her research this summer in Turkey, Cyprus and Lebanon. The research relates to her 2014-15 leave and to her new book project, titled Satellite Ministries: The Rise of Christian Television in the Middle East. The project investigates the rise of Christian broadcasting in the region, from its American evangelical roots in the early 1980s to its more indigenous representations today.

Will Amidon – Whiting Foundation fellowship

Will Amidon (Geology)  has been awarded a fellowship from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation for a project titled Rediscovering Geochronology. The grant will enable Will to spend four months during his 2014-15 leave in Lorraine, France at the Centre de Recherches Petrographiques and Geochemiques fulfilling personal and professional goals related to doing geochronological research and incorporating new techniques into project-based based learning at Middlebury.

Elizabeth Morrison – Whiting Foundation fellowship

Elizabeth Morrison (Religion)  has been awarded a fellowship from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation for a project titled In the Company of Pilgrims:   The “Four Great Places” of the Life of the Buddha. The grant will enable Elizabeth to travel to northern India and Nepal to visit sites significant in the life of the Buddha and the history of the Indian Buddhist tradition. The  goal of this project is to deepen her understanding of the early Indian Buddhist tradition while observing and experiencing the phenomenon of contemporary global Buddhist pilgrimage. The experience will enhance the full range of the classes she teaches in Asian religions.

NEH Enduring Questions grant for course development

Middlebury College was recently awarded a grant from the Enduring Questions program of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which will enable development and implementation of a sophomore-level course focused on the enduring question “What is the good life and how do I live it?“.  The grant leadership team consists of Patricia Zupan (Italian), Brett Millier (English and American Literatures), Deborah Evans (American Studies), and Jonathan Miller-Lan (Education Studies).  Campus-wide discussion about the sophomore-year experience contributed to the evolution of this project; the new Commons-based course will be taught at least twice during each of the next three years by the four project leaders as well as by other faculty who will participate in developing the common syllabus.  A testament to the efforts of the project leaders is the fact that NEH has posted a copy of Middlebury’s proposal on the Enduring Questions website as one of the samples that this year’s applicants may want to consult.

Susan Watson receives NSF grant

Susan Watson(Physics) and collaborators at Harvard University have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Physics at the Information Frontier (PIF) program to conduct research in the field of quantum information processing, in which the unusual features of quantum physics are harnessed to allow the rapid encoding and manipulation of information. The team of researchers will exploit the unique properties of carbon nanotubes, which are themselves newly understood and are a forefront area of fundamental physics, to create and investigate quantum bits – the fundamental building blocks of quantum computation. Over the course of three years, at least 6 undergraduates will be involved in this research effort.       Project title: Carbon-based long-coherence quantum bit.

Major Equipment Grant for Lake Research

The National Science Foundation grant will help purchase instruments for the College's new research vessel, which will be a sistership of this NOAA vessel.

The National Science Foundation has awarded a Major Research Instrumentation grant to Middlebury College for acquisition of an integrated system of instrumentation to be used in lake-studies research conducted by faculty and students.

Under the direction of geology professors Patricia Manley and Thomas Manley, this grant will fund purchase of a multi-beam sonar system and an acoustic Doppler current profiler.

This equipment will be mounted on the College’s new research vessel, currently under construction, but can be transferrable for use by other vessels in the region. This new system will expand the range of research and curricular projects on Lake Champlain, involving other members of the geology department as well as faculty in biology and environmental chemistry