Author Archives: Jason Cable

Midd/MIIS Travelers

travelThe following employees have reported upcoming travel between Midd and MIIS:

From Midd to MIIS   From MIIS to Midd
Orion Lewis, Faculty Amy McGill, Integration
Oct 7 – 11 Sept 26-29
Jessica Teets, Faculty
Oct 7 – 11
Dan Stearns, Facilities
Oct 17 – 28
Mike Moore, Facilities
Oct 17 – 28
LeRoy Graham, Provost’s Office
Week of Oct 17
Kim Downs, SFS
Week of Oct 17
Steve Snyder, Language Schools
Nov 8 – 11
Vardit Ringwald, School of Hebrew
Nov 8 – 11

Let’s make the most of our travel budgets! If you have scheduled an upcoming visit to another campus and would like to share your plans with colleagues, please email your name, department, to/from locations, and travel dates to

Dental Plan Summary and Oral Health Integration Plan: Hot off the Press!

cignaBelow please find a link to the the Cigna version of Middlebury’s dental benefit plan summary. As you will see the covered services, both in- and out-of-network, are nearly identical to what we have now with CBA Blue.  However, there is one substantial difference.  On Cigna’s recommendation Middlebury has added an “Oral Health Integration Program” (2nd link).  This is a special, enhanced level of dental benefit for individuals with certain medical conditions, including: heart disease, diabetes, stroke, pregnancy, certain cancers, organ transplants and chronic kidney disease.  If you are interested in learning more about this program – for which there is no extra charge to participants – please read the program description below or make an appointment to see our Cigna representative during a campus visit (see article above for appointment information.)

Cigna Dental Benefit Summary, Middlebury College, 1/1/17

Cigna Dental Oral Health Program

-Human Resources

Language Schools Thank Midd Staff for another Successful Summer!

ls-topEach year a myriad of staff colleagues from departments outside of the Language Schools play integral roles in preparing for our summer programs by providing countless services during the sessions and in supporting the Schools as our academic year comes to a close. The Language School Administration is deeply grateful to all the staff members, from across campus, who work so hard to make our programs the huge success that they have been for 102 (!) summers.  In particular we send our thanks to our dedicated colleagues from: dining, facilities, public safety, ITS, the library, the bookstore, student financial services, communications, human resources, athletics, ISSS, ADA, advancement, business services, event management, printing and mailing Services, Office of the Dean of Students and HROs, and the Mahaney Center for the Arts as well as Kevin Parizo and Mark Christensen. And special thanks to Julie Hoyenski, Wayne Hall and Dan Detora.  We couldn’t do it without you!  The Language Schools administrators invite you to read on for a snapshot of how our programs – to which your support is so vital – help turn our College into a summer university.

The summer of 2016 saw us taking a breath from our Centennial summer – but only a brief one! In addition to marking the 31st anniversary of the summer carillon series, we celebrated the 100th summer of the Betty A. Jones M.A. ’86 School of French with the lighting of Le Chateau in the colors of France.

There was much anticipation for seeing the “I Will Keep a Light Burning” illumination installed by guest artist Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil near Le Chateau – the campus building most associated with the School. The luminaria exhibition was intended to symbolize the enduring nature of the School.

To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the Chinese School held a forum designed for alumni of the School who teach Chinese. Following the event, there was a concert for symposium attendees given by 2016 Grammy winning banjo artist and Middlebury Chinese School alumna Abigail Washburn, who performed with her musical partner, guzheng player Wu Fei.

Faculty members from across the Middlebury programs examined the practice of immersive learning in the digital age at an Envisioning Middlebury panel discussion in July. Participants from the Language Schools, Bread Loaf School of English, Schools Abroad, Middlebury Institute, and the undergraduate college itself offered their observations in an effort to understand the role of immersive learning at Middlebury today and help shape it for the years to come.

Each summer, the Language Schools offer three sets of summer sessions for foreign languages on the Middlebury College campus. Mills College in Oakland, California, serves as the home base for the entire Arabic, Italian, and Korean Schools. Middlebury at Mills was established eight years ago in response to the increasing demand for admission to the Middlebury Language Schools.

The Language Schools this summer conferred 113 Master of Arts degrees and eight Doctor of Modern Languages degrees at the Language Schools Commencement at the Mills and Middlebury campuses. In Vermont, after over eight decades in Mead Chapel, a move to an air conditioned space with proximate parking and other amenities.

President Laurie L. Patton opened the ceremony by passing the original cane carried by Gamaliel Painter, one of the college’s founders, among the graduates. “It is a well-traveled, well-handled cane. Incoming undergraduates pass the cane from student to student during first-year Convocation, and it has now made the trip with me to Monterey for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ Commencement.”

The dean of the Language Schools, Professor Stephen Snyder, welcomed everyone to the ceremony, thanked all of the individuals and departments involved in orchestrating Language Schools Commencement, and pointed out that 14 master’s degrees and five doctoral degrees had been conferred previously on August 5 at the Language Schools’ second site at Mills College in Oakland, Calif.



President Patton (top) opened the 2016 Language Schools Commencement held in the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Novelist Dany Laferrière (below) delivered a Commencement Address in praise of reading.

Dean Snyder introduced the Commencement speaker, novelist and journalist Dany Laferrière, whom he called “a guardian of the French language.” Laferrière, a recent inductee into the Acadèmie française—the 381-year-old French authority on French usage, vocabulary, and grammar—delivered his address in French “in honor of the centennial of the French School and in accordance with the rules of the Acadèmie,” Snyder said.

The address, entitled “In Praise of Reading,” included Laferrière’s observation that “reading allows you to hit the road with people you have just met without asking them where they are heading or what they intend to do when they get there.”

After the address, Provost Susan Baldridge read the name of each recipient as the degree candidates stepped onto the stage. One by one they accepted congratulations from the director of their school, received their diploma from Dean Snyder, were handed a cane by Vice President Jeffrey Cason, shook hands with President Patton, and posed for celebratory photographs.

An honorary Doctor of Letters degree was  conferred upon Dany Laferrière—the first Haitian and the first Canadian to be inducted into the Acadèmie française—by President Patton, Vice President Cason, and Dean Snyder. He accepted the honor to thunderous applause.

The 2016 Commencement was punctuated by three musical selections and concluded with the singing of (and tapping along with) the song “Gamaliel Painter’s Cane,” led by tenor François Clemmons, Middlebury’s Alexander Twilight Artist in Residence Emeritus. Organist Kevin Parizo offered the processional and recessional, and accompanied soprano Beth Thompson, Affiliate Artist.

The Language Schools conferred graduate degrees this summer in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. Its three other languages, which are taught at the undergraduate level only, are Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese.

Here is a glimpse of what you missed:

Throughout its rich history, Middlebury has provided a language learning experience like no other. We have welcomed students from every corner of the globe to our campuses, where they pursue their professional, academic, and personal goals through the rigorous study of foreign language and culture. Since 1915, more than 50,000 students—including more than 12,000 advanced degree holders—have attended one or more of the Language Schools, an experience that is more relevant than ever in a rapidly globalizing and increasingly complex world.


-Beth Karnes Keefe

With thanks for photography by Todd Balfour and reporting on commencement by Robert Keren


“Clifford West” activities from The MIIS Mindfulness Working Group

MIISAs the Clifford Symposium on Mindfulness unfolds in Middlebury this weekend, the Institute community will be joining in from Monterey. The MIIS Mindfulness Working Group is sponsoring a number of coordinated “Clifford West” activities, including a group viewing of the live stream from the Middlebury keynote speaker, Amishi Jha, and a screening of the film “A Small Good Thing,” directed by Middlebury College alumna Pamela Tanner Boll. (MIIS folks, see This Week at MIIS for specifc times and locations).

-Amy McGill

New Employee

fullsizerenderMIIS welcomes Galen Anderson, one of two Presidential Fellows with the Ron and Jessica Liebowitz Fund for Innovation, who began working from the Monterey campus this fall. Galen graduated from the College (’11.5) and received her graduate degrees (MPA and International Education Management) from MIIS in 2015.  She also attended Language Schools and Schools Abroad, worked as a staff member at the College before coming to MIIS. For her practicum (and subsequent as a staff member) at MIIS last year, she coordinated the successful launch of the Sprintensive program — a pilot project that offers DPP students the opportunity to spend a semester taking a sequence of intensive four-week courses.  This week Galen organized her first outreach session on the Fund for Innovation, which featured updates on funded projects and information on how to apply for support from FFI.

MiddPoints Newsletter Schedule

monthly-newsletter-tayler-clip-artOne of the major changes that we’ve implemented as we introduced the revitalized MiddPoints newsletter is the frequency of publication. We are now sending out a newsletter every other Wednesday, as opposed to every Monday. In an effort to facilitate the community’s efforts to share time sensitive items, here is the list of 2016 distribution dates for the revised newsletter-






We hope that this will make it easier for you to decide when to submit a story to us. Please email if you have any questions!

-Human Resources

From MSA: Protect Your Credit This Holiday Season

msaThe holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means.  Shopping.  (And pumpkin spice lattes, of course.)  Before you buy gobs of candy for trick-or-treaters, plan your Thanksgiving feast and look for the perfect Christmas gift, remember this:  shopping can either hurt or help your credit.

Why is credit so important?

In the world of finances, your credit is your reputation.  It affects your chances of getting a loan with a good interest rate, acquiring certain job positions and even housing.  Your credit score is built upon several things, including types of credit used, credit history, credit limits and utilization, and payment history.

Today, we’re focusing on the two biggest influencers: payment history (35% of your credit score) and credit limits and utilization (30% of your credit score).

Payment history includes, among other things, your habits for paying back bills.  Constant late payments lead to negative payment history and consequently, bring down your credit score.

Credit limits and utilization revolve around how much credit you use.  If you have a credit card with a $3,000 limit, are you constantly using the full $3,000 (100% utilization)?  Maintaining a low usage rate is best – regardless of your actual credit limit.

What do pumpkins and mistletoe have to do with my credit score?

So maybe pumpkin spice lattes and new twinkle lights can’t literally hurt your credit, but the amount of money you spend on them can.  Your credit will take a major hit if you consistently spend more than your means and get behind on your bills.

Did you know that over $600 billion was spent during the winter holidays last year, with the average American spending over $700 for food, gifts, and decor?1

Everyone wants to make the holidays festive, entertain family and friends with the best food and fun, and show generosity with gifts for all.  Which is well and good, don’t get us wrong.  We love and look forward to holiday cheer as much as the next person.

What we don’t want is that holiday cheer ending when you get the bills.  Unfortunately, bills don’t take a winter break (Wouldn’t that be awesome?!), and credit card companies still expect payments.

How do I improve my credit and my holiday cheer?

With attention and planning, this winter could provide an incredible chance to improve your credit by being diligent with finances.  What’s more is it’ll help you stay calm amidst the shopping frenzy, and when you find that perfect gift for your loved one, you don’t have to worry about straining your wallet.

Here are five steps to get you started:

1.  Know your credit limits

Before you join the mob of people enjoying Black Friday specials, jot down all your credit cards and their respective limits, as well as their current balances (if any).

2.  Calculate a utilization limit

Now that you know the limit for each credit card, calculate how much you can spend with each card while still maintaining a positive utilization rate.  Exceeding even 30% of your available credit can be damaging, so leave yourself some wiggle room.  A good place to start is only using 25% or less of your credit limit.  For example, if you have an $8,000 line of credit, then you would try to keep the credit card balance under $2,000 at all times.

As you shop around, keep track of which card you use and how much you’re charging to that card, so you can better gauge how close you are to the utilization limit – and refrain from going over it.

3.  Stick to a budget

Just because you have a credit card with an $8,000 credit limit doesn’t necessarily mean you should spend $8,000 on holiday gifts.  And calculating a $2,000 utilization limit doesn’t necessarily mean that you can spend $2,000 without consequence either.

The spending calculation you should adhere to is the dollar amount that fits your budget.  As the holidays approach, think about all the purchases you want to make (candy, decorations, gifts, donations, etc.) and how much money you can afford to put towards those purchases while still meeting your other expenses (like rent and utilities).

Living within your means by sticking to a realistic budget will help you stay on track with credit usage and make it easier to pay off your bills on time.

4.  Set up bill alerts

Sometimes, people miss a bill payment simply due to distractions.  You see the familiar envelope with the monthly bill, and you toss it aside because you’d rather make some hot chocolate, but putting off the sweets for just a minute and making a point of paying your credit card bill is a small step that makes a huge difference.

Always making late payments influences your credit score and losing track of payments during the holidays are a sure fire way to get behind and stay behind.  So… set up alerts on your phone for when a bill arrives and when it’s due.  Unless you pay your bill the moment it becomes available, insert periodic reminders into your calendar so you don’t find yourself waiting until the last minute and increase your chances of incurring a late fee.

5.  Pay bills in full

Paying bills on time and in full are equally important.  Why?  When you only pay the minimum, you actually increase the amount of debt you carry, and you increase the amount you have to pay for your credit card purchases because of interest.

For example, let’s say you make a $10,000 purchase (a bit excessive but works well for this demonstration).  You use a credit card with 15% interest to make the purchase.  You make no other purchases with the card, and the minimum monthly payment required is 2.5% of the balance.  If you only pay the minimum each month, it will take 23 years to pay off, and you will pay an additional $9,637 in interest.

Carrying around that kind of debt and paying off so much interest is certainly enough to kill the holiday mood.

How can I keep track of everything?

So keeping track of credit card usage and bill payments will help you build and maintain good credit, but that’s a lot to remember, especially when you’d rather focus on finding a great Christmas tree.

With Wallet, you can squeeze all your financial information into your pocket for easy access.  Wallet is an online money management tool that allows you to see all your accounts in one place, track your spending (credit card transactions, cash and more), and even set alerts so you never miss a bill or go over budget.

You can also keep your credit in tip-top shape (or learn more ways to repair it) by working with a Money Coach.  All of our money coaches are Certified Credit Counselors who have years of experience in financial services and are familiar with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and many have additional accreditations like Certified Credit Report Reviewer – CCRR®.

A Money Coach can help you keep the holidays bright while integrating smart financial practices into your daily life.  You can talk about everything from budgeting, bills and credit cards, to mortgages, retirement and investments.  And, of course, how holiday spending can boost your financial wellness.

Call 888-724-2326 to get started.