Author Archives: J. Ashley Laux

Parents: Need a break after Winter Break?

Twelve Middlebury students are hosting a babysitting night to raise funds for their upcoming service-learning trip to the Dominican Republic.

Who: Children Ages 2+
What: Games, Crafts, and Other Fun
Where: Mitchell Green Lounge (on the second floor of the McCullough Student Center)
When: Saturday, January 11, Drop-off anytime after 5:30 p.m., pickup before 9:30 p.m.

The cost will be $20 for the first child and $15 for each additional child in your family. Payable by check made out to Middlebury College or cash. Please email by January 10 to reserve a spot.

Thank you for your support! We look forward to meeting your kiddos!

Middlebury Alternative Break trips are advised by Associate Director of Community Engagement Ashley Calkins, and this fundraiser has been approved by Student Activities.

Sponsor a local child with presents for the holidays: Giving Trees

Season’s Greetings Middlebury Faculty and Staff!

Help sponsor a local child whose family cannot afford to buy presents for the holiday season through the Giving Trees program, in collaboration with the local organization H.O.P.E (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects). Each Giving Tree lists gift ideas for an age-range and gender and this year HOPE will allow parents to choose out of the donated items in a “Holiday Shop” in order to best match gifts with their own children’s interests.

Here’s how to participate:

  • You can sponsor a tree by yourself, with a friend, as a department or in another type of group collaboration!
  • We ask that you consider spending a minimum amount of $50 per tree – but please don’t let this discourage you from participating! We strongly encourage you to team up with friends and co-workers to maximize the fun and impact of each Giving Tree!
  • Do NOT wrap gifts.
  • You can pick up a tree (paper cut-out) from the Community Engagement office in 118 South Main on Friday, November 15; Monday, November 18; and Tuesday, November 19 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.!
  • Gifts must be brought back to the 118 South Main Street on Tuesday, November 26 between 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Take care and have a great Thanksgiving break and upcoming Holiday Season!

Please note a few key changes to this year’s Giving Tree program, in collaboration with HOPE, (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects):

  • HOPE is creating a “Holiday Store” that will enable parents to come in and make their own selections. To accommodate this approach, the “Giving Trees” will still work as they have, in that you’ll have a child (boy or girl with corresponding ages), etc., but we won’t be matching specific gifts with specific children.
  • The store will open at HOPE for parents by Dec. 2, so we need to collect the gifts before Thanksgiving break (note highlighted dates)!
  • Finally, remember that Community Engagement moved this summer; we are now at 118 South Main St., on the corner of South Main and Storrs Ave., behind the Library!

As always, thank you for your support and participation.

Ashley Calkins ’06
Associate Director
Community Engagement
118 South Main Street


Connect to the local community at the 9/17 MiddAction Fair

Dear Faculty and Staff:

You are warmly invited to join us for the annual MiddAction Fair. Whether you’d like to explore opportunities to partner with community organizations regarding your teaching or research, or if you are new to our Middlebury community and would like to make a more personal connection to your new “home,” we welcome you to join us! Details below.

MiddAction Fair
When: Tuesday, September 17, 6–7:30 p.m.
Where: McCardell Bicentennial Hall Great Hall

This is your chance to get involved: Meet representatives from more than 50 local non-profit organizations and student service groups with opportunities to get involved in the community.

The MiddAction Fair will provide you with the opportunity to engage directly in local activism, volunteering, social justice, and service-learning activities in areas such as education, literacy, youth mentoring, environment, emergency services, public health, poverty, hunger, housing, and much more.

Questions? Contact Ashley Calkins, Community Engagement Coordinator,, 802.443.3099

This event is open to students, faculty, staff, and the general public.

Invitation to 9/11 Staff Council Meeting

Please join us for our monthly meeting on Wednesday, August 11, 2013. Our guest speaker this month is Cheryl Mullins and she is joining us to talk about employee benefits. We look forward to seeing you at our meeting.

Agenda:  Wednesday, September 11th from 9:00 am to 10:30 am
Crest Room
Attendees: Staff Council Representatives, Human Resource, Staff

9:00 a.m. Open meeting and introductions
9:05 a.m. Approval of minutes: August 2013 Meeting
9:10 a.m. Committee Reports

  • Community Council
  • HR-6
  • Publicity and Events Committee
  • Safety and Environment Committee
  • Election Committee
  • Staff Development Committee
  • Compensation Committee
  • Web Prioritization Committee

 9:30 a.m. Old Business

  • Water Bottle initiative update
  • Service Building Parking update
  • Middlebury Magazine Opt Out update

 9:35 a.m. New Business

  • How will the Obama Care plan affect Middlebury College
  • SRC update
  • Concern about inherent inequity of “Exceeds expectations” job ratings.
  • Concern from staff about new hires earning almost same wage as long time employees

10:00 a.m. Cheryl Mullins will speak about benefits

10:30 a.m. Adjournment

Staff Council regular meetings are open to all Middlebury College staff members. Staff members should let their supervisors know if there is a particular meeting they wish to attend. Supervisors will seek to find a positive balance between addressing operational needs and support staff requests to attend these meetings.

Staff Gathering 6/27 – free hors d’oeuvres

Enjoy a relaxing early summer gathering with your colleagues.
Free hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar!

Thursday, June 27, 2013 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Crossroads Cafe

Please RSVP in the form on the right-side of Staff Council’s main page:

(If your plans change at the last minute – please feel welcome to come even if you haven’t RSVP’d!)

Treats provided by Middlebury College Staff Council

Join our 6/12 Staff Council Meeting!

Join us Wednesday, June 12th, at 9 am in the Grille Conference Room (behind Crossroads Cafe in McCullough) for the last Staff Council Meeting of this fiscal year. Our special guest will be Patrick Norton, Vice President for Finance, and Treasurer. (Full agenda below)

Also on Wednesday – Staff Council’s annual Ice Cream Social at noon on McCullough Terrace (or Mitchell Green Lounge in case of rain) — Greet our new members, enjoy ice cream and other treats, and maybe get a door prize!

Agenda – June 12, 2013

9:00 Welcome and introductions

9:05 Results of Staff Council election, and welcoming of new Staff Council representatives who are able to attend

9:08 Minutes – May meeting

9:10 Committee Reports:

· Community Council

· HR-6

· Total Compensation Advisory Committee:

· Publicity and Events:

· Safety and Environment:

· Elections:

· Professional development:

· Web prioritization

9:20 Identify “torches to be passed” to new Staff Council members, and other aspects of “Staff Council institutional memory,” including:

  • MCSC email list, access to MCSC folder on Middfiles, others?
  • Keys for ballot box locks and other physical items – who gets them and where should they be kept?
  • Other items

9:50 Farewell to “retiring” SC representatives – Naomi Neff, Cathy Tester, Valerie Costello, and Jackie Doty

10:00 Patrick Norton joins us to give his perspective on activities in the administration

10:30 Adjournment