Category Archives: Midd Blogosphere

Weekly Web Updates – August 29, 2016

WordPress Comment Spam

We received no reports of issues and did not notice an increase in spam comments this week during our test removal of one of the several comment spam measures we use in WordPress, so we’ve decided to leave the one we removed on Monday turned off.

WordPress Plugin and Theme Removals

We have removed the OnSwipe plugin, which was no longer getting updated. This plugin created a tablet view of a blog for non-responsive themes. If you still need this functionality, you can switch to one of our responsive themes, like any of the “Twenty” series or enable the WPtouch plugin.

We have also removed the JournalCrunch theme, which was no longer getting updated and was not being used by any sites.

Additionally, the Magazeen, colorpaper, Blogtheme, Bueno, Monotone, and Mystique themes were disabled, but not removed. Sites using one of these themes will still be using it, but the themes cannot be enabled on any new sites. Sites using these themes are encouraged to switch.

In each of these cases, the theme or plugin is using an old, common program to generate thumbnail images that has had issues in the past. Moving away from this script will help improve the availability and responsiveness of our WordPress service.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The Course Hub will now check to see if you have Panopto content before allowing you to delete a Panopto Resource from your course. You will need to delete the videos in Panopto before removing the resource.
  • Fixed various widths and margins in the CCI WordPress theme sidebar. [From our colleagues in College Communications].

Welcome, Erin, Katie, and Emma!

Greetings from the staff at the Center for Community Engagement! As we look ahead to the start of the fall semester, we’re delighted to share several announcements and welcome new staff.

IMG_9196 (1)

Front row: Tiffany Sargent (CCE Director), Megan Brakeley (CCE Assistant Director), Emma McDonald (SerVermont VISTA), Kristen Mullins (LiM Program Coordinator)

Back row: Erin Bodin (CCE Interim Associate Director), Ashley Laux (CCE Associate Director), Liz Cleveland (CCE Program Administrator), and Katie Carpenter (VCC AmeriCorps VISTA)

First off, we have moved! We’re now located at 20 Old Chapel Road, between Parton Health Center and Axinn. All are welcome to drop by and check out our new home!

Our name has also shifted: we are excited to now be the Center for Community Engagement. You may notice we’re shifting from CE to CCE.

We’re also truly delighted to welcome three new staff to our team: Erin Bodin, Katie Carpenter, and Emma McDonald.

Erin joins us as Interim Associate Director as Ashley is on parental leave. Erin graduated from Saint Michael’s College in 2006. During her time in college she found herself spending most of her free time in the MOVE office (CCE equivalent), particularly interested in supporting the international extended service opportunities. After graduation, Erin explored and worked both in Vermont and abroad, and found herself back in the MOVE office as their assistant director of community service from 2009-2012. Since that time, she received her MFA in Creative Writing and trained as a birth doula. Erin lives with her husband and little toddler on family farm land in Chittenden, Vermont and she is thrilled to be back in community engagement work– she looks forward to meeting you this fall!

Katie will be one of this year’s two new AmeriCorps VISTAs in Middlebury’s Center for Community Engagement. Her role for the next year will be supporting student organizations affiliated with CCE. Katie’s AmeriCorps assignment is through Vermont Campus Compact, which aims to increase college aspiration, access and retention, and the position imagines that fairly broadly, since encouraging kids to see college as a potential path can happen at almost any age.  She’s excited to get started!

Emma is from Baltimore, MD and graduated in May of 2016 from Middlebury College with a degree in Religion. Some highlights from her undergraduate experience include learning German and living in the German House, working as a student staff member for the Language in Motion program at the Center for Community Engagement, working as a peer writing tutor and freshman seminar mentor, and writing her senior thesis on Catholic moral theology and assisted reproductive technologies.

As a SerVermont AmeriCorps VISTA, Emma is collaborating with students and the Center for Community Engagement to build capacity in Middlebury’s anti-poverty initiatives, especially the Privilege & Poverty academic cluster. Her work will focus on studying and enhancing community partnerships to facilitate Middlebury’s improved understanding of and engagement with needs and opportunities identified by the community. She is excited to be back at Middlebury in this new role!

Kristen’s role will be expanding as Megan will be a Posse mentor for Chicago 5. Kristen will now be supporting Juntos and (in partnership with Chellis House) Brother to Brother and Sister to Sister.

Please drop by our  new home to say hi– we’re so delighted to work with you this year.

 

HR UPDATE: THIS WEEK’S EMPLOYMENT SNAPSHOT

There are currently 7 faculty positions, 39 external job postings (regular, on-call and temporary), and 3 internal job postings on the Middlebury employment opportunities web sites.

Employment Quick Links:

Faculty Employment Opportunities:http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/administration/prospective_faculty/employment

Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs (on campus), http://go.middlebury.edu/staff-jobs (off campus)

Please note – to view only internal staff postings, please use the internal posting search filter that was highlighted in this MiddPoints article.

On-call/Temporary Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs-sh (on campus),http://go.middlebury.edu/staff-jobs-sh (off campus)

Exchange Public Folders Will Be Unavailable 8/30–8/31

The migration of Middlebury’s email services to Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud environment is well underway. As of Friday, August 26th, we have moved 87% of all mailboxes to the cloud. Thank you so much for the help and feedback to date, it wouldn’t be possible without your support. The migration schedule can be found at http://go.middlebury.edu/cloud, updated daily.

For those of you that use Exchange Public Folders for departmental calendars, etc., we have an update. Public Folders will be unavailable for access from Tuesday, August 30th through Noon EST on Wednesday, August 31st. Public Folders are handled differently from mailboxes in Microsoft Exchange, and because of that difference they will be unavailable during their migration to the cloud.

When they are available again on August 31st, some users may need to re-open the Public Folders they normally access. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Here are the instructions for Outlook 2016 for Windows:

In Outlook, press Ctrl-6 to open the Folder View. You should see something like this:

public_folders

To add a public folder to your Favorites, right-click the folder, then select Add to Favorites…. You should now be able to access it whenever you need it, including in the Calendar screen under “Other Calendars.”

Other platforms:

Thanks again for your support and understanding. Please contact the Helpdesk with concerns or issues.

Easter Egg Hunting on Chipman Hill

Over the years, many of my blog postings have described runs on, or including sections of the Trail Around Middlebury, aka, “The TAM”. And why not? The TAM is the most frequently traveled trail in Middlebury, and the blog is, after all, “The Middlebury Trailrunner”. If the TAM is the gold necklace around our town, Chipman Hill is its diamond pendant. This gem, right at the edge of town, offers a roughly 500 ft vertical climb – making it a convenient place for local endurance athletes to train.

When I first moved to Middlebury, in the mid-1980’s, Chipman Hill was only minimally developed as an outdoor resource. The old paved road over its twin summits, which was closed to vehicular traffic 30 years ago, a trail along its base on the east side, and a smattering of rarely used mountain bike trails constituted the “development” of this refuge. Over the years, many more, well constructed trails have appeared, many of them laid out by mountain bikers. The rise of the the Middlebury Land Trust has led to some further trail improvements, and somewhat heavier use than in the past.  But that said, on a pleasant late August evening, I passed about 8-10 other people, enjoying the hill as runners, walkers, or mountain bikers, and there is plenty of solitude up there still.

Some Chipman Hill newcomers might find the maze of trails, some maintained, and some not, confusing and daunting.  The old road over the top is easy enough, starting from High Street (the street running behind the Swift House Inn), and ending on Spring Street (the highest driveable point on the south side of Chipman Hill).  The trails, on the other hand can be somewhat confusing in places, some of them even confusing me, even after three decades of exploration.  There is no need to worry about getting lost however.  My usual rule of thumb when I get disoriented, is to simply hike to the top of whatever mountain I am on, and get my bearings back – most mistakes in route finding happen on descents (as some of my hiking and running partners will attest).  Fortunately with Chipman Hill, if you don’t know where you are, you can always run away from the hill, and surprise – you will be somewhere in Middlebury when you hit a road.

On most of my posts, I give a somewhat detailed trail description, but other than the simple run on the road over the top, which I actually did describe once a few years ago, the whole point of running on Chipman Hill is to try new trails, and see where they take you, and what points of curiosity you might see along the way.  So, I am going to set up this route, by simply telling you where I started (In the Marble Works, and getting onto Chipman Hill from the end of High Street) and how I got back (the same way), publish the contorted and complicated route map on Google Earth (more for the sake of humor than actual direction) and show a few pictures from along the way.

Some of these pictures are of locations on the hill which are well known, and others, on more obscure trails, are a little harder to find.  I am putting them up in the order in which I took them, making a bit of an easter egg hunt for friends who might want to explore the hill a little bit more than they may have in the past.  I apologize for the general darkness of the pictures – a 6 pm run in late August can get that way, even on a clear day!

Ye Olde Ski Jump Hill

Ye Olde Ski Jump Hill

The first well known landmark I came to, was the old ski jump hill. It is easy to see, as the runout is still mowed a few times each summer. Chipman Hill was used as the site of the Middlebury College Winter Carnival races during World War II, and a small ski facility was built on Chipman Hill to accommodate the racers and jumpers. I suspect that the road over the top may have once been a ski race trail, but I have no proof of this.

Wildlife sign

Wildlife sign

A little later, I came to this curious sign, generated by the “Leave no Trace” organization, on a relatively obscure side trail. What was curious about it? Well this was the only sign of its type I saw, and it seems odd that the only “trace” on this part of the hill, was the actual sign.

Western Overlook

Western Overlook

On the western side of the hill, there is a park bench with views of the Adirondacks, carved out of a small clearing. Curiously, starting right behind this seat is a concrete pylon, and 8 more of these pylons extend up the side of the hill, in a straight line, more or less evenly spaced. I have always been curious of these pylons – at first I suspected that they might have been used as part of some sort of ski lift in ages past, but why would they need so many of them, for what could not have been more than a pulley for a rope tow? And besides, descriptions of the ski trails used during the war never make mention of any lifts, although one friend claims to have seen a photo or sketch of Chipman Hill with a rope tow in it, although I have never seen this. If anyone knows what these pylons are for, I would be intrigued to hear.

Summit Communications Tower

Summit Communications Tower

This is another easy find, as it can be seen from almost anywhere in town – the tall communications tower, on top of the highest point in town. I was also curious, on this run, to see if I could find any sign of the old, much shorter tower just to the east of the summit, but all the hardware associated with the older installation has apparently been removed.

Old Gravel Pit

Old Gravel Pit

There is a rather substantial abandoned gravel pit on the lower, eastern slopes of the hill. This was much more pronounced in the 80’s, but has become somewhat overgrown in the last 30 years. Then, as now, it appears to be used for campfires (and presumably illicit outdoor underage parties), much like it was 30 years ago, as evidenced by at least 3 different fire pits. The gravel pit can be easily made out in the Google Earth projection of Chipman Hill at the end of this posting.

Dumped Fridge

Dumped Fridge

Here was an unpleasant surprise near the gravel pit – For the first time in my life, I noticed a long abandoned refrigerator, which was surprising in light of the fact that most of the hill is completely litter free, and it must have been there for a long time, as it has been decades since the gravel pit had routine vehicular traffic needed to dump off an abandoned appliance.

Crooked Tree

Crooked Tree

This tree just looked cool, and was on a lesser used trail, so I guess this will be one of the more challenging Easter Eggs!

Lonely Fire Hydrant

Lonely Fire Hydrant

This fire hydrant, which I had never noticed before caught my attention, as it was on a closed, seemingly abandoned stretch of road. Who knows, maybe there were once plans to build homes on this part of the mountain? It also looks like it has unexpectedly grown since it was planted, as the hydrant itself was well above the ground line. I also noticed a bunch of bunny rabbits with their little white tails running around nearby – appropriate for a blog on Easter Egg hunting. They did not pose for pictures however.

Old Reservoir

Old Reservoir

This muddy, algae-infested pond is what I have heard referred to as the old village reservoir. I don’t know the full history, but I for one am glad that we aren’t currently drinking from it.

New Reservoir

New Reservoir

Just uphill from the old reservoir is – surprise – the new reservoir! I am comforted by the fact that it is actually enclosed.

Trail Sign

Trail Sign

Coming up from the Springside Rd. access point, this well-designed map was posted – I am glad that I saw it at this point, after running for roughly and hour – who knows, I might have been lost all along and not known it? A copy of this map, which has the road, and most, but not all of the heavily used trails marked out, can be found online at the excellent MALT website.

Cairn

Cairn

Finally, shortly after coming off the trails, and onto High St to conclude my run, I noticed this small cairn in a yard by the road – I have always rather enjoyed these little rock piles for some reason, and once again, in keeping with the Easter Egg theme, one can imagine a stack of chocolate eggs and jelly beans forming them?

Concluding the run, I returned to my car in the Marble Works, finishing a slightly more than 6 mile run, where I basically didn’t do anything other than run around in circles. Although the altitude gain between the Marble Works and the summit is “only” about 500 ft, with all the ups and downs, I estimate I climbed and descended close to 1200 ft in the course of this run, making for a rather substantial hill climb run, without having to leave the village. If you are a newcomer to running on the local trails, and want something a little more challenging, give this hill a try. If you are an experienced runner, see if you can explore the trails more thoroughly, to see if you can find any of the sights mentioned here that you are not familiar with. There are quite a few more trails, that I never even got to on this run, so perhaps in a year or two, I will include those to find some new Easter Eggs to share.

Google Earth of Chipman Hill Run

Google Earth of Chipman Hill Run

Altitude Profile

Altitude Profile

2016-2017 PWT/FYM Leadership Team

 

Middlebury College PWT/FYM Program (2016-2017)

CTLR (DFL 225)  ctlr@middlebury.edu (x3131)

Mary Ellen Bertolini (PWTs/FYMs) mbertoli@middlebury.edu

Yonna McShane (FYMs)  mcshane@middlebury.edu

Head Tutor: August Laska  alaska@middlebury.edu

Head Drop-in Tutor: Jerrica Davy jdavy@middlebury.edu

Head Mentor: Dwayne Scott drscott@middlebury.edu

Social Media Managers: (F) Julie Desmarais jcdesmarais@middlebury.edu,

(S) Anna Iglitzin aiglitzin@middlebury.edu

Clarissa Parker receives grant from National Institutes of Health

Clarissa Parker (Psychology and Neuroscience) has been awarded a research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse through NIH’s R15 AREA program. The grant provides three years of funding to support a project titled Genome-Wide Association for Affective Withdrawal in Outbred Mice. The goal of this work is to use a highly recombinant mouse population to map genes in mice associated with the behavioral and physiological traits that characterize drug withdrawal. A better understanding of the pathways linking genetic variation and expression to neuronal function and behavior in mice will provide novel insights that can inform the prevention and treatment of drug use disorders in humans. The grant includes support for 6 undergraduate students.