Category Archives: Midd Blogosphere

Middlebury Institute Staff Visit School in Jordan


University of Jordan Campus. Photo by Jen Holguin.

Wedged into my bus seat, limbs at odd angles around backpacks, lunch sacks and water bottles, I let the conversation float around me. Singsong Arabic, punctuated by frequent laughter and the occasional few words from a song, drowned out the increasing sounds of traffic as we re-entered Amman. With my eyes closed, I couldn’t tell student from native speaker. “This,” I thought to myself, “is what an immersive program is really all about.”—Jen Holguin

Assistant Dean Toni Thomas and Jen Holguin, Career and Academic Adviser & Director of Fellowships, Exchanges & Study Abroad, have just returned from a visit to the Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad Program site in Amman. The trip was sponsored by the Office of the Provost, which promotes and supports academic collaborations and partnerships across Middlebury’s programs. The purpose of the trip was to gain a better feel for how the program works on the ground and to lay the foundation for developing program options more closely aligned with our relevant graduate-level programs.


Hiking with Middlebury students in Jordan. Photo by Jen Holguin.

These goals were met and exceeded, thanks to the incredible support and collaboration of Director Kerstin Wilsch and her staff. Jen and Toni held highly productive meetings with faculty and administrators at the University of Jordan. They visited internship sites and made plans to connect with additional organizations after returning to Monterey. They talked with students, staff, teachers and mentors about their experiences with the program. They sat in on classes taught entirely in Modern Standard Arabic and Levantine Dialect (and even learned a few words themselves along the way!) They also had the incredible opportunity to join the students on an excursion, which included an eight-hour hike through a magical, stream-filled canyon, a stay at an eco-lodge, and a swim in the Dead Sea.

– Amy McGill


To upgrade your mac or NOT

Apple is currently offering macOS 10.12 (Sierra) as an update.  ITS does not currently support Sierra and recommends against installing this new operating system at this time.  “Sierra” hasn’t been around long enough to have been thoroughly tested with all applications in use on campus.  Please see for more information.

We recommend upgrading to OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) if you are not already running it; this is currently the preferred operating system for college-owned Macintosh computers.  Older operating systems are not updated; they also may not be able to browse to secure websites, and cannot run the latest version of Microsoft Office.

Caution: Back up your important data before upgrading your operating system!  While we should always keep our information secure, upgrades pose an extra risk of data loss due to the sheer amount of work a hard drive goes through during this process.  Performing an upgrade while on campus, using your Ethernet cable and power supply will provide best results.  To upgrade your system, open the Self Service utility on college-owned Macs, then click on the OS category on the right.

If you have any questions or need help, please create a ticket at, and provide the “Property of Middlebury College” number for the computer you are using.

Has an ebook disappeared on you?

Looking for an ebook you used recently but that seems to have vanished? Let us know right away; we can probably get it back. Our major ebook program is undergoing some changes due to soaring costs and increasing publisher restrictions on usage. A large number of titles will disappear from our catalog this week. The process is designed to leave available anything that’s been used recently, but because of behind-the-scenes technical work, there’s a lag between the vendor’s most recent usage reports and the actual catalog-record deletion. As a result, you may have used a title in the last two weeks and now can’t find it again. Just ask us to recover it, and if our supplier still has it available, we will!

We also added a new collection recently, with more than 140,000 ebooks from EBSCO. Check it out!

Weekly Web Updates – October 10, 2016


Fixes and Tweaks

  • We made numerous improvements to page performance on the MiddSTART site, which now loads much faster.

Ongoing Work

  • Adding integration with Google Drive folders for the Course Hub.
  • Building out the configuration of our CAS, GO, MediaWiki, and Course Catalog servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal and WordPress environments.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Populating mailing lists in the MyEmma email system from Banner.

Donations Needed–Winter Clothing Closet


Attention Middlebury College Community!

The time has come to begin collecting donations for the annual Winter Clothing Closet!  See below for how to help.

What it is:

Each year, the Commons Residential Advisors (CRAs) and International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) team up to organize a clothing drive to benefit new international and U.S. students (especially those who have never lived in a cold climate) who need warm winter clothes.

What we’re looking for:

We seek “like-new” or “gently-used” winter clothing. In particular, we’re looking for winter coats, jackets, hats, mittens/gloves, scarves, and footwear/boots that would appeal to college students.

Where to bring your donations:

Collection boxes can be found in the following locations from October 5-October 23, 2016:

    • Atwater Dining— near the dining room entrance.
    • Athletics Complex— inside the main entrance by the information desk.
    • Davis Family Library– near the Circulation Desk
    • McCullough Student Center– by the lower-level entrance to Crossroads Café/The Grille
    • Proctor Dining— in Woodstove Lounge.
    • Public Safety— 125 South Main Street/Route 30 (open 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week)
    • Ross Dining—near the dining room entrance.
    • Service Building/ISSS Office– In the first floor entryway, by the stairs that go up to ISSS.
    • Sunderland/Dana Auditorium – Inside main entrance.

A big thank you to all offices hosting collection boxes and to all of you who are able to contribute!
The Winter Clothing Closet will be held on Wednesday, October 26.

Questions?  Please contact ISSS at or by phone at 802-443-5858.