Category Archives: Midd Blogosphere

Study Plasmonics and Spintronics This Summer

University of Utah Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC) Next-Generation Materials for Plasmonics & Organic Spintronics in Salt Lake City, Utah Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) June 5 – August 4, 2017 $5000 stipend, travel allowance and campus housing Potential majors: physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering (chemical, electrical, mechanical, metallurgical), applied math. Apply online […]

“Thorny Conversations” Workshop

HR door“Thorny Conversations” led by Lynn Dunton and Susan Schweizer

Wednesdays January 4, January 11, January 18 and January 25 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

~ Light refreshments will be provided

Workshop Overview

Have you ever put off a tough conversation because you don’t know how to handle it? Do you fret when you are facing a difficult conversation whether it be with a work colleague, family member, a friend, a service provider, or just anyone?  Do you wish you could be more comfortable when dealing with tough situations?  Are you aware of how you deal with disputes or disagreements?

If these questions “hit home” consider this workshop. This course guides you through a series of considerations that will provide insight into how to become comfortable and confident when having a thorny conversation. We will be looking at factors that get in the way of conversations such as anger, the ladder of inference, emotions, and identity. You will learn your own conflict style and what steps you can take to maximize or minimize it in a given the situation. In addition, discussions will explore principles related to tough conversations such as how to listen, elements of a difficult exchange, contribution versus blame, reflecting/paraphrasing, re-drawing the conflict and the third story.  For those adventuresome among you, we hope to facilitate role-plays.  If you are timid or shy, it is fine for you just to observe.

About the Presenters

Lynn Dunton has over 30 years of financial management experience in small and large not-for-profit organizations and academia. She served as CFO at the Vermont Community Foundation prior to joining Middlebury College in 2000. Lynn is a Budget Analyst for Academic Affairs and Ombudsperson at Middlebury College. Lynn received her BA from the University of Vermont and MS in Mediation and Conflict Studies from Champlain College. Lynn lives in Middlebury, Vermont.

Susanna Schweizer has over 30 years’ experience in management across multiple industries including banking, insurance, information technology, and academia.  Notable firms at which Susanna has held leadership positions include Digital Equipment Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Fleet Bank NA, Oxford Health Plans, and JPMorgan Chase.  Susanna received her BA from the University at Albany, NY and then went on to complete Masters in information studies at Columbia and an interdisciplinary MS in information systems at the University of Pittsburgh. Susanna also received her MS in Mediation and Conflict Studies from Champlain College where Lynn and she met and formed their partnership. Susanna lives in Grantham, New Hampshire.

Mediation Partners of New England, Lynn and Susanna’s conflict consulting practice, focuses on workplace and business conflict and disputes, family business issues, elder and adult children decisions, divorce mediation, conflict resolution training/coaching, and negotiation. Their signature training course is Thorny Conversation, Principles and Practices.

Please RSVP by responding by email to or x2012.

Weekly Web Updates – November 21, 2016

We created a special “Event” content type for the Middlebury Sustainability site, which is now available to use anywhere on the Middlebury Drupal site that you would like to list event information. Documentation on using the Event content type is available on the L&ITS Wiki.


Fixes and Tweaks

  • Updated the process that builds Course Hub sites for new courses to ensure that it will work for additional course formats, specifically those where the course number contains letters.
  • Fixed an issue with the MiddCORE email subscription form where extra line breaks in the email headers were preventing the form from sending confirmation emails to the site administrators.
  • We resolved an issue with images on featured articles in the Middlebury Magazine site.
  • The default student year on the Davis UWC Scholars site was increased.

Ongoing Work

  • A small redesign of the Middlebury News Room to bring it more inline with the newsletter.
  • 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.
  • Providing Course Hub access for Schools Abroad courses.

CCE Mini Grant Reflection by Nicole Cheng: Creative Time Summit

This project is supported by funding from a Middlebury College Community Engagement Mini-Grant.

In order to better understand different ways artists have tackled social justice issues from the upcoming November elections in the US to the crisis in South Sudan, I attended a conference in Washington D.C. organized by the non-profit, Creative Time. Through a series of lectures, performances and panels, I was able to meet and listen to such a diverse range of people tackling the various problems in our world with vivid imagination.

Vaginal Davis was one of the most memorable performances that I saw where instead of explaining their work through a lecture. They did a performance piece which spoke volumes more. It really reminded me of how the conventional format of a conference could be subverted and that other means of expression were just as valid.  Anna Hutsol, author of the women’s movement in Ukraine FEMEN was also really inspiring. Instructing women to protest topless in the face of injustice was something I had never seen before and even  though I was prepared to witness and listen to pretty absurd ideas, the courage of this simple action was so provocative and inspiring that it really made me rethink how vulnerable people are willing to be  in putting their bodies on the line.


From listening to co-founder Alicia Garza from #BlackLivesMatter to Sudanese cartoonist Khalid Albaih countless people amazed me over the three days. I eventually found myself at a discussion panel on the intersections of art and science and with the director of the National Academy of Sciences advocate for the Arts and Humanities in addition to STEM felt like these two worlds that I have been wrestling to be seen as more fluid between each other were finally coming together. Going to this conference gave me more motivation to use the imagination and play that art can activate in advocating for issues that I care about and with this experience, I hope that I too can show others on campus how powerful the arts can be.

You can check out more about the speakers who were at the event at this link below:

HOPE Holiday Shop – Consider Sponsoring a Child!

Season’s Greetings Middlebury Faculty and Staff!


The holiday season is almost upon us! Each year H.O.P.E (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects) hosts a Holiday Shop that helps families provide gifts for their children that make the holiday season that much more special. I hope that you and your colleagues will consider helping to sponsor a local child through H.O.P.E’s annual Holiday Gift Shop! Here’s how to participate:

  • Sign up by visiting go/HOPEholidayshop. You can sign up any time between November 17th and November 28th. You can also stop by the Center for Community Engagement to sign up!
  • By signing up, you’ll receive suggestions and gift ideas for children of different ages and genders.
  • You can sign up to participate 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 $25 per sign-up. We strongly encourage you to team up with friends and co-workers!
  • Do NOT wrap gifts.
  • Gifts must be brought to the Center for Community Engagement at 20 Old Chapel Road (DKE House) by & Thurs., November 30th and December 1st between 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Emma McDonald at

Thank you for your continued support of this wonderful program. H.O.P.E. counts tremendously on Middlebury College’s consistent and generous participation. Take care and thank you for your support and participation!




Emma McDonald
SerVermont AmeriCorps VISTA
Center for Community Engagement
20 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College Ɩ Middlebury, VT 05753

Thanks for donating to the Winter Clothing Closet 2016

mittensIn this time of giving thanks, International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) and the Commons Residential Advisors (CRAs) want to thank members of the Middlebury College and local communities for their generous donations to our 2016 Winter Clothing Closet, held in late October.  More than 90 students who will experience a Vermont winter for the first time attended this successful event.  Many First-Year and Exchange students as well as Transfers and Teaching Assistants walked away with smiles on their faces and essential items in hand to help them survive the long winter ahead.

Thank you for being part of this more-than-20-year tradition.  The students who attended were grateful for your contributions– and the thank you notes written in many languages on our sign-out board were a testament to that.  We kept a stash of of the leftovers for the “clothing closet” in ISSS for students to tap in the coming months. (We think some students haven’t realized yet how cold it will REALLY be!) We also donated several bags of the remaining, high-quality items to a local agency in town.

We are grateful for your participation in this important event that provided a “warm” welcome to students who are still in the process of making Middlebury home.

~The ISSS Team (Kathy Foley, Kas Singh, Joani Taylor, Carolyn Dahm, & Kirsten McNeill ’18) and the 2016-17 CRAs (Henrik Gundersen, Katie Linder, Diku Rogers, Alice Wang & Steve Zatarain)