Academic Roundtable: Envisioning Undergraduate Research at Middlebury

ctlr-bannerNovember 8, 2016 @ 12:15 pm in the CTLR suite, Library 225

Undergraduate research is an important academic experience for many students. But imagine if we could provide that experience to all students. Would we want to do that?  Why?  What would it look like?  Join us for a discussion about (re) envisioning undergraduate research. Why is it an important component of a liberal arts education? How do students and faculty benefit?  Can we imagine new models of authentic research experiences and attendant creative and/or scholarly processes that make them more available to more students, using fewer resources? Are there new challenges we face?


Sponsored by the Center for Teaching, Learning and Research and the Library


Envisioning Distance Collaboration

The Office of Digital Learning, the Digital Learning Commons, and the Academic Cyberinfrastructure Transformation Team (ACTT) will be hosting a community-initiated conversation about remote work and distance collaboration on November 11, 2016 at 12:00pm ET / 9:00am PT. The event will include synchronous collaboration across both campuses and with other remote attendees. For more information, visit the Office of Digital Learning blog, or save your seat for the conversation right away.

Hack Education Writer / Activist Audrey Watters to Speak about MiddCreate

On October 21 at 1:30pm ET, the Office of Digital Learning and the Digital Learning Commons will be hosting a talk by Audrey Watters, internationally recognized education writer and speaker. Audrey will give a talk called “Attending to the Digital / Reclaiming the Web“, which will focus on issues of digital identity and ownership, and on the Domain of One’s Own movement that inspired Middlebury’s own MiddCreate. On Middlebury Campus, we will gather to watch and discuss the livestream at 1:30pm ET in the Davis Family Library, room 105A. For more information, visit the Office of Digital Learning blog.

@MiddInfoSec – Phishing Alert: don’t fall for “Web Mailbox” scam email

Be on the alert for a suspicious email purportedly sent from “” with the subject line “Web Mailbox”.

This is a confirmed phishing message, designed to trick you into divulging your username and password. If you find a copy of this message in your spam quarantine, please ignore it. If you find a copy of the message in your inbox, please delete it.

If you find this message in your spam quarantine, do not release it. It will be deleted automatically in the next few days. Do not click on the links in the message or reply to the message.


For more information about phishing attacks, please visit http://go.middlebury.ed/phishing.

For more information about the spam quarantine, please visit http://go.middlebury.ed/spam.

Travel Tips: Ground Transportation in Midd vs. Monterey

car-travelBesides avocados and artichokes, there is one other thing that is actually cheaper in California than in Vermont: airport shuttle services. As some Monterey travelers have discovered to their dismay, a van ride from the Burlington Airport to Middlebury costs twice as much to cover half the distance as a similar service in California. We recommend that MIIS visitors to the Middlebury campus rent a car to save their travel budgets. But if you are coming to Monterey from Middlebury, consider taking the Monterey Airbus. It has regular service to both the San Francisco and San Jose airports, you can register and prepay online with a P-card, and in addition to saving money, you avoid having to navigate the always-crowded freeways. And if you are lucky, your driver will be the Jazz Man, who plays mellow jazz all the way. The Airbus station in Monterey is literally next door to the MIIS campus. There are several hotels, and plenty of restaurants and local attractions within walking distance of campus.

-Amy McGill

One Middlebury Fund Helps Faculty Build on Shared Interests across Middlebury Programs

provost_finalbannerOctober 31 is the deadline for One Middlebury applications. The One Middlebury Fund, administered by the Office of the Provost, enables faculty from all Middlebury Programs (the College, the Institute, and the Schools) to engage in collaborative curricular, co-curricular, and scholarly work with colleagues in another Middlebury program. Specific guidelines are available on the Office of the Provost website.

Recently funded projects include MIIS professor Ed Laurance’s September visit hosted by Middlebury College Political Science professor Sarah Stroup. Laurance, who serves as an expert for a UN-led effort to develop global standards for controlling the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, lectured on “Small Arms, Violence, and Global Development.” He discussed a new international treaty on small arms that resulted from the extensive efforts of a global NGO campaign. He also visited Prof. Stroup’s classes, as a first step toward integrating their courses on global development and advancing their shared research interests in advocacy and research by NGO coalitions.

Coming up in the spring, Prof. Andrea Olsen (in residence at the Institute) will bring Professor Emeritus John Elder to Monterey give a lecture and workshop on “Writing as Activism,” as part of the course “Communicating in a Changing world,” co-taught by Olsen and Institute Professor Nukhet Kardam.  The lecture will be videotaped for inclusion in a born-digital textbook that is emerging from this collaborative course.  The lecture will also be available via videoconferencing to participants at the College.

For more information, see our complete list of funded projects.

-Amy McGill

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