2017-2018 SCB Coordinator Application

Are you interested in joining the CCE as a student staff member? SCB is hiring a coordinator for the 2017 – 2018 Academic Year. Chaired by two co-coordinators, the Service Cluster Board is an umbrella organization founded in 2009 to improve the efficiency and efficacy of service groups on campus. SCB coordinators manage the finances and leadership development of SCB leaders and serve as a liaison between student leaders and Student Activities. SCB coordinators work four paid office hours per week in the CCE and run monthly meetings for SCB leaders. Students from any class year and experience level can apply.

Duties of the position include:

  • Managing the leadership development and finances of 17 service groups
  • Advising the Flex Fund by screening service project proposals and approving monetary allocations
  • Working closely with group leaders, Center for Community Engagement staff, and students who are interested in service
  • Orchestrating and conducting yearly trainings, monthly meetings, and audits
  • Proposing a budget annually on behalf of the 17 service groups before the Finance Committee

It is requested that coordinators serve through Spring 2018, at a minimum.

Apply here: SCB-Coordinator-Application-2017-2018

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the SCB Coordinators at scboard@middlebury.edu

Please submit the following page and your resume to scboard@middlebury.edu by Monday, April 10th at 10pm.

Friends of John Graham Shelter Senior Reflection by Maya Peers Nitzberg

My work with JGS over the last two and a half years has been integral to my Middlebury experience. I have savored the weekly trips off-campus and the relationships I have built with people who aren’t 18-22, and whose lives and worldviews and goals don’t necessarily look the same as mine. Furthermore, thanks to my internship at JGS during the summer of 2014, I have some knowledge of the Housing Services network in Addison County and where Middlebury (town and College) fits in. Without a connection to the greater community, my four years in Vermont would have been far less meaningful.

Over the last four years, I have grown my branch of FOJGS from myself and an occasional friend, to an enthusiastic group of volunteers. Directing a group of volunteers and building an official school organization has surely been a learning and growing experience. My summer at JGS was devoted to the residents; as a JGS staff member, my mind was always towards was always concerned with how best to support residents, as the entered, stayed for months or even years, and moved on and out. As a student volunteer and volunteer coordinator, I had to attend to the needs of the students and to the concerns of the College, as well as of the shelter and its residents. Directing and expanding FOJGS has given me an expanded view of the possibilities and challenges engendered by social service work.

-Maya Peers Nitzberg ‘16.5

Community Friends seeks area participants

Community Friends, now in its 57th year, pairs children who attend Addison County schools (ages 6-12) with Middlebury College students in one-on-one mentoring relationships. Big brother and big sister pairs are matched based on factors like shared gender identity, interests, age, and transportation availability.

Optionally, mentees and mentors can select to be a part of Manos Unidas, a new wing of Community Friends in partnership with Juntos, a Middlebury College migrant farmworker-student solidarity organization. Manos Unidas matches children and mentors who identify as Latinx and/or Hispanic and would like to engage in mentoring relationships that celebrate and explore shared culture and identity.

All Community Friends and Manos Unidas pairs meet weekly during the academic year to spend time on campus. They might also go for a walk on the TAM, swim in the college pool, or share a meal. All participants also have the opportunity to attend monthly group events, like our annual pool party, an ice-cream making event, and an outdoor field day.

To sign up your child, please complete the Mentee Referral Form available at www.go.middlebury.edu/cf or speak with your child’s school guidance counselor about being referred. Please direct questions to Megan Brakeley at the Center for Community Engagement, mbrakeley@middlebury.edu or the student organization email: comfriends@middlebury.edu.

Please note: it may take a month or more to find the right match. At this time, we have an abundance of female-identifying mentors and no male mentors.

Notes: Moodle Archving

Guest – Billy Sneed

  • We’re transitioning away from Moodle, but we’re still somewhat reliant on it, even though we’ve migrated to Canvas.
    • We can’t totally turn Moodle off. Need to think thoughtfully about what we still need access to in Moodle and for how long?
    • How do we keep from disrupting policy and practices?
  • Project request was submitted (Billy S. here to speak more to that)
  • What do we still rely on Moodle for?
    • Faculty need to offer course content evidence up to 7 years back, specifically class activity online. They are being evaluated on how they interact with students online and what students get out of the course.
    • No one in the public needs to see any Moodle content, students shouldn’t need access either.
    • Content backups (MIIS). Not student data, just faculty content.
    • We’re still in transition, migration of course sites is not complete. Faculty need to have access to all their Moodle content so they can migrate it over in the future if they need it
    • Tenure review process
    • User access management: tenure review committee and faculty would need access
    • MIIS doesn’t have tenure review, we have contract review.
    • Relatively small group of faculty get reviewed for tenure at Midd.
    • Could we use some sort of non-public archival tool?
  • There are challenges in moving content from Moodle to Canvas.
    • Process strips out user data.
    • We may not be able to do this with future versions of Moodle, either. So even if we maintain a Moodle instance, that may not solve the problem.
  • Why did we decide to have Moodle be a hosted service?
    • We have the resources for this, $ or otherwise
    • What’s the cost benefit analysis of a hosted instance or an internally maintained instance?
    • It was a political decision – maintaining an instance of Moodle for archival purposes would also be a political decision
  • We can’t just export it and keep the data because we need to be able to see how the interaction with students played out
  • Another solution: desktop virtualization system
    • Adjust authentication settings
    • One administrator account
    • If anyone needs to review anything, they can pull up the Moodle instance ONLY via that local computer
    • If there is only one machine and it’s physically located on the College campus, this wouldn’t serve Monterey
  • We need to comply with the policy and keep Moodle pages with student data available for 2 years, the need changes for years 3-7
    • December 2018 is when we’ve told the community Moodle archives will no longer be accessible
    • Beyond that point, Moodle instance does not need to be accessible to more than 2 or 3 people (Joe, Bob, Amy S). Then we can just add people when they need access for review process.
  • We like the idea of a phased approach. One plan for years 1-2 and then emergency/auxiliary access beyond that
    • Not sure, but it will be difficult at best to maintain a piece of software like this on a virtual machine for this extended amount of time
    • Could AWS host this and handle the patches? Is there a way to fire things up in a hosted environment as needed?
  • Moodle is a PHP application
    • That’s a lot of data…
    • This is why promoting services like Panopto/Google Apps is going to be super important going forward
    • Not an obvious win, but could be doable
    • Reticent to commit to 7 years, chances are it’s going to break. The more time, the greater the fragility
    • Can it be kept up to date for 2 years? 7 years? It’s going to break, then what happens?
    • From the web applications side of things, it would be yet another application to maintain, but after initial setup, it won’t need much network. While it’s live, we’ll need to monitor for Moodle security issues that come up and apply patches in a timely manner. Not hard, more of the same, low usage. Probably easier to maintain than most of our other services. Would be a couple days work to get a new VM set up. Then monitoring the mailing list and setting up security patches.
    • How much data are we talking about, storage wise? 590GB
    • Annual maintenance as of 2015 for 1 TB was $1800 – just for storage (licensing, support, maintenance) doesn’t include staff time or other support pieces
  • Immediate needs…
    • We need to make sure we are covered for when the “no” gets vetoed.
    • How can we treat this as an education opportunity? Can we direct faculty make screencaptures of their courses? No administrator actually wants to go digging around in a Moodle page
    • Anyone can install their own Moodle instance on Middcreate
    • Faculty need to be more accountable for their data, but they have an expectation that everything will be available.
    • There needs to be some shift of ownership to faculty who will need this information, but it’s going to be a slow shift. Policy says the data will be accessible for two years, not beyond that.
  • Technology changes – we have no guarantee of what’s going to happen/Canvas’ longevity
  • How do we change the culture? Use these two years (until Dec 2018) to work with faculty to move their Moodle data where they need it to go
    • About 35-50 faculty at Midd
    • To change the culture, we have to constantly keep to policy
    • Ties into the growing need for education around how people interact with and take ownership of their data (digital literacies)
    • A lot of the time, we don’t take threats seriously until we have to
    • Set clear expectations and timeline
    • Communicate with list of relevant faculty
    • We would need to look at faculty over the past 5 years who are going through the tenure process
  • Would still advocate for paying remote learner to host the service through Dec 2018
  • Service availability is what makes things complicated – just downloading and storing static data would not be a problem.
    • Maybe that’s what we do after 2 years? We’ll export and keep the data, but faculty won’t be able to interact with it via a live service
    • In those 2 years, there needs to be good and repetitive communication with faculty about what they might to do to maintain access to the course interaction beyond those 2 years (Moodle hosted on Middcreate, screencapture of course pages, etc)
  • Time frame for moving content out of remote learner to wherever it will go?
    • Our RL contract is up in August – we’d need to have the new location up and ready to go in August – that’s our deadline
    • How long does web team need to make this happen?
      • Theoretically, it would take 1 person 1 week to get things up and running. But, web team is going to be short-staffed and has a substantive project pipeline. Other projects and staffing could make things take much longer.
    • Push for us to reach a decision by April 1 – this is not a joke (Joe)
    • Joe commits to getting the numbers to the group by the end of this week or next week. Joe will work with Billy on the numbers.

 

Weekly Web Updates – March 13, 2017

We believe any Course Hub syncing issues mentioned in last week’s updates have been resolved and set up additional monitoring capabilities in the Course Hub administration interface so the situation can be better monitored going forward.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Resolved an issue on the Museum of Art site preventing editors from updating one of the fields.
  • Added additional sanitization of user input on the Online Directory to ensure application security.
  • Applied a change to the Middlebury School of the Environment homepage from our colleagues in Communications & Marketing.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Building out the configuration of our Omeka, and CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Integrating Panopto (streaming videos) and Canvas (LMS).

Student Org Profile: Brother to Brother

Brother to Brother is a male mentoring organization that gives middle school boys a chance to engage with college students in a group setting. We hold monthly events with a wide range of activities, all with the ultimate goal of fostering healthy concepts of masculinity.
 
“I have been with Brother to Brother for three years. BTB has given me the opportunity to be a kid again as well as reflect on some of the challenges that male-identified middle schoolers face on a daily basis. Each of our events consist of a fun activity, like rock climbing, Quidditch, or pizza baking, as well a reflection/discussion portion that touches on some aspect of masculinity. One of my favorite events this fall was called the Egg Olympics. The event was just as goofy as the name sounds. We held a series of egg-themed competitions (egg drop, egg toss, egg relay, etc) and there was super high level of energy among both mentors and mentees. Then, after a pizza dinner at the Grille, we gathered for a thoughtful discussion about romantic relationships– in middle school, college, and beyond. To me, the night really embodied what Brother to Brother is all about– having fun, making connections, and learning from one another.”
– Kyle Dickey ’17

Middlebury School of the Environment Announces a Week in DC

Did you know that your college-age son or daughter could attend the Middlebury School of the Environment this summer and earn 9 credit hours? Students enrolling in the session (June 23 to August 4, 2017) will spend five weeks on the Middlebury campus in Vermont and one week in Washington, D.C., partnering with Planet Forward.

The School of the Environment offers an introductory and advanced track, and students will take three integrated courses and participate in leadership training. An emphasis will be on linking skills associated with leadership and innovative problem-solving with a solid grounding in the principles and concepts of environmental studies.

Generous, need-based grants are available, and local students can live at home during the five weeks the School is operating in Vermont. See dates/fees information.

Contact Stephen Trombulak, Director, if you have questions at trombula@middlebury.edu.  Visit the School of the Environment Blog for updates and information and the website for application information.