Host an International Student

The Friends of International Students (FIS) host program recruiting and matching process for the recently admitted Class of 2021 has begun! The Class of 2021 will include more than 70 international students, including some U.S. students who have lived abroad and international exchange students. Please contact us if you are interested in hosting in the fall and spread the word in our community.

International Student & Scholar Services will hold a series of information meetings about the program throughout the summer on the 2nd floor of the Service Building. We ask that new hosts attend a meeting so that we can meet them and share more information about the program. If you are an experienced host, you are welcome to join us as your stories and insights are vital to friends who are new to FIS and trying to decide if they would be a good fit for the program.

Here is our schedule for the season:

Wednesday, June 21              12:30-1:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 27                   12:30-1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 1                  5:15-6:15 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 22                    12:30-1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept 13              5:15-6:15 p.m.

To register for a meeting, please email ISSS at (subject line: FIS Host Program) or call us at 802.443.5858. Feel free to bring your lunch to our afternoon meetings.

You can learn more about the FIS Host Program on our website at: .

Please share this information with friends and family who do not work at the College.

We invite all who are interested to become a part of this wonderful program!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Promoting Student STEM Skills Through Inquiry Instruction: A Hands-on In-depth Workshop on Active Learning

From our colleagues in the sciences, Professors Costanza-Robinson, Bunt, Giddings and Vasiliou:

“With support from the Ada Howe Kent Fund and the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research (CTLR), we have organized this workshop on July 7th (Fri). The workshop leader, Gordon Uno, is a renowned educator and leader in promoting active learning. We saw him present at the AAC&U conference Transforming Undergraduate STEM Education last fall in Boston. Gordon managed to be both entertaining and educational while never losing sight of the practical realities of teaching. We were inspired to bring him here for this more detailed, hands-on workshop and share the “Gordon Experience” with other interested colleagues.

Gordon’s training and research are in plant biology, but the workshop topics, examples, and methods span the STEM disciplines. The two sessions (both on Friday) focus on evidence-based, active-learning methods and other high-impact practices appropriate for those just starting out as well as seasoned veterans. On Friday evening there will be a reception and dinner for interested workshop participants (seating for all those interested) to get to know one another and foster the developing active-learning community.

More workshop information and online registration details are available at:

We look forward to seeing you in July!

Molly Costanza-Robinson, Rick Bunt, Lesley-Ann Giddings, and AJ Vasiliou

How to Keep Your College Admission Offer: Start With Digital Literacy

While this article is focused on undergraduate admissions, grad school applicants need to consider this as well. There is some important advice about social media and college admissions, but also good advice for everyone.

“… if you wouldn’t want something you posted to end up on a jumbotron in Times Square, DO NOT POST IT.”

Read the full NYT article by

We have been reading more and more that some medical school admissions committees and employers really look at applicant’s pages and posts, so we are now telling students to assume that all admissions committees look up applicants online. Barbara Fuller, M.P.H., director of admissions at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University says,

“Students on the admissions committee are more tech savvy and actually have been responsible for presenting information on candidates-acquired through internet searches-that changed an acceptance to a rejection. As an applicant, you are responsible for the ‘public face’ that the connected world sees.”

How do you find out what’s out there about you? Do web searches from various browsers and see what comes up. In addition to your social media accounts, you may find links to news articles, petitions you have signed electronically, and comments you have left on websites.

What might negatively influence the admissions committee? Anything illegal, showing poor judgement, or might be controversial can hurt your image.

How to protect yourself: Make all social networking accounts private. Approve all tags or check-ins and delete anything you are not proud of, or that might be misconstrued. It is best to err on the “less is more” idea.

Social media best practices:

  • Make all accounts private
  • Keep pictures, statuses, and comments clean
  • Approve tags and check-ins from friends
  • Always sign out of a public or shared computer
  • Never share your password

*Excerpted from the AAMC Quick Answers to Common Questions About Getting Into Medical School

ACTT Notes: One-year Evaluation

Presentation Slides


The proposal for the ACTT called for an evaluation at the one-year and two-year marks. The one-year evaluation was designed to assess the Team’s activities so that changes could be made. The evaluation was also designed to have as few survey questions as possible, some of the evaluations questions are designed to be answered with collected data. A brief survey was shared with Core members, Extended Team members, and members of the Project Teams.


Slide 3: Academic Cyberinfrastructure Inventory

We now have a searchable database of the web-based services that support academic work, with infrastructure dependencies. Now that budget decisions are being made, services are moving from pilot to production and enterprise phases, the information in the database needs to be updated.


Slide 4: Canvas

When Moodle was launched we saw a decrease in use from Fall to Spring. This year we saw an increase in Canvas use.


Slide 5: Canvas

Some faculty used Canvas in the Fall but did not use it in the Spring, and vice versa. Also, faculty did not use Canvas for all of their courses. This may mean that faculty are thinking critically about whether Canvas supports their teaching on a course by course basis. The CTLR-sponsored a number of Canvas-based workshops.


Slide 6: Panopto

Panopto is not just a streaming media service, it also offers expanded functionality for screen capturing, broadcasting, and media discussion. A CTLR-sponsored workshop used Panopto for flipping the classroom activities.


Slide 7: Zoom

The videoconferencing evaluation used an interesting method. 4 services were used in one hour in a round-robin style. The Team was able to quickly determine the top choices. The pilot of Zoom was so successful, and the platform so popular, that we needed to expand to a campus-wide license before the end.


Slide 8: RStudio

A handful of classes used RStudio Server this year. DLA-sponsored workshops on DATA were delivered, and a Data Study group was created.

The company has let us know that they will be launching a cloud-based version of RSTudio Server.


Slide 9: Who Took the Survey

We had a 75% return rate for the survey. All of the Core Team and most of the Extended Team took the survey. Some may have mis-identified themselves.


Slide 10: Other Roles

Many members of the ACTT serve on multiple teams. There are four members that serve on the Core, Extended, and Project Teams.


Slide 11: Usefulness of Information

Most members find the published information useful for their jobs.


Slide 12: Usefulness of Meetings

The majority of members in all roles believe that the information shared at meetings is useful for their jobs. 25% are Not Sure, which seems high. Some more investigation is needed.

Note from Discussion: Some may be feeling unsure about the usefulness because of their own participation in some of the discussions. We should look for ways to craft the discussions so that everyone feels they are able to participate.

Some feel that the multiple points of view are very valuable, otherwise they would be receiving one point of view, or a filtered point of view, from individuals. The Team has done well at being inclusive in its information gathering and sharing.


Slide 13: Meetings

This question is flawed, since members were not asked if they had a role on the CTT. It is expected that Core members that served on the CTT would see no change, new Core members would see an increase. Extended Team members that served on the CTT would see a decrease, new members would see an increase. Some follow up questions will need to be asked.

The projected number of Extended Team meetings was one per month. The average is very close, however it is noted that most of these meetings occurred in the fall as recommendations were crafted for budget proposals.

Note from Discussion: Some noted that the weekly meeting creates efficiencies, they are meeting collectively with people that they would meet with individually anyways.


Slides 14-17: Additional Notes

Some comments were broken up, with an attempt to group ideas based on content.

Notes from Discussion: There are outstanding questions about the relationship of the ACTT and ITS Governance/Priority Setting. We also identified future projects: WordPress sites and MiddCreate; Moodle Archiving; Panopto Rollout; Canvas LTIs.


Slide 18: Next Steps?

  • Joe will post the notes from this meeting.
  • The ACTT Core will discuss.
  • We will have follow-up conversations with members and others.

Code2040: The Future of Tech

Code2040 creates access, awareness, and opportunities for top Black and Latinx engineering talent to ensure their leadership in the innovation economy.

“Code2040 is a nonprofit organization that creates pathways to educational, professional, and entrepreneurial success in technology for underrepresented minorities with a specific focus on Black and Latinx people. Code2040 aims to close the achievement, skills, and wealth gaps in the United States. Our goal is to ensure that by the year 2040 – the start of the decade when the US will be majority people of color – we are proportionally represented in America’s innovation economy as technologists, investors, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs.”

Based in San Francisco, Code2040 works with students, professionals, and companies around the country.

Check out their Technical Applicant Prep Program:

TAP bridges Computer Science education with careers in tech, to provide Black and Latinx students with the network, resources and community to launch and sustain their tech careers.

TAP programming takes multiple forms:

  • TAP Retreats:  2-day internship prep retreats
  • Tech Trek: Alternative Winter/Spring Break trips to Bay Area tech companies
  • First Years On Campus: Cohort-based programming for freshmen in CS
  • Academic year on-campus engagement including skills-building workshops & leadership training
  • Year-round webinars
  • 1:1 virtual coaching and mentorship
  • Monthly blogs and student news

Also, we’ll keep you posted on their Tech Trek 2018!