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25 Years @ Midd with Matthew Dickerson

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

IMG_0963In this post we recognize Matthew Dickerson, Professor of Computer Science and director of the New England Young Writers Conference at Bread Loaf, for his 25 years of service to Middlebury. Matthew shares with us his recent successes in writing, his other passions and interests outside of work, and his new upcoming role at the College.  Read on to learn more about Midd from Matthew’s point of view.

What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?

I was in graduate school at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?

In addition to being a faculty member in the department of computer science (assistant professor, then associate professor, then professor) I am also the director of the New England Young Writers Conference at Bread Loaf.

Take us back to your first year as an employee at the College. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?

I was newly married. I got married in the summer of 1988 and started work here in summer of 1989 (and bought my first house).  Our first child was born in the summer of 1990.  My first novel was published in 1991.  So it was four years with lots of fun developments, and life changes.

What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?

rood-coverInvolvement in my church (Memorial Baptist Church in Middlebury) is very significant. We recently hired a new pastor, and it’s exciting to see what is happening there. I recently celebrated my 25th anniversary. Marriage has always been a very significant part of my life. Watching my sons grow and fly the nest has been exciting and significant. That last few years have been excellent for writing. I had an historical novel published earlier this year (The Rood and the Torc), and I have a book on trout, fly-fishing and ecology due out later this year (Downstream: Reflections on Brook Trout, Fly Fishing, and the Waters of Appalachia) along with a new fantasy novel (The Gifted.)

Have your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at the College or due to your association with others who work here?

Playing in a band with one of my colleagues helped me grow as a musician. Music is now more important to me than it was 25 years ago (and I hope I’m a better musician and songwriter). Last year I was able to record an album in Nashville with some really talented musicians.  Being in a community with a lot of great writers has also helped inspire my writing; some colleagues like John Elder and Bill McKibben and Kathy Skubikowski and those who have worked with me on the New England Young Writers Conference have been very encouraging to me in my writing endeavors.

What is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at Middlebury?

It is not so much one single event, but more all of the times when former students have come back to visit.

 Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?IMG_7882

I’ve had great colleagues in the computer science department. I find teaching itself to be worthwhile. I love Vermont, and its rivers and forests and abundance of outdoor activities from fishing to gardening to cross-country skiing and hiking and canoeing.

What are your plans for the next 25 years?

I’m excited to be taking on the role of faculty head of Cook Commons for the next three years. I hope to continue to teach for many years. My list also includes playing and writing more music, and writing several more books.

Is there any person on campus (or retiree, former employer) that mentored you, or you feel helped you grow into your job, grow to enjoy your work and your time at the College?

John Elder has been a wonderful friend and encouragement and inspiration to me as a teacher and writer. I’m sure there are many people who could say that about him.

25 Years @ Midd with Matthew Dickerson

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

IMG_0963In this post we recognize Matthew Dickerson, Professor of Computer Science and director of the New England Young Writers Conference at Bread Loaf, for his 25 years of service to Middlebury. Matthew shares with us his recent successes in writing, his other passions and interests outside of work, and his new upcoming role at the College.  Read on to learn more about Midd from Matthew’s point of view.

What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?

I was in graduate school at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?

In addition to being a faculty member in the department of computer science (assistant professor, then associate professor, then professor) I am also the director of the New England Young Writers Conference at Bread Loaf.

Take us back to your first year as an employee at the College. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?

I was newly married. I got married in the summer of 1988 and started work here in summer of 1989 (and bought my first house).  Our first child was born in the summer of 1990.  My first novel was published in 1991.  So it was four years with lots of fun developments, and life changes.

What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?

rood-coverInvolvement in my church (Memorial Baptist Church in Middlebury) is very significant. We recently hired a new pastor, and it’s exciting to see what is happening there. I recently celebrated my 25th anniversary. Marriage has always been a very significant part of my life. Watching my sons grow and fly the nest has been exciting and significant. That last few years have been excellent for writing. I had an historical novel published earlier this year (The Rood and the Torc), and I have a book on trout, fly-fishing and ecology due out later this year (Downstream: Reflections on Brook Trout, Fly Fishing, and the Waters of Appalachia) along with a new fantasy novel (The Gifted.)

Have your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at the College or due to your association with others who work here?

Playing in a band with one of my colleagues helped me grow as a musician. Music is now more important to me than it was 25 years ago (and I hope I’m a better musician and songwriter). Last year I was able to record an album in Nashville with some really talented musicians.  Being in a community with a lot of great writers has also helped inspire my writing; some colleagues like John Elder and Bill McKibben and Kathy Skubikowski and those who have worked with me on the New England Young Writers Conference have been very encouraging to me in my writing endeavors.

What is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at Middlebury?

It is not so much one single event, but more all of the times when former students have come back to visit.

 Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?IMG_7882

I’ve had great colleagues in the computer science department. I find teaching itself to be worthwhile. I love Vermont, and its rivers and forests and abundance of outdoor activities from fishing to gardening to cross-country skiing and hiking and canoeing.

What are your plans for the next 25 years?

I’m excited to be taking on the role of faculty head of Cook Commons for the next three years. I hope to continue to teach for many years. My list also includes playing and writing more music, and writing several more books.

Is there any person on campus (or retiree, former employer) that mentored you, or you feel helped you grow into your job, grow to enjoy your work and your time at the College?

John Elder has been a wonderful friend and encouragement and inspiration to me as a teacher and writer. I’m sure there are many people who could say that about him.

The 25 Year Club Inductees of 2014

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Congratulations to the 25 Year Club inductees!

Janis Audet, Academic Affairs

Mireille Barbaud-McWilliams, French Department

Cheryl Burnham, Theatre Department

Robert Cluss, Chemistry/Biochemistry Department

Thomas Corbin, Assistant Treasurer’s Office

Patti Dapsis, College Store

Matthew Dickerson, Computer Science Department

Kathleen Jewett, Chemistry/Biochemistry Department

Kyle Kelton, Facilities Services

Scott Lee, Dining Services

Patricia Manley, Geology Department

Thomas Manley, Geology Department

Howard McCausland, Library and Info. Services

Cynthia Packert, History of Art & Architecture

William Peterson, Mathematics Department

Joy Pile, Library and Info. Services

Crysta Rainey, Dining Services

James Ralph, History Department

Elizabeth Rheaume, Facilities Services

Paula Schwartz, French Department

Brent Simons, Dining Services

Kathleen Skubikowski, English & American Literatures

Dawn Sumner, Dining Services

Stay tuned for future articles recognizing these individuals for 25 years of service to Middlebury.

25 Years @ Midd with John Huddleston

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

John Huddleston Portrait 100116 copy (2)In this post we recognize John Huddleston, Fletcher Professor of Studio Art for his 25 years of service to Middlebury.  John’s humor shines through as he shares some of his favorite memories of Middlebury in addition to his take on why hobbies are over-rated. Read on to learn more about John’s creative work, how he came to Middlebury, as well as his story of a poignant life lesson that led to renewal. 

What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?

Well, after I was paroled…Not! I lived in NYC and San Francisco, working primarily in construction – as a roofer, a carpenter, and a consultant. Much of my consulting work was done on swing stage scaffolds, which hang off the skyscrapers. The views of the city were beautiful (good for my photography) and I always felt a lot safer 50 stories up than down on the streets.

Take us back to your first year as an employee at the College. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?

My first child was born in my first semester of teaching here. A very intense and wonderful experience that threw off my lesson plans for a few days. My daughter would enter the college as a student seventeen years later.

What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?

I find that meditation practice is becoming important in establishing a creative base for art-making and life. I just launched a website for my artwork: johnhuddlestonphoto.com. My wife says I should say I have a very rewarding marriage.

Have your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at the College or due to your association with others who work here?

Much of my photographic art is cross-disciplinary so colleagues in Spanish, Physics, History and the Environmental Sciences have been very helpful.

I’ve actually tried to eliminate hobbies as I realize how short life is. My sixth grade beer coaster collection now lays stagnant. Maybe I’ll get back to it in retirement.

CO10-10-11-art-006[1]art.studentsWhat is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at Middlebury?

The moments of real communication about meaningful subjects are most important to me. The imaginative energy on display at the student art shows in Johnson is very fulfilling.

Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?

The college and Vermont have been good for my family and work.

What are your plans for the next 25 years?

I have several more photography books I would like to have published. And I have a long-term project to die gracefully.

Do you have a favorite place on campus?

Cross-country skiing through the forest at Bread Loaf is right at the top for me.

BIf you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at Middlebury, what would it be?

If you have relocated from a warm climate, find activities to get outside in the winter!

And remember there is a big world outside of the college and Middlebury.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about your time at Middlebury?

While I was preparing for a trip to Mexico, having dreams of Aztec priests cutting out my heart, I was struck down by a heart attack, and shortly thereafter, underwent a triple bypass. As I was wheeled in for the open-heart surgery, strapped to my mobile altar, I looked for obsidian knives in the hands of the masked men. But the glaring light was not the sun over Tenochtitlan and I was not thrown down the temple stairs after the bloodletting. Instead, resurrection, pain, and a long chest scar, fractal-like, a branched connection to the limbs of the forest and to the contours of the constellations, thrust forward, worn like a medal, a purple heart. Evidence of a sacrifice to renew the world, my world, and to assert our shared suffering and joy.

25 Years @ Midd with Martin Beatty

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

beatty2In this post we recognize Martin Beatty, Track Coach and Faculty member in Physical Education for his 25 years of service to Middlebury. Martin shares with us the variety of roles that he has held over the years, his best birthday ever, as well as his tips for balancing work and life outside of Midd when things get hectic. Read on to learn more about why Martin has known since his senior year of high school that Middlebury is right where he wants to be. 

What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?

I was a Graduate Fellow in History for two years at Trinity College (CT) and was an assistant coach in football, women’s basketball and track and field.

What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?

Head Coach of Indoor and Outdoor track and field, Faculty Head of Cook Commons ’94-’01, Director of Club Sports, Assistant football coach, assistant basketball coach

Take us back to your first year as an employee at the College. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?

During the summer after my first year working here, my wife and I drove for six weeks around the country. We knew that enjoying each other on that trip for six weeks meant that we could spend the rest of our lives together.

What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?

I am at that stage of parenthood that my life revolves around the activities of the kids. It is not easy to keep up with everything, but I enjoy attending what I can.

BHave your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at the College or due to your association with others who work here?

For many years, one of my hobbies was running, and our faculty/staff lunchtime basketball games. I enjoyed it for the workout, the love of the game, and the social aspects of playing with other terrific members of the faculty and staff, whom I do not often see day to day. Since being diagnosed with hip arthritis, I’ve had to curtail those activities. Now outside of work and watching my kids’ sports, I really enjoy cycling. This is a fairly new hobby for me. I just splurged on a new bike and am very excited to ride on the rural roads of Addison County. I also enjoy water skiing on Lake Champlain.

What is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at Middlebury?

The memory that sticks out the most is during my first year back working at Middlebury, when I met my future wife on my birthday. That was the best birthday one can have.

Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?

The people and the magic of Middlebury College, the Green Mountains, boating on Lake Champlain in the summer. What other place can be better?

What are your plans for the next 25 years?

Wow, what a question. In the immediate future I am excited to finally put an indoor track and field team in a beautiful new regulation indoor track facility and train like we should.  Then maybe retire after another 25 years. Or, maybe not for another 25 years after that.

Do you have a favorite place on campus?

I don’t do it often enough, but my two favorite spots on campus are sitting in an Adirondack chair behind Hadley Barn and facing west toward the mountains, and eating lunch on the deck of the Kirk Center.

Is there any person on campus (or retiree, former employer) that mentored you, or you feel helped you grow into your job; grow to enjoy your work and your time at the College?               

I have had so many mentors and supporters at Middlebury along the way from my student years and into my coaching years that I cannot name only one. During my student years, Kit Wilson and Kirsten Hoving were terrific. As an athlete and when I started coaching there were many: I coached with or for Mickey Heinecken, Bob Smith, Tom Lawson, Gail Smith and Russ Reilly. They were all very supportive and allowed me to grow.

John McCardell and Ann Hanson were wonderful to work with when I was the Faculty Head of Cook Commons.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at Middlebury, what would it be?

One must keep a balance in their life while working at Middlebury. We are all so dedicated to our students that sometimes we neglect ourselves and our lives outside of work. Exercise, explore Vermont, get to know co-workers socially, and also town people outside of the college in order to maintain that balance.

Painter Hall with frost on trees

Painter Hall with frost on trees

Is there anything else that you would like to share about your time at Middlebury?  It is amazing that it has been 25 years.

Time does certainly fly when you are having fun. I am right where I want to be. I’ve had this feeling ever since I first stepped foot out of the car as a high school senior visiting Middlebury on a snowy day in January of 1980. That feeling of belonging has never changed since.

25 Years @ Midd with Carol Quenneville

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Carol.QIn this post we recognize Carol Quenneville, Vehicle Fleet Coordinator in Facilities Services for her 25 years of service to Middlebury. Carol shares how her career and family have changed (and grown) over the years, as well as some of her favorite activities at Middlebury. Read on to learn more about a dedicated mom and employee, and get the inside scoop on the best place to watch the sun rise on campus.

What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?

Prior to Middlebury College, a family member and I operated a small Mom and Pop store/gas station in Whiting (it was called Quennevilles’ Store). In that 5 year time span I had my two sons. If they were not with me at the store, they were with their dad on the dairy farms.

What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?

I was hired to work in the Purchasing Department. Along with the purchasing part of the job I was in charge of the College vehicle rental fleet. A few years ago the Purchasing Department restructured and I was transferred to Facilities. The transition consisted of being Vehicle Fleet Coordinator, along with clerical assistance for Custodial, and back up for the Facilities Control Desk.

Take us back to your first year as an employee at the College. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?

Raising two young boys and living on a dairy farm were the things in my life at the time that kept me really busy.

View of the surrounding farmland in Addison County

View of the surrounding farm land in Addison County

What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?

My husband retired from dairy farming. After taking the time to build our new home, he now works at Middlebury College. I am enjoying my expanding family. My oldest son is married and my first granddaughter is due at the end of March. My youngest son is engaged, and we are very happy to welcome his fiancée to our family.

Have your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at the College or due to your association with others who work here?

I enjoy the College fitness center. I like to keep active and Middlebury College is a great place to do this, from the athletic facilities, to just walking across the beautiful campus.

What are your plans for the next 25 years?

I look forward to retirement within the next 8 to 10 years to have time to enjoy my family and friends.

The Middlebury Panther has one of the best vantage points on campus to watch the sun rise.

Do you have a favorite place on campus?

I have enjoyed many early mornings at the Alumni Stadium while either running the steps or just walking or running the cross country trail and stopping there to see the sunrise.

25 Years @ Midd with Leger Grindon

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Grindon.LegerIn this post we recognize Leger Grindon, Professor of Film and Media Culture for his 25 years of service to Middlebury. Leger shares information about his projects in the past, present and future, his experiences of becoming a part of the Middlebury community, and the role that tennis plays in it all. Continue on to learn how Leger has viewed his time at Middlebury as a father and teacher, as well as his wise words of advice to those new to Middlebury.

What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?

I was living in New York City and working as the academic coordinator in the Cinema Studies Department at New York University.  I did adjunct, part-time teaching at various colleges around the New York metropolitan area in the evenings.

What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?

Assistant, Associate and Full Professor; Program Director and Department Chair

Take us back to your first year as an employee at the College. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?

Adjusting to small town life and the long Vermont winter

What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?

Since my daughter graduated from Bard College in 2011 and moved to New York City I have been travelling to New York City more often.  I went to the NYC Ballet 3 times last year.  I’ve intensified my exercise program and I’m trying to meditate more frequently.

CO20-5-11-spring-002.tennis.PepinHave your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at the College or due to your association with others who work here?

I have played tennis at the college for 25 years with faculty & staff colleagues, students and other players in the community.  I have continued to watch movies both as part of my teaching and scholarship and for recreation 

What is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at Middlebury?

Raising my daughter Blake. 

I was very pleased to earn tenure in 1995.  In 2011 I published two books, Hollywood Romantic Comedy and Knockout:  the Boxer and Boxing in American Cinema.  Both these works were long term projects and it was personally gratifying to complete them & rather surprising that they actually appeared in print at almost the same time even though Knockout was written before Romantic Comedy.

Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?

Middlebury College is a fine place to work and an excellent employer.

What are your plans for the next 25 years?

I have a number of articles in the works and I expect to write one more book before I retire.  I have a few options I’m considering and my direction will probably be influenced by what publishers want.

I’d like to work on my backhand and finally be able to hit a serve with pronation.

Film class in Axinn

Film class in Axinn

Do you have a favorite place on campus?

I’m very fond of my office at 214 Axinn; the theater class room in 232 Axinn; the tennis courts in the Nelson arena

If you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at Middlebury, what would it be?

Cultivate friendships among the faculty and staff outside your particular department or work area.  Use the library, gymnasium and other fabulous facilities the college makes available to us.  Bicycle to campus and around the community wherever the roads are free of ice and the temperature is above freezing.  Attend the film screenings, music programs, the art museum the lectures and fully participate in other activities on campus

Is there anything else that you would like to share about your time at Middlebury?

I am very grateful to have had Middlebury College for an employer.  I love my job.  The students are strong, my colleagues stimulating and supportive, we have a genial staff eager and ready to serve, the administration runs the college very well .  In a world that is sometimes cruel and heartless, I’ve been treated remarkably well.  No doubt I don’t completely deserve my good fortune, but I have tried to serve the college as they have served me, with dedication and respect.  I hope I have contributed in my role to the success of the institution.