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2012 Flexible Spending Claim Submission Deadline

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Do you still have money left in your FSA account?  If so, time is running out!  2012 Flexible Spending Account Participants have until midnight (ET) on March 15, 2013  to submit claims for services provided in the calendar year 2012. All claims should be sent to CBA Blue via:

• Fax at 888.291.0920

• Mail to :

CBA Blue
PO Box 2365
S. Burlington, VT 05407-2365

Claim forms can be found in the HR office or go/flex

Per IRS Regulations, all remaining balances after March 15th will be forfeited. Don’t let this happen to you!

If you have questions about your Flexible Spending Accounts contact CBA Blue at 1-888-222-9206 or Lisa Hoff at x3372.

Drawing On the Wall

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The American artist Sol LeWitt was widely known in the 1960s for the temporary wall drawings he devised for others to produce per his instructions as part of a growing Minimalism movement.

In what might be the epitome of hands-on learning, a group of art history students installed LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #394 last week as part of their class, “Minimalism: Art, Objects, and Experience,” with professor Eddie Vazquez.

The drawing came to Middlebury’s Museum of Art with a detailed set of instructions, including specifications for materials used and orientation of lines. Museum designer Ken Pohlman and preparator Chris Murray created the pencil grid guidelines, and each student could choose from a limited selection of lines to draw. The whole process took about 50 hours to complete, and the finished product will be on view in the Overbrook Gallery through April 21.

Drawing On the Wall

Categories: Midd Blogosphere, video

The American artist Sol LeWitt was widely known in the 1960s for the temporary wall drawings he devised for others to produce per his instructions as part of a growing Minimalism movement.

In what might be the epitome of hands-on learning, a group of art history students installed LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #394 last week as part of their class, “Minimalism: Art, Objects, and Experience,” with professor Eddie Vazquez.

The drawing came to Middlebury’s Museum of Art with a detailed set of instructions, including specifications for materials used and orientation of lines. Museum designer Ken Pohlman and preparator Chris Murray created the pencil grid guidelines, and each student could choose from a limited selection of lines to draw. The whole process took about 50 hours to complete, and the finished product will be on view in the Overbrook Gallery through April 21.

EAP extended coverage to additional family members

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Recently, our Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) has extended the scope of its services. In addition to covering all employees and household members, our EFAP now provides services to all immediate family members.  Immediate family members include:
Ÿ Parents
Ÿ Siblings
Ÿ Children by blood, adoption or marriage
Ÿ Spouses/Partners
Ÿ Grandparents
Ÿ Grandchildren

Let your immediate family members know they now have access to all of the EFAP Services including:
  Counseling Services
  Budget & Debt Services
  Legal Consultations
  Financial Resources
  Health & Wellness Coaching
  Work/Life Resources
  New Parent Transition Program

Your EFAP is just a phone call away…800-828-6025 24 hrs/7 days a week.  Or visit the wellnessworklife.com Website.

Win $250 Cash!!!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The College Bookstore is doing something way out of the norm as far colleges go.

We are giving any student who likes Middlebury College Bookstore on Facebook a chance to win $250 CASH toward Textbooks!!!

Just Like us on Facebook then, stop by our store to fill out a ticket and drop it in the Box and you may get that $250 cash!

The drawing will be held September 14th in our store!

25 Years @ Midd with Brett Millier

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Brett Millier, Reginald L. Cook Professor of American Literature, became one of our newest members of the 25 year club last spring. In this post Brett answers our questions about her career, fond memories, one place on campus where you can always find “a bit of summer on a chilly spring day” and why she has always found Middlebury worth working hard for. If you have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Brett in person, read on and learn why you should.

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

When you get a Ph.D. in English you go where the job is, and though my degree is from Stanford University in California, Middlebury was my first job in academia. Before graduate school I worked for a while at Sports Illustrated magazine, and during graduate school, ran the scoreboard for the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park.

What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?

Assistant Professor (1986), Associate Professor (1992), Full Professor (1997), Reginald L. Cook Professor of American Literature (1997-present).  Chair, Department of American Literature and Civilization 1992-2004;  Chair, Department of English and American Literatures (2007-present)

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? 

On my very first day in Middlebury (July 1986), I met my husband, Karl Lindholm, when I went to the Dean of Students office (then in Old Chapel) to volunteer to lead a freshman (as it was called then) Orientation reading discussion group. The rest, as they say, is history.  It took us a little over four years actually to marry (October 18, 1990, at the chaplain’s house, at 4:15 on a Thursday afternoon!), but it all started on that day.

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

My children are happy teenagers at MUHS (Peter, 11thgrade, and Annie, 9th grade), and we are beginning to think about college for them.  I greatly enjoy my church community at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, and walk several miles most every day with my dogs. Karl is a happy retired guy, writing and driving teenagers around and having coffee with his friends.

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?

Skier at Rikert Cross Country Ski Touring Center in Ripton.

I learned to cross country ski at Rikert in my first J-term at the college, never having done any kind of skiing or skating or other winter sport.  Despite the no-show snow this year, I still love skiing cross country above almost anything—I ski in places where the dogs can come, too!  Living in Middlebury and Cornwall has also taught me how to live in a community (we moved around a lot when I was kid), and I am enjoying making long-term connections with people through work, through church, through volunteer work, and other community activities.

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

I remember walking out of a meeting at 5:30 or so in the winter of, maybe 2001 or 2002, and into a stunning display of the aurora borealis—great flashes of red and white and green swirling in the sky and lasting for almost an hour.

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 market for English professors is not an expanding one, for one thing.  Tenure is another.  But that said, I know that when I was hired at Middlebury in 1986, this was a very good job—and it is a great job now.  I cannot imagine teaching better students, with a more supportive administration, in a more beautiful place, anywhere else.  In addition, of course, Middlebury has been a wonderful place in which to raise children.

What are your plans for the next 25 years? 

To finish my next book, to teach somewhere abroad in my next sabbatical, to work hard until I retire.

Axinn Center

Do you have a favorite place on campus?

The courtyard behind Axinn gathers the sun and shields the wind—and is a little bit of summer on a chilly spring day.

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 will always be grateful to former Presidents Olin Robison and John McCardell, for their visions for Middlebury’s future, and for including me in those visions.

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

Define your job broadly. We are surrounded by extraordinary people here, of all ages.  Put yourself in contact with as many of them as you can.

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

I have always found Middlebury worth working hard for.  I feel blessed to be here.  How could I not?

Five Questions for Susan Campbell Baldridge

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Vice President for Planning & Assessment and Professor of Psychology Susan Campbell Baldridge is in the Five Questions Hot Seat this week.

1. You’re a professor of psychology and Vice President for Planning & Assessment. It’s four weeks into the semester, and summer is quickly becoming a distant memory. We have to ask: What’s your present state of mind?

Well, I had a pretty fabulous summer – I got married and my husband and I honeymooned in Scotland – so just about any semester would be a come down from that. To make matters worse, you’re asking that question a few days before the reaccreditation review team visits our school abroad in Spain, and a few weeks before the full visit of the review team to campus here in Vermont. So I might be tempted to say, “Don’t ask.” But in reality, despite the stress I’m feeling leading up to all that, I’m also feeling pretty pleased that we’ve come this far and accomplished what we set out to do with respect to reaccreditation: We wanted to produce a self study that was inclusive of as many people as possible – including folks from all the College’s programs – and that reflected who are as an institution, celebrating our strengths and acknowledging our challenges. I think we did that. So I guess my state of mind is a mixed bag of pre-visit anxiety, pride in what we’ve accomplished, and wistful nostalgia for the summer.

2. As VP you have led the College’s reaccreditation process. Please tell us about your love affair with data.

It wasn’t love at first sight. I’ve always been competent with numbers, but they never had much appeal until I learned how to use statistics to help answer psychological questions in college and graduate school. Numbers became meaningful and useful in a way I hadn’t seen before. Teaching statistics is a way to help students see that value as well. But the real crux of that passion is less about numbers than it is about pulling order out of what seems like chaos. A statistical test can help do that by taking a spreadsheet full of numbers and telling us something about how the world works or how people think. But I get the same thrill from extracting meaning from any seemingly disparate sources of information, which might just as easily be qualitative as quantitative. I guess I just like to solve a good puzzle. (The New York Times crossword is another outlet for that!)

3. But you’re not just a numbers gal. Word on the street is you love to quilt, too. Why?

Well, there’s some overlap between my fondness for solving puzzles and quilting; cutting fabric into shapes and then recombining them to produce a pattern that’s pretty or fun to look at involves lots of working with numbers. But the real appeal for me is much more visual and tactile. I like vibrant colors and I like to play with the texture and the feel of fabric. I keep fabric organized by color and stacked where I can see it in my sewing room, with spools of brightly colored thread arranged next to it. The room is painted a vibrant pear green. All that color and texture feels like a nice escape when I’ve spent too much time with my nose in a data file.

4. What is the most beautiful place you have ever visited?

That one’s easy. On our aforementioned honeymoon, my husband and I went to visit the grave of Rob Roy MacGregor in Balquhidder, Scotland. (You may have seen the movie about Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson, or read the novel about him by Sir Walter Scott.) My grandmother traced the genealogy of our family line back to Rob Roy’s brother, so there is a family interest in stories about Rob Roy. I’m particularly invested because my middle name is McGregor (the family dropped the “a” somewhere along the line), and I’ve always enjoyed the fact that, after spending the better part of his adult life fighting more powerful clans and royal foes who had outlawed the use of the name MacGregor, Rob Roy’s grave is defiantly engraved, “MacGregor Despite Them.” The tiny village of Balquhidder is set in the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. It sits at the tip of Loch Voil, a long, calm lake in a steep mountain glen. Sheep and Highland cattle meander the lush valley and up the mountainsides, which are misty and atmospheric in the mornings and (at least sometimes) bright and sunny in the afternoons. That description doesn’t do it justice, but suffice it to say that I was awed by the beauty and peacefulness of the place.

Untitled by sergey vyaltsev

 

Rob Roy's Grace 1 by amypalko

5. You grew up in Indiana, and received your PhD from UCLA. What are your thoughts on Midwest vs. East Coast vs. West Coast?

If you’re asking where my loyalty lies, it’s in the Hoosier heartland. The people there – including my family, most of whom still live in Indianapolis – are warm and down to earth and have a sense of humility that I think the world could use more of. And ultimately, it’s still home to me. (Hearing Jim Nabors sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the start of the Indy 500 each year still gets me misty-eyed. As does rooting for Butler each year in the NCAA basketball tournament.) Living in Los Angeles while I attended graduate school was a great adventure, and I’m glad I had the chance to experience the hum and glamour of life in a big city. But ultimately, the smog, the crime, and the earthquakes were too much for me. So being able to live and work and raise my kids in a beautiful and close-knit community in Vermont seemed like a huge gift. Still does.