Tag Archives: Midd News & Events

Stargazing at Mittelman Observatory – Summer 2019

Mittelman Observatory and Middlebury Physics will again host stargazing open house nights this summer. These Observatory events are scheduled for Wednesday evenings, June 26, July 3, July 24, July 31, and August 7, from 9:00 PM until 10:30 PM, weather permitting.

Jupiter and Saturn will be in the evening sky on many of these dates. A variety of interesting stars, star clusters, and nebulae will also be visible through the Observatory’s telescopes. The Observatory includes a 24-inch telescope in a dome and smaller telescopes on the roof.

Observatory open house nights are free and open to the public. As these are minimal language events, they are also appropriate for Language Schools students. These events will take place only if the sky is expected to be mostly clear. Please check the Observatory web site at go/observatory or call the Observatory at 443-2266 after 7 PM on the evening of the event for weather status.

The 2019 Feminist of the Year Awards

Every year on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, the Feminist Resource Center at Chellis House celebrates all the nominees for the Feminist of the Year Award. On May 11, 2019, a large group of Chellis House friends gathered in the backyard to celebrate the strides we made during another successful school year. Integral to making these strides are the many feminist activists and knowledge producers who never tire of investing their intellectual and emotional energy towards making this world a more equitable place. After enjoying delicious treats and the poetry of GSFS major Sam Boudreau ’19, we honored the award winners. Language in Motion Coordinator Kristen Mullins garnered the prize in the staff category. Her nominator noted that “Kristen [had] devoted the past five years to promoting and deepening cultural understanding on this campus, in the local communities through her K-12 outreach, and in Japan through her Japan Summer Service Learning program. For years now she has led community-focused anti-bias response trainings. Students and staff alike have found them tremendously helpful.”

         This year, the committee decided to distinguish two professors in the faculty category. Eliza Garrison, Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture, was lauded for “consistently bringing a feminist lens to her classes in the Art History department. In particular, her class ‘Medieval Bodies’ in fall 2018 analyzed how women and other (literally) marginalized people were treated in medieval art and what the social and political ramifications of these representations were.” In all of her classes, Professor Garrison makes a point “both to assign feminist analyses of works of art and to discuss misogyny and othering in art.” The other professor who won the award was Lana Povitz, Visiting Assistant Professor of History. Her nominator highlighted her ability “to craft socially conscious and relevant syllabi in all of her classes, which require students to engage with the highly political world around them, allowing no one to remain apathetic or ignorant of the issues that dictate our lives. Her assignments allow students to self implicate, explore their own narratives, and counter traditional modes of history that sustain patriarchy.”

         This year, the selection committee decided to distinguish five students with the award although many more had been nominated. Throughout their four-year career at Middlebury, Miranda de Beer ’19 and Mika Morton ’19 often engaged in activism in tandem. By conceiving the “Middlebury 5K: Steps Towards Reproductive Justice” three years ago, they created an event with staying power. The event now draws close to 100 people who learn about reproductive justice through signs on the golf course while running or walking. They expand their knowledge at t-shirt making activities after the event where the event leaders are on site to talk about reproductive justice and hand-out pamphlets. Mika and Miranda also created a template for other students to continue their effort.

         Mika and Miranda often collaborated with Toria Isquith ’19, Grace Vedock ’20 and Rebecca Wishnie ’20. Toria raised awareness about the reproductive dangers associated with the proliferation of crisis pregnancy centers that pose as health care facilities to spread misinformation about pregnancy and abortion. For her senior project with Professor Carly Thomsen, Toria developed the “Bonefish” animation series, which brings to light the realities of abortion access and lived experience for women seeking reproductive healthcare.

In addition to being an activist against sexual violence and helping establish a digital archive for feminist activism at Middlebury, Rebecca Wishnie investigated the power dynamics of the Charles Murray visit throughout the past school year. In the course, “Gender and the Making of Space,” and at the student symposium, she examined how the architecture of McCullough helped to lend an air of legitimacy to Murray’s visit. For the 2018 Student Summer Symposium, Rebecca, together with Professor Sujata Moorti, investigated state-sanctioned violence and state-sanctioned mourning by comparing the film series The Handmaid’s Tale with the Charles Murray visit.

         Over the past three years at Middlebury. Grace Vedock has demonstrated a great passion for combating sexual violence. Tirelessly collaborating with Taite Shomo ’20.5 in the “It Happens Here” speak-out, she also testified before the Vermont State Committee on Education in favor of a bill that supports victims of campus sexual assault in Vermont. Grace also is a strong advocate on behalf of all queer students who were affected by this voices contesting their humanity on this campus.

         Please congratulate all the winners when you see them.

Caption: 2019 Feminists of the Year Toria Isquith ’19, Miranda de Beer ’19, Professor Lana Povitz, Grace Vedock ’20, and Mika Morton ’19. Not pictured: Professor Eliza Garrison, Language in Motion Coordinator Kristen Mullins, and Rebecca Wishnie ’10.

Farewell to our Friend, Irene Barna

This bright and cheerful employee of the Office of Advancement has worked for the College for 30+ years will be retiring on June 30, 2019.  Irene Barna originally started as a temp employee in July of 1978, selling textbooks at the College bookstore. At that time, she was raising four teenagers (2 boys, 2 girls) and managing a Middlebury household. In October of 1988, she started her continuous commitment to Middlebury College, ending her 31-year career at 700 Exchange Street – the Office of Advancement.  

From Dining Service (7.5 yrs.) to the President’s Office (18 yrs.), to her final move to 700 Exchange Street – Office of Advancement (5 yrs.), Irene has worked in various roles, filled many shoes, and assisted trustees, faculty, staff, and countless visitors — whom she calls friends.

The College community will miss Irene for her friendly demeanor and work dedication, welcoming all guests and staff to 700 Exchange Street the past five years and Old Chapel for more than eighteen years.  For others, she will be missed by her wonderful storytelling and the ability to recollect both College and the town’s history in great detail.  A treasured gift!

Many colleagues wanted to share their recollections of working with Irene, and we are sharing a few:

Irene is always willing to assist from sorting mail, to ordering coffee, to helping hand address envelopes, and many other duties. She does her job with grace and always a smile.  She has a wealth of knowledge and always able to strike up a conversation on many different topics.  Irene will be missed by many.”

“With her long history at Middlebury and many interests ranging from the cultivation of lilacs to railroad history to town planning, Irene will surprise you with stories that will make you say, “I didn’t know that!” She is also the only person I know who never even once complains about the cold during the long Vermont winter. The front desk in the Office of Advancement will seem very empty without her there.”

“Irene is deeply committed to environmental stewardship and sustainable living.  For decades, she has been a town leader in modeling personal practices that reduce carbon impact.  Whether advocating for public transportation and bus ridership,  practicing reduce/reuse/recycle strategies, or reminding us that individual actions DO matter, Irene inspires Middlebury colleagues and neighbors to take personal responsibility for building a better world.”

If you wish to send your stories, memories, and best wishes to Irene before June 30, please forward to Stacie Marshall (staciem@middlebury.edu or 700 Exchange Street), and she will compile and present to Irene before retirement.

Entree- a Student Run Platform for Ordering Food Online

You can now order online from the Grille and Green Peppers with Entrée! Go to www.tryentree.com to quickly place an order and receive text message updates on your food to know when it is ready for pickup. Browse the menu, no phone calls, no repeating yourself. Skip the line and don’t wait for your food to be ready. Use go/entree or the website above to order today.

College Community Chorus presents Spring Concert, Sunday, May 5

The 90 members of the Middlebury Community Chorus present their spring concert on Sunday, May 5. Most all the works on the program receive their first-ever Vermont performance at the 3pm concert.  Conductor Jeff Rehbach remarks, “We hope the music and lyrics at our spring concert—spanning the globe and from across the centuries—will lift spirits as spring and summer return to Vermont. As the lyrics of our songs suggest, within our singing we can hear words of healing, the melding of the parts to whole, the very language of the soul; any song we sing every word will rhyme, running through the summer sunshine!”

Middlebury Community Chorus
Students, alumni, community members enjoy rehearsal (photo: Silvia Cantu)

The choir welcomes guest violinist Romy Munkres, a Middlebury Union High School junior and the Young Tradition Vermont 2018 contest winner. She will play solo fiddle as the chorus accompanies her in a traditional Norwegian song, Gropen, a lively dance tune. From Celtic traditions, the ensemble offers Aisling (meaning ‘dream’ or ‘vision’) scored for solo violin and gently accompanied by the choir and piano.

The program features pieces in contrasting styles by American composers Gwyneth Walker and Susan LaBarr who set the poetry of Sara Teasdale for the songs Refuge and Grace Before Sleep, as well as music by composer Kyle Pederson, a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, who combines Arabic and English texts in Hands are Knockin’.

Also on the program, Norwegian-American composer Ola Gjeilo’s song The Rose lyrically portrays the this flower’s beauty; Irish composer Michael McGlynn’s Sunshine joyfully celebrates the coming of summer, while Haitian-American composer Sydney Guillaume’s Kanaval portrays the festive atmosphere of a mardi gras celebration in his homeland. Music faculty member Damascus Kafumbe adds vibrant color to this piece with special percussion instrumentation.The program includes dynamic choruses from Handel’s rarely performed The Triumph of Time and Truth – a work based on one of his earliest Italian oratorios, and then rewritten in the final years of his life. The choir will also sing Handel’s lovely Music, Spread Thy Voice Around. In these pieces, College students, staff, and community members sing solo parts, including Harper Baldwin ’19, Hannah Resnick ’21, Tahira Hasan ’21, Mingjui Gao ’21, Betty Kafumbe, Anna de Boer, and Louise Whalen Wright.

Chorus members hail from nearly two dozen towns throughout the Champlain Valley, and with student members from across the globe. Jeff Rehbach conducts, with Tim Guiles accompanying at the piano.