While thoughts this time of year often turn to the community gathering atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall on mild summer evenings under dark Vermont skies for stargazing at the Observatory, this coming summer will necessarily be somewhat different.
Mittelman Observatory has been developing a variety of potential programming that may involve live virtual stargazing, skywatching advice, astronomy dispatches, social media, online student exhibits, student astronomical imagery, and perhaps even an astronomy talk. However, the community situation is obviously quite fluid and subject to prevailing directives.
Please visit go/observatorynews to join our Observatory News e-mail list if you would like to be kept abreast of our evolving summer activity plans.
Mittelman Observatory. Because the sky is always open!
We want to know how your team is having fun and staying productive while working remotely.
Zoom meetings that resemble the opening credits of The Brady Bunch. Virtual happy hours and coffee klatches. Video backdrops for those Zoom meetings that place you on campus—or on the moon.
For those still on campus, the daily routine is no less alien. We wear masks and gloves and practice social distancing; there’s no longer the opportunity to meet as a group, whether for a work function or socially.
Yet we’re hearing that many departments and divisions and offices are devising creative ways to foster community among work cohorts. Those virtual coffee gatherings and happy hours are but a couple that we’ve heard about.
So, tell us what you’re doing—as a department or as a group of coworkers—to help make your work days feel more collegial.
We want to hear what you’re doing and celebrate it as a community. And in the process, perhaps we’ll come up with even more ideas that help us stay connected.
Please take a moment to jot down your ideas on this brief form. We’ll figure out how best to share your stories.
Please visit this post on the Center for Community Engagement blog as we celebrate some of Tiffany’s major career accomplishments, announce the new Public Leadership Award created in her honor, and share reflections from colleagues and from Tiffany herself during this time of transition.
Many thanks to The Middlebury Campus for sharing the Middlebury College librarians’ efforts to serve our community in the story linked below. The seven librarians in the research and instruction group meet regularly to talk about how we’re connecting community members with library resources. We’ve examined how our work has been affected by the pandemic. While the library is closed, we’ve been using both tried-and-true and experimental forms of communication to help researchers get what they need. To consult in real time with these research and instruction librarians, make appointments using our go links. For more information, see here.
Over the next eighteen months, we'll be asking you to move forms from forms.middlebury.edu and forms.miis.edu into another system. You can get a head start on this now with new form creation tools from Google and Microsoft.
Middlebury’s emergency employee assistance fund, called the Chaplain’s Fund, has assisted well over 100 employees over the years who found themselves facing unforeseen financial emergencies.
The Chaplain’s Fund, hosted by the office of human resources and administered by The Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, was recently strengthened by a generous gift from the Class of 2019/2019.5, and by current students within the Student Government Association contributing funds that were unspent during Middlebury’s shift to remote education due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In response to the current crisis, we have recently streamlined and simplified the application process for any benefits-eligible Middlebury employee who is experiencing COVID-related financial stress. Employees can apply here, or please contact Ellen McKay at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need an application.
With each passing day, we all look for that little glimpse of hope and peace during this extremely difficult time. As your EAP (Employee Assistance Program), we continually promote our promise to be here for you through every season, hardship and success life brings.That’s why we’ve put together a page on our website full of resources as well as specific webinars related to this crisis Take some time, check them out, and let us know what you think. If you need additional support to process what’s going on, call the Support Line at 800-624-5544 or login at eap.ndbh.com any time.
We’ve dedicated part of our website to all things related to this pandemic. You’ll find tip sheets, the webinars listed above (+ more) and a news alert section to keep you up-to-date on this ever-changing crisis. To access, login and click the purple alert banner at the top of the page. Check back regularly for new material and updates.