Tag Archives: Uncategorized

Who Do You Trust: The Polls or the Forecast Models?

It’s nearly Labor Day, the traditional kickoff to the stretch run of the presidential election.  It’s also the time when political scientists begin unveiling the result of their presidential election forecast models.  Some of these represent preliminary snapshots of the race, pending final third-quarter economic results and other data, but to the extent that the […]

Hospice Volunteer Training – Begins 9/15

Share your compassionate self through Hospice Volunteer Service. Training takes place each Thursday for 10 weeks, beginning 9/15.

From Priscilla:

Attached is a poster for our upcoming 30 hour hospice volunteer training class that will meet on Thursdays, 5:30-8:30pm, September 15 – November 17, at the Hospice Volunteer Services offices in the Marble Works.  Any student interested in becoming a patient care volunteer, or simply wants to learn more about this opportunity, should contact me directly. 

We really like to have at least a couple students in the fall community training.  Once finished, the student will be certified to be a patient care volunteer with those in our community facing the end of life (in their homes and care facilities).  This is a great opportunity for students to learn about end of life, modern hospice and palliative care, and meet people who are in the trenches, doing hospice work.  And they’ll get to know some wonderful community members in the class. 

Reach out to Priscilla Baker, pbaker@hospicevs.org to learn more.

Hospice 2016 poster


Welcome, Erin, Katie, and Emma!

Greetings from the staff at the Center for Community Engagement! As we look ahead to the start of the fall semester, we’re delighted to share several announcements and welcome new staff.

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Front row: Tiffany Sargent (CCE Director), Megan Brakeley (CCE Assistant Director), Emma McDonald (SerVermont VISTA), Kristen Mullins (LiM Program Coordinator)

Back row: Erin Bodin (CCE Interim Associate Director), Ashley Laux (CCE Associate Director), Liz Cleveland (CCE Program Administrator), and Katie Carpenter (VCC AmeriCorps VISTA)

First off, we have moved! We’re now located at 20 Old Chapel Road, between Parton Health Center and Axinn. All are welcome to drop by and check out our new home!

Our name has also shifted: we are excited to now be the Center for Community Engagement. You may notice we’re shifting from CE to CCE.

We’re also truly delighted to welcome three new staff to our team: Erin Bodin, Katie Carpenter, and Emma McDonald.

Erin joins us as Interim Associate Director as Ashley is on parental leave. Erin graduated from Saint Michael’s College in 2006. During her time in college she found herself spending most of her free time in the MOVE office (CCE equivalent), particularly interested in supporting the international extended service opportunities. After graduation, Erin explored and worked both in Vermont and abroad, and found herself back in the MOVE office as their assistant director of community service from 2009-2012. Since that time, she received her MFA in Creative Writing and trained as a birth doula. Erin lives with her husband and little toddler on family farm land in Chittenden, Vermont and she is thrilled to be back in community engagement work– she looks forward to meeting you this fall!

Katie will be one of this year’s two new AmeriCorps VISTAs in Middlebury’s Center for Community Engagement. Her role for the next year will be supporting student organizations affiliated with CCE. Katie’s AmeriCorps assignment is through Vermont Campus Compact, which aims to increase college aspiration, access and retention, and the position imagines that fairly broadly, since encouraging kids to see college as a potential path can happen at almost any age.  She’s excited to get started!

Emma is from Baltimore, MD and graduated in May of 2016 from Middlebury College with a degree in Religion. Some highlights from her undergraduate experience include learning German and living in the German House, working as a student staff member for the Language in Motion program at the Center for Community Engagement, working as a peer writing tutor and freshman seminar mentor, and writing her senior thesis on Catholic moral theology and assisted reproductive technologies.

As a SerVermont AmeriCorps VISTA, Emma is collaborating with students and the Center for Community Engagement to build capacity in Middlebury’s anti-poverty initiatives, especially the Privilege & Poverty academic cluster. Her work will focus on studying and enhancing community partnerships to facilitate Middlebury’s improved understanding of and engagement with needs and opportunities identified by the community. She is excited to be back at Middlebury in this new role!

Kristen’s role will be expanding as Megan will be a Posse mentor for Chicago 5. Kristen will now be supporting Juntos and (in partnership with Chellis House) Brother to Brother and Sister to Sister.

Please drop by our  new home to say hi– we’re so delighted to work with you this year.


Why President Trump Would Avoid the Nude Beach

Last year at about this time I wrote a post noting how the media was paying little-to-no attention to President Obama’s decision to once again vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. This was in sharp contrast to previous years where political opponents had lampooned Obama’s choice to spend some downtime golfing, reading and generally relaxing with his […]

A Shepherd Intern on Her Experience and the Future


My name is Nora O’Leary and this summer I am working at HOPE, a non-profit organization that provides food, clothing, and resources to low-income and homeless families in Addison County. HOPE has a food shelf, which is available to families once a month, and a surplus area stocked with day-old food from Hannaford’s supermarket and other generous locals. The organization earns money from sales at their thrift shop, Retroworks, which they use to aid families with a variety of expenses, from heating bills, to laundry vouchers, to car repairs. HOPE also provides assistance to homeless individuals with basic necessities, camping supplies, and with the difficult transition out of homelessness. Because HOPE is not a government-affiliated organization, the staff is able to be flexible and provide financial assistance based on a person’s needs at any given time rather than following strict guidelines. That means there is a lot of personal interaction with the clients, because the staff seeks to hear everyone’s stories and understand their struggles, in order to help them in the most effective way possible. As HOPE’s receptionist this summer, I have had the opportunity to have the initial contact with every client who walks in the door, hear their stories, and figure out how best to help them.

Coming into this summer, I wasn’t sure how this internship would relate to my (hopefully) future career as an elementary school teacher. However, I’ve found myself thinking about how closely related the cycle of poverty and education really are. Many clients that HOPE works with struggle with obesity, or drug addictions, have been incarcerated, or have never finished high school. These problems are ones that people are often harshly judged for in our society, because they all involve making some poor choices along the way. However, more and more I have thought about the young child within each of those clients who comes in. Who taught that child about nutrition, or warned them against drug use, or encouraged them to release frustration in healthy, non-violent ways? What about the child who quit school to start working and help his parents pay to keep the heating on in the winter? Many of the clients who come into HOPE everyday never had someone to teach them important lessons about finances and managing money, or a positive role model whose example they could follow in life. A teacher can be a hugely positive influence on a child, and this job has made me so eager to be that for a child someday. I continue to think about how a client’s life might have been different had they someone who believed in them, and encouraged them to work their hardest in and out of school everyday. I am hugely grateful for so many things this summer has taught me, but motivating me to continue on my way to becoming a public school teacher is an unforeseen and wonderful outcome

Nora O’Leary, ’17

To Have Patients

13584911_10154290273964253_2364320571155775360_oWith the Open Door Clinic, I have become aware of a whole new community that exists in Addison County of which I was not previously aware. In Addison County, roughly half of residents are uninsured. While most of us can go into a hospital and show an insurance card to avoid heavy fees, many Vermonters are left staring down big hospital bills with very little means through which to pay them. However, the issue is not even this simple. For migrant workers in Vermont, many do not understand the system and, when they receive their bills, do not quite know what to do with them since they are not in their native language. This is just one issue that I have been confronted with and helped alleviate through proactive communications with patients. While these problems are large scale, and will therefore need solutions on such a scale, I can still feel that my contribution has been worthwhile: helping a migrant worker, who provides for his small family that he started in Vermont, get his bills paid can be an experience that would be far more significant than one had serving my superiors coffee as an intern on Wall Street.
In the future, I see myself doing work that will help people, not because of their economic or social advantages but because we owe people help because of their humanity. At the Open Door Clinic, my coworkers have been consummate professionals in refraining from judging patients. In this line of work, we must become pure assets that always work for the benefit of our patients. In this sense, the job becomes all the more fulfilling through intentional service in which we deny ourselves our own wishes. This type of job has been very fulfilling for me and my coworkers have been role models for me to teach what it means to serve those that are marginalized in our communities.
– JJ Moser ‘16.5