When Alumni Come Back to Teach

AckStudTeachWinter term has always been a favorite part of the academic year at Middlebury for students, present and past. Many alumni look back fondly on the classes they took in January and the professors who taught them. Some are even fortunate enough to make a trip back to campus during J-term—this time as teachers themselves.

Middmag talked to six alumni who were back sharing their knowledge and expertise with students this past January.

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  1. Wonderful idea. As a retired Defense Department diplomat and intelligence officer who was “present at the creation” of the arms control treaties ending the Cold War and involved in the Middle East Peace Process among other things I only dreamed of doing when I was at Middlebury (and got to do because of J Term at Middlebury and professors like Travis Jacobs, Marjorie Lamberti, Pardon Tillinghast, Vincent Malmstrom and so on ) I’d love to go back to the future and come back. Somebody please contact me! – Mark Carolla ’72

  2. Been teaching law to law students for almost 40 years – semi-retired and would love to do someting similar at Midd. One possibility would be a course covering the role Islam plays in the laws of both Muslim and non-Muslim countries, especially re family law.

  3. A nice article and am pleased to know these alums……two of my friends in the class of 1956, Mark Benz and his college roommate Dick Catlin have done a j term for two years now on a novel subject matter of great interest to the science students…converting hydrogen and now methane into commercial use….for motor vehicles. If you’d like to contact them for an additional story, I am bkbyers55@yahoo.com or 462 3677

  4. Hi Bruce,

    We actually did a piece on Mark and Dick last spring on this: http://sites.middlebury.edu/middmag/2012/03/14/tractor-of-the-future/


  5. My academic year at Middlebury College, Madrid doing a masters was one of the most joyful and rewarding experiences of my life. The the present, after serving two terms with the Peace Corps in Colombia, Morocco and Moldova and teaching for years, I’d be delighted to share my views with others.

  6. Very nice piece. If there is a mechanism for former grads to come back and teach a course, then I’d love to know about it. I would be enthusiastic to lead a survey course dedicated towards HIV infection with topics covered including: HIV biology, therapies, epidemiology, social policy, and history. Thanks!

  7. Great idea! Alums surely have a great deal to contribute based on their life experiences. Students need to get a big picture view of where their Middlebury education can lead them. You might look for alums who have had really unusual and creative jobs and who are willing to share how they got there.

  8. It is fantastic to see such interest in returning to Middlebury to teach….I thought I would jump in here and share information about MiddCORE (www.middcore.com) — Middlebury’s mentor-driven leadership and innovation program builds skills in leadership, collaboration, idea creation, strategic thinking, crisis management, conflict resolution, ethical decision-making, etc. How? By bringing in mentors with experience and expertise to run hands-on workshops. This January alone, we invited more than 120 leading professionals (many of whom are alumni and parents) to run hands-on workshops during our immersive Jterm courses at Middlebury and Monterey. We are expanding to Lake Tahoe in summer ’13… Check out our website for more information on all of our programs and how to become a mentor (www.middlebury.edu).

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  9. After spending an extremely intense summer in VT and a wonderful year in Madrid (MA ’81), I spearheaded the commencement of the Madrid Exchange program for my very first eighth grade students. Starting with pen pal letters in seventh grade, my students immediately become engaged in task-oriented, language exploration experiences. In its 32nd year, my students are currently living in Madrid for 2 weeks in February, all “promising” to speak in Spanish, as much as possible to the best of their “Level 1” ability. Their Madrid “siblings” will be here, yet again for two weeks during Semana Santa. Amazingly, this is all still happening in spite of wars, budget cuts, recessions, unemployment, etc. with two public schools on each side

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    of the Atlantic. Middlebury’s total immersion lives on in my heart and in turn, in the very souls of our students and their families, both here and abroad. Once I retire next year, I’d love to teach a J-term corse and/ or to team-teach as a member of an interdisciplinary, integrated panel with other Midd alumnae. Thanks for sharing a great article!

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  10. I have such fond memories of Marjorie Lamberti’s winter term seminar on the Holocaust. We read widely, we cried, we tried to understand the what, where and why. It was such a privilege to take such a concentrated period of time to focus an an historical event and be truly immersed. I would be so honored to go back and think and teach and learn about what history teaches us.

  11. In response to Joshua Schiffer’s comment above….
    My first J term class at Midd was “AIDS in the 90’s”. One of the books we read for the course was “And the Band Played on”….still sitting on my bookshelf!
    It would be wonderful to have a “modern day” version of this course including the progression of research, therapies and social aspects. While attending medical school in Grenada, I, unfortunately, saw the devastation that this disease can impart on a third world country.
    Hope this works out for you. I’d love to come back and take your course!

Comment Policy

We hope to create a lively discussion on MiddMag.com and invite you to add your voice. Please keep comments civil and relevant to the news item at hand. MiddMag.com may remove comments that do not follow these guidelines.

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