When you hear my Brooklyn accent, you know that I am not from Vermont. But I feel as if this is where I am meant to be. When I left Middlebury in 2008, after serving two years as vice president for institutional planning and diversity, I did not anticipate that I would be fortunate enough to return.
But life is always giving us blessings—and challenges—and it has been one of my blessings to return to campus to serve as dean of the college and chief diversity officer. This summer when I drove back into Middlebury, I knew I’d come home.
I am proud to be joining the Class of 2014—to be associated with the students, faculty, and staff who bring so much openness and enthusiasm to our community. And I am pleased to follow Tim Spears as author of this blog, which discusses issues important to student life.
By embracing my expanded role, President Liebowitz and the Board of Trustees have placed diversity at the center of the institution rather than at the margins. This is something we should all be very proud of.
During the course of the year, I hope this blog will open conversations about interesting and challenging topics related to student life and to being fully committed members of the Middlebury community. In addition to my own posts, I will be inviting guests to contribute. These individuals will have interesting views and intriguing things to say about life at Middlebury.
We will always want to know what you think and encourage you to comment here. And hopefully, the conversations will flow from here throughout campus, and back, making this a lively place to exchange ideas, think critically, and participate in building the welcoming, learning community we envision.
Some of the topics that might be discussed include: How should the College help students become fully independent and yet provide support and structure? Are we responsible for one another? And what does that look like in practice? What is the value of studying abroad? What personal benefit is derived from the Honor Code?
While I have many ideas about who would be good guest bloggers and what issues to discuss, you may have others that I have not thought of. What are your ideas for topics and voices to include in this blog? I hope you will leave your suggestions in the comment section below.