Categories: Midd Blogosphere
Canvas has a simple and helpful tool for creating a course site: a Checklist. This is a step-by-step guide to help faculty build their sites without having to remember every step they took in previous semesters. Start at the top with importing content, and work your way down the list to where you add TAs...

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Tree Tour and Planting Wednesday

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

I’m hosting a tree tour and tree planting for our fall Arbor Day celebration this Wednesday at 4:30. It’s part of the 50 Years of Environmental Education & Leadership at Middlebury celebration (view the whole schedule here). We’ll be leaving from the front porch of Franklin Environmental Center (Hillcrest), wandering around wherever my feet and your questions take me, and ending up back at Hillcrest about 5:30 to plant 3 oak trees on the corner.

The oaks are coming from Miller Hill Farm in Sudbury, and are a mix of Red and Bur Oak. We’re replacing two blue spruce that died in that location, and these will be hardy long lived street trees. Another Sugar maple is dying nearby (not a great street tree, by the way), so the oaks are particularly fortuitous here.

And of course, doughnuts and hot cider. Come be as happy as these volunteers last year!


Weekly Web Updates – October 5, 2015

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The New England Review website was updated last Thursday with a new design, developed by College Communications. This is a child theme based on the Genesis Theme Framework, which we’ve done an extensive security review on. It will be used to produce other custom WordPress themes including (eventually) a refreshed set of Middlebury-branded themes for use on your sites.

We have set up an application we’re calling “BannerSelect” that creates a nightly cache of Banner data that is used in our Drupal and WordPress sites. For example, lists of donors for the Online Donor Roll or course descriptions shown in the Course Catalog. This removes Banner as a dependency for these applications (though the Course Catalog was already creating its own cache) and will speed them up as well as make managing the web servers a little easier as they will no longer need to know how to connect to Oracle. We’ll be working with areas that rely on these applications to ensure they’re tested and working with the new system.


Fixes and Tweaks

  • When a piece of content on any of our Drupal sites appears on multiple pages, links to it will always go to the current page if you’re already on the current page. This mostly applied to pages with lists of profiles and lists of news stories. If you are viewing a list of faculty profiles on a department site and click on one of them, you should now always stay on that department site, rather than sometimes jumping to a different department in which that person also teaches.
  • We have disabled a redundant scheduled task that was causing slowness in the Course Hub application. This should slightly improve performance of all of our Drupal-based websites.
  • Information about commons association and advisors for students displayed in Course Hub Rosters is now stored in a local database (using the BannerSelect application mentioned above) and refreshed nightly from Banner, rather than being read directly from Banner.
  • The Study Abroad and Language Schools navigation elements will now appear properly as 36px high in all browsers.
  • When we upgraded the Drupal modernizr module this week, we took the opportunity to pare down the list of tests that the JavaScript file runs for older browsers. This shouldn’t affect anyone on the Middlebury campus, as most people should be using a modern version of each browser now, but this should mean a slight performance increase for people using Internet Explorer 7-9.

Audrey Lasserre wins national prize

Categories: Midd Blogosphere




Middlebury is thrilled and proud to announce that one of our faculty here in Paris has won the second Thesis Prize for 2015 from the GIS Institute of Genders (CNRS/MSHPN) (see links below) .  This national and interdisciplinary prize aims to promulgate  knowledge in the gender and sexualities domain.   Audrey was awarded this prize for her thesis entitled :  “Histoire d’une littérature en mouvement: textes, écrivaines et collectifs éditoriaux du Mouvement de libération des femmes en France (1970-1981)” (in English: “History of a literature in motion: texts, [female ]authors and collective editorials of Women’s liberation in France (1970-1981)”).  Audrey will receive her prize from sociologist and research director at the CNRS, Madame Catherine Mary in a ceremony on November 6th at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris Nord.


Congratulations, Audrey, on all of your hard and important work and on this well-deserved recognition!


GIS Institute of Genders



Prize Results


Paris visits Normandy

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

This Saturday and Sunday, 28 students from both the undergraduate and graudate programs here in Paris had the chance to visit Normandy.  They left early Saturday morning, heading for Bayeux to see the famous Bayeux Tapestry (which tells the story of  William the Conqueror and Harold Godwinson which led to the Battle of Hastings), to visit the the Bayeux Museum, and to marvel at the beautiful Bayeux Cathedral.  Next, they were off to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery where they had a guided tour of the cemetery and visited the memorial museum.  On Sunday the students enjoyed a guided tour of the Mont Saint-Michel and then got to explore a Norman farm as well enjoy a home-made goûter (snack) of brioche and rice pudding, as well as fresh apple juice and cidre (hard cider) prepared for them by the owners of the farm.

cathbayblog  Bayeux Cathedral


cimamblog                                                                   At the American Cemetery



gray (but beautiful)  skies at the Mont Saint-Michelmsmblog







Vermont Genetics Network Awards for Glen Ernstrom, Clarissa Parker, AnGayle Vasiliou, and Michael Durst

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Vermont Genetics Network grants for Research in the Biomedical Sciences
Middlebury College is one of the baccalaureate partner institutions participating in a major grant from the National Institutes of Health to the University of Vermont. This grant continues the Vermont Genetics Network support that has been an important source of funding for faculty and student research during the past decade. The following faculty members received individual grants from this program to support their research this year:

Glen Ernstrom (Biology & Neuroscience) received a renewal of his project grant titled Genetic Analysis of Neurotransmitter Release in C. Elegans. The proposed research will help to clarify nerve signaling mechanisms and potentially lead to improved drug therapies for neural disorders. The grant provides funding for summer and academic-year effort for Prof. Ernstrom from June 2015-May 2016 and includes a summer stipend for one undergraduate student.

Clarissa Parker (Psychology & Neuroscience) received a project grant titled Genome-wide Association for Ethanol Sensitivity in the DO Mouse Population. The goal of this work is to use a highly recombinant mouse population to map genes associated with ethanol sensitivity. Understanding the pathways linking genetic variation and expression to neuronal function may enable targeting of specific molecules to treat alcohol use disorders in humans. The grant provides funding for summer and academic-year effort for Prof. Parker from June 2015-May 2016 and includes summer stipends for two undergraduate students.

AnGayle (AJ) Vasiliou (Chemistry and Biochemistry) received a renewal of her project grant titled Thermal Composition of Biomass: Molecular Pathways for Sulfur Chemistry. The aim of this research is to elucidate the detailed chemical mechanisms and kinetics associated with the thermal decomposition of sulfur compounds found in biomass feedstock. The results of this work can be used to develop a sound strategy to suppress the formation of poisonous sulfur compounds during biomass decomposition, generating clean liquid fuels and ultimately lowering sulfur emissions. The grant provides funding for summer and academic-year effort for Prof. Vasiliou from June 2015-May 2016 and includes summer stipends for two undergraduate students.

Michael Durst (Physics) received a project grant titled High-Speed 3D Multiphoton Fluorescence Imaging with Temporal Focusing Microscopy. The proposed work aims to improve the speed of 3D multiphoton microscopy through temporal focusing, with the goal of reaching video-rate 3D imaging in biological tissue. The grant provides funding for summer and academic-year effort for Prof. Durst from June 2015-May 2016 and includes a summer stipend for one undergraduate student.

Registration for Figure Skating Club

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Registration for the Figure Skating Club will take place on Thursday, October 8, in the Crossroads Cafe. Children from 5 to 18 years of age receive lessons, and the season culminates in their performance in the Winter Carnival Ice Show.

If you have questions, please contact Barbara Walter at

Information and forms are below!

2015-16 Figure Skating Club
2015-16 Registration form
Skating Waiver