Welcome, Megan and Elle!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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This summer we’ve welcomed two new staff members in CE – Megan Brakeley (on the right) our new Assistant Director, and Elle Bacon (on the left), our SerVermont Americorps Vista member for 2015-2016.

We’re so excited to have them both in the office!

Megan grew up in Birmingham, AL, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, PA. After graduating from Middlebury in 2006 with a degree in Spanish and a minor in Environmental Studies, she worked as a farmer and youth educator in a number of locations (Adirondacks, Oregon, Southern VT) and roles (Spanish and ES teacher, Associate Academic Dean, farm owner/operator, ski instructor). She is excited to be joining CE after earning a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she worked on connecting youth education, food systems, water resource management, and spatial analysis.

Megan is working with CE to advise youth programs and mentoring and to manage Communications for the office. She looks forward to working with students to continue to develop youth and mentoring programs, as well as students’ own capacities to be effective and compassionate—and have fun– in the work they do!

 

Elle is from Wilmington, DE, but just recently followed her parents to Hartford, CT. In May of 2015, she graduated from the College of Wooster with a degree in Religious Studies, and a minor in Sociology. Her most cherished moments as a student include being an integral member of a volunteer-based intentional living community, learning to play rugby while in Scotland during the fall of 2012, and completing her senior thesis, which discusses issues around health care.

Elle is collaborating with students and the CE office to enhance already existing service-learning programs, such as Privilege & Poverty, and identifying service opportunities between students, faculty, and the community. Elle is excited to become a part of the Middlebury community and to help generate interest in issues of poverty alleviation.

Welcome First-Years to Campus; Sign on to CCG!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
Below is a letter you should have received welcoming you, 1st years, to campus! In addition, if you are interested in hearing about events and opportunities around social impact,  I would encourage you to sign up on our MOJO database for the CCG (Careers in the Common Good) listserve. [You can do this when you […]

Weekly Web Updates – August 31, 2015

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

New Features

  • The WordPress Next Page plugin has been added to provide shortcodes and template tags for next/previous navigation in pages. The plugin includes a shortcode and tag for the parent page, allowing Drupal-like book navigation.
  • A new Omeka plugin for displaying a login bar on the top of Omeka sites has been added and is available for use.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

Several changes were made to the Middlebury Institute site, including:

  • The home page has an updated set of slider items.
  • A “read more” link was added below the news stories region on the home page.
  • The site has updated MBA redirects to match explicit paths, rather than “starts with”.
  • Additional top-margin space on 3rd level menus has been added.

Other fixes this week:

  • The Term filter on Study Abroad’s Course Information Database has been removed because it wasn’t relevant for most searches.
  • We added filters to sort Alumni Profiles by Major and/or Class Year.
  • A fatal error that was occurring on Course Hub dashboards when one of the courses had a Syllabus link has been fixed.

Addison County Home Health & Hopsice seeks a student Trustee

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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The Addison County Home Health & Hospice Board of Directors invites students to consider being a trustee for one year. Located just north of town on Route 7, our mission is to treat patients in the comfort of their home, whether they are returning from the hospital or needing physical therapy to return to self-sufficiency or to receive end of life care with dignity and comfort at home in the presence of loved ones. The agency has a large clinical staff as well as occupational and physical therapists. ACHH&H and Hospice Volunteer Services (HVS) work very closely together.

The person chosen will gain firsthand knowledge about how critically needed health care is provided to hundreds of clients and family throughout Addison County. By attending monthly board meetings and individual meetings with the board chair this person will gain valuable knowledge about the responsibilities and kinds of decisions trustees make.  Meetings with the executive director and members of his leadership team and accompanying staff as they visit clients and families in their homes will add direct experience. A preference will be given to that student who has expressed an interest in the health care professions. To learn more go to www.achhh.org and to www.hospicevs.org. Please contact Chuck Burdick ’63, Board Chair, to learn more. Email cburdick@shoreham.net or call 462-3599.

HR Update: This Week’s Employment Snapshot

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

There are currently 7 faculty positions, 51 external job postings (regular, on-call and temporary), and 2 internal job postings on the Middlebury employment opportunities web sites.

Employment Quick Links:

Faculty Employment Opportunities: http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/administration/prospective_faculty/employment

Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs (on campus), http://go.middlebury.edu/staff-jobs (off campus)

Please note – to view only internal staff postings, please use the internal posting search filter that was highlighted in this MiddPoints article.

On-call/Temporary Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs-sh (on campus), http://go.middlebury.edu/staff-jobs-sh (off campus)

Grille Closed from August 17th-September 7th 2015

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Please note that the Grille has closed for some maintenance issues on August 17th and will reopen September 7th, 2015. During this time, Midd Express Market will be open for snacks and Grab & Go options. Weather permitting, we are hoping to do some Pop Up Barbeques on the deck outside.

A Running Hike on Haystack

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Once again, I decided to venture out of Addison County for a trail run.  I have been an avid Adirondack hiker since I began my employment in Middlebury in the mid-80’s, but never really thought seriously about them as a running destination, given the muddy, rocky and generally gnarly condition of most Adirondack trails.  In fact, the challenges of overcoming some of the challenging terrain on many Adirondack hikes constitute much of their appeal.  That said, another one of the challenges of these mountain trails is their length – most of the popular hiking destinations require long approach hikes on gentler, more runnable terrain.  Since I do most of my hiking in running shoes, rather than the more traditional hiking boots, I had gotten in the habit of coming down off a peak, and running in the last few miles at the end of the day.  So, when one of my running friends Ben suggested a run/hike to one of the most remote peaks in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, Haystack Mt, I agreed that at least some of the route would be runnable, and we decided to give it a try.

At first, Haystack would seem like an odd choice for a trail run.  While it is the third tallest of the High Peaks, it is far more challenging than Marcy (#1) and Algonquin (#2) due to the length of the hike (about 8.5 miles each way) and the ruggedness of at least some sections of the approach trails.  In fact, it is generally not recommended as a day hike for all but the most fit and experienced hikers.  On the other hand, the first 3.5 miles in from “The Garden” parking lot in Keene Valley are very heavily hiked and in excellent condition with only modest ascent, and the next few miles beyond this, while steeper and less heavily traveled might also offer at least some stretches suitable for running.  I was mildly concerned that Ben planned to bring his dog, Tizzy the labradoodle on this trip, but he assured me that she was an excellent and experienced runner and climber, and I knew there would be lots of water for her to drink along this route.  Prepping for the run in the morning, I basically broke every rule in the book for Adirondack hiking, trying to go light.  For gear, I brought my small camera, a GPS watch, a 28 oz water bottle, and a windbreaker, allowing me to run with just a fanny back and a water bottle around my waist. Also, for my food, I basically grabbed all the “energy food” in my stash – so I brought along a mishmash of old Gu and Powergel packets, various energy bars, most of which were leftover bits of swag from previous races, and a bar of chewy energy blocks much like Gummi Bears, whose origin I had long forgotten. Oh yeah, and I also brought a few Snickers bars, because everything is better with chocolate.

After completing my 46 Adk peaks a dozen years ago, I have been doing my hiking in a wider variety of areas, and some of my memories of the trails and terrain were a little dated or fuzzy.  For example, I was not worried at all about us finding a parking place at “The Garden”, the parking lot for the Johns Brook Lodge and our planned approach.  This small but very popular parking lot always requires a very early entry on the weekends, but since this was a Friday, I figured we would be fine.  So, when we headed up the access road roughly across the street from the Keene Valley hotspot, The Noonmark Diner, and saw a sign indicating that there was indeed space in the undersized parking lot, I wasn’t surprised.  However, as we approached the lot attendant, she let us know that we were lucky enough to have gotten there just in time to grab the next to last spot, and it was only 8:30 in the morning, attesting to the ever increasing popularity of Adirondack hiking.

Setting off from the trailhead at around 8:30 in the morning, the run was as I expected;  the trail was in good condition, and the climbing was moderate, and we got to the Johns Brook Lodge, a mountain hut where overnighters can pay for a bunk and meals, after about 3.5 miles.  I was kind of surprised to see that we had already climbed 700-800 ft by the time we got to the lodge.  After topping off my water bottle from the lodge’s potable tap, we resumed the run, and over the course of the next 3.5 miles to Slant Rock, a very obvious trailside landmark, the trail stayed at its gradual pitch, but gradually got rougher, and muddier, so that we could only really run about half of this stretch.  It is funny how early in any trail run, I avoid all the mud through careful footwork, but once my toes get a little bit moist I basically give up and just charge through most of the water hazards, and by the time we got to Slant Rock, my shoes were sloshing.  I also noted an odd looking shelf fungus which looked like a bizarre set of lips.  Anyone for a kiss?

Kiss me baby!

Kiss me baby!

Given my plan of traveling light, I had neglected to bring along a map, counting on my distant memories of the last time I had passed this way, years ago. I remembered that there were two ways to get to Haystack from here – the short direct path which pretty much headed directly up and over the ridge to Little Haystack and Haystack, and a more roundabout route, the dreaded “Shorey Shortcut” which accomplished the same result, but with a lot of extra climbing and descent – obviously a route to be avoided. So shortly after passing Slide Rock, the trail took an obvious left turn across the brook, and we took it.  The trail started climbing much more seriously, so other than a few very short stretches here and there, the running part of our ascent was over.  After a long a substantial climb, we started an almost as long descent, and I realized that we had indeed taken the route I had wanted to avoid at all costs.  Oh well, what’s a few hundred more feet of climbing in a long challenging day?  Once we regained our lost altitude and achieved timberline it was a short steep ascent to the summit of Little Haystack, just north of our destination.  I was amazed at this point by our canine companion’s ability to climb and descend some very steep sections of trail.  I guess her four wheel drive works pretty well!

Ben and the mountain dog

Ben and the mountain dog

Finally, we got to the last quarter mile or so to the summit proper, and of course, this was a great place to enjoy the views. In this shot, I am looking west towards Redfield and Allen, two of the more challenging trailless peaks in the area.

A trailrunner enjoys the summit views

A trailrunner enjoys the summit views

From here, we made our descent, backpacking to timberline at the base of Little Haystack, where we found the trail we had hoped to take up from Slant Rock, but somehow missed. Taking this trail, we cut out a lot of extra unnecessary climbing in our descent, but this trail was no bargain either – it was even steeper than the Shorey, with the added benefit of loose rocks and a few sections where the trail was basically a muddy stream. Once again, Tizzy the wonderdog proved the strongest hiker of the party.

Muddy nightmares

Muddy nightmares

By the time we got back to Slide Rock, we were all ready to stretch our legs again with some more running, and despite tired legs from the previous 10+miles, this easy descent was the best running of the day over the last 7 miles. When we returned to the parked car, my GPS registered the day at almost exactly 17 miles. Checking the details of the run after our return, I could see that we had climbed and descended over 3500 ft in the course of the day! I usually don’t mention times and speeds in this blog, as everyone needs to run the trails at the pace where they are comfortable, but I found it interesting to note that we were able to complete this in just under 6.5 hours, whereas my previous hikes here had required more than 9 hours, so we were able to make up a lot of time in the runable sections!

Of course, when we got to our car, we made another anonymous hiker happy, as our departure opened up a spot in the parking lot for someone else to enjoy that section of the backcountry. Finally, all hikes in this section of the Adirondacks are required by law to end at the Noonmark Diner. While some people have sung the praises of their pies, I always go for a milkshake for the drive home. I got coffee this time, but perhaps next time it will be strawberry?

I usually just show the route in my Google Earth projections, but in addition to that, I also created a projection which better shows off the topology around the summit of Haystack. So, the first projection shows the entire route as if it was taken from the perspective of a satellite looking straight down, while the second one would be what one would see from an airplane approaching Haystack from the Mt Marcy side, at low altitude – I kind of like this perspective!

satellite perspective

satellite perspective

airplane perspective

airplane perspective

Altitude profile

Altitude profile