Author Archives: Barbara Burke

25 Years at the Middlebury Institute with Moyara Ruehsen

Moyara Ruehsen, Associate Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, recently passed her 25-year mark of employment.  She overseers the Institute’s Financial Crimes Management program and is a well-respected expert in money laundering, terrorism and proliferation financing, and cyber-related financial crimes. Moyara took a few minutes from her busy schedule to share her thoughts of “Life at the Institute” over the past two and a half decades.

What did you do prior to coming to work at the Middlebury Institute and where were you located?

I was a post-doc at UC-Berkeley and an Adjunct Professor at MIIS.

What job titles have you held while working at the Middlebury Institute?

Assistant and Associate Professor

Take us back to your first year as an employee at MIIS. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?

Juggling a new baby, a new job, and new course preps!  Those were crazy times.  I have to give a lot of credit to Steve Baker for having enough confidence in me to hire this visibly pregnant woman with a May due date, who looked younger than her 30 years. I assured him that I would be ready to hit the ground running in August 1994, following in the footsteps of my mother, who famously took only one month off from her medical career to have both of her kids.  I was true to my word.  I never took any maternity leave the entire time I was at MIIS, timing both of my pregnancies to deliver in May so I would be ready to teach again by the end of August.

What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?

That “new baby” is now 25 and his younger sister is 22.  They are both successfully “launched” in their lives and careers, so this mama is a happy empty nester living her best life.

Have your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at MIIS or due to your association with others who work here?

Toastmasters was a hobby I picked up in 2009 with the idea that I might want to venture into politics someday.  Sitting through one too many City Council meetings and County Supervisor meetings quickly killed that inspiration, but the dedication to Toastmasters continued.  I have been able to bring those interests and skills into my classroom, encouraging students to pursue and deliver multimedia projects like narrated videos, podcasts, and pecha kucha-style summary presentations.

What is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at MIIS?

That’s easy.  The MIIS Follies.  I’ve probably contributed in some capacity (as an actor, dancer, MC, video director, sketch director, or script writer) to between 10 to 15 productions over the years.  I have tended to work behind the scenes in recent years, but it’s a labor of love that never gets old.

Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?

The students.  MIIS draws students who have the maturity and global perspective that’s often missing in an undergraduate institution, and they have such noble motivations.  I also appreciate that we are a professional school, first and foremost.  We are in the business of helping students launch into exciting careers where they are making a real, positive difference in the world.  I live vicariously through them and their exciting professional accomplishments.

What are your plans for the next 25 years? 

Getting a new online M.S. in Financial Crime Management launched.  But I’d like to think that it won’t take that long.

Do you have a favorite place on campus?

My cozy office.  But being in the classroom with my students is a close second.

Is there any person on campus (or retiree, former employer) that mentored you, or you feel helped you grow into your job, grow to enjoy your work and your time at the Institute?

Steve Baker and Amy Sands were excellent bosses and mentors, who helped encourage me and guide me whenever challenges arose.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at MIIS, what would it be?

Volunteer to perform at the Follies!  If we can’t occasionally take time out to laugh together and at ourselves, then we’re doomed.

Anything else to add?

Thirty years ago I had the opportunity to sit down and talk for nearly an hour with the late Senator J. William Fulbright.  As I got up to leave he asked, “So are you going to go out there and make a difference?” I promised him that I would try. I would like to think that training the next generation of public policy professionals and financial crime management professionals is one way of doing that.

25 years @ MIIS with Sherre Kruft

Sherre Kruft, Admissions Office III at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, recently passed her 25-year mark of employment.  Over the years, Sherre has been the bedrock of the Admissions Office for many years and was awarded the Institute’s Above & Beyond Award in 2009 for her many contributions to the Institute. Sherre took a few minutes to share her thoughts on “Life at the Institute” over the past two and a half decades.

What did you do prior to coming to work at the Middlebury Institute and where were you located? 

I was in customer service in southern California and Monterey for about twenty years before joining Middlebury.

What job titles have you held while working at the Middlebury Institute?

Custom Language Services/Summer Intensive Language Program Administrative Assistant, Admissions Assistant, Admissions Officer.

Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words? 

I really enjoy the constant learning aspect of international credential evaluation. The Admissions Office is ever evolving and changing in order to try to meet the needs of prospective students. 

If you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at MIIS, what would it be? 

Use active listening skills and be kind.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about your time at MIIS? 

I have had a wonderful experience here.  There are too many people I have worked with and admire for different reasons to name.  Our prospective students are amazing and awe inspiring.  I love how they plan to make a difference in so many diverse ways.

25 Years @ The Middlebury Institute with Nukhet Kardam

Nukhet Kardam, Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, recently passed her 25-year mark of employment.  Nukhet took a few minutes to share her thoughts of “Life at the Institute” over the past two and a half decades.

1. What did you do prior to coming to work at the Middlebury Institute and where were you located?

I was working as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pomona College in the Department of Politics in Claremont, California.

2. What job titles have you held while working at the Middlebury Institute?

I think I came as Associate Professor, and then became Full Professor. I was the Program Chair for the MPA Program for several years.

3. Take us back to your first year as an employee at MIIS. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?

It was 1993, my son was 6 years old and started elementary school in Pacific Grove. We moved as a family to Pacific Grove and rented a house and hoped that my husband would find a job in this area, but it never happened. The first year I was at MIIS, he was on sabbatical from Scripps College in Claremont and he continued working there as a faculty member until he retired in 2008.

4. What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?

I am putting on “Aging Creatively” workshops for people in my generation. I absolutely love it and would like to expand these workshops, perhaps offering them to faculty across Middlebury who are close to retirement or already retired.

5. Have your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at MIIS or due to your association with others who work here?

I have realized that I don’t just want to be an intellectual and focusing on my mind, but become a ‘whole person’. So, I have become a Qi Gong and Zumba instructor. I am convinced that to live a fulfilled life, one has to combine all faculties and functions (imagination, thought, feelings, sensations) and trust one’s heart. I am on a Sufi spiritual path and I would like to combine my creativity, philosophy, and spirituality to offer to others and learn from others.

6. What is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at MIIS?

I don’t have a fondest memory. What I enjoy most is hearing form my former students and having a continuing relationship with them.

7. Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?

Yes, the ability of the school to allow me to change and grow. As I changed, the school accommodated me and allowed my creativity and different ideas to take shape and blossom. As the school changed, I stuck with it. What school would have given me the chance to write a book about my grandfather, go to Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and ultimately publish a book on Identity (from Ottoman to Turk and Beyond: Watercolor Identities)? This research was very close to my heart and also led to a successful seminar I still teach called Powerle Identity and Multiculturalism.

8. What are your plans for the next 25 years?

Offer “Aging Creatively” workshops around the U.S and in Turkey; teach Zumba Gold and Qi Gong classes, continue playing the piano and learn jazz piano and composition.

9. Do you have a favorite place on campus?

My office is perfect – large, great view, and all.

10. Is there any person on campus (or retiree, former employer) that mentored you, or you feel helped you grow into your job, grow to enjoy your work and your time at the Institute?

Yes, I could mention Ed Laurance who mentored me when I first came. We taught a couple of courses together which helped me a lot. Amy Sands, as Dean and then later Provost, always supported me and provided space for me to change. Amy McGill has been and is a great supporter.

11. If you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at MIIS, what would it be?

Give yourself time to grow into the job, make sure to get to know people from different programs, including staff, faculty, and students. Become part of the community and ENJOY it.

12. Is there anything else that you would like to share about your time at MIIS?

I have loved it!!

25 Years @ the Middlebury Institute with Bill Lackey

Bill Lackey, Maintenance Engineer at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, recently passed his 25-year mark of employment.  Bill has become an integral part of the Institute community and took a few minutes to share his thoughts of “Life at the Institute” over the past two and a half decades.

1. What did you do prior to coming to work at the Middlebury Institute and where were you located?

Before I came to work for MIIS, I worked as a Union Journeyman Carpenter. I started my apprenticeship program in 1978 in Scotts Valley, building the Hidden Oak Condos for four years. Subsequently, I was employed in the building industry and have worked on many jobs including Spanish Bay at Pebble Beach and their condos, Bridges in Salinas, Pacheco Pass and San Jose, Presidio of Monterey, Fort Ord, Hunter Liggett, K-Mart, and many privately owned homes throughout the United States.

2. What job titles have you held while working at the Middlebury Institute?

I started working at MIIS as the Maintenance Engineer Supervisor. I was in charge of seven in-house custodians, Campus Security, Events and Set-Ups, Classrooms, and Grounds. I hired one individual and, of course, managed the numerous maintenance needs as there was a lot to do and not much help back then. I currently hold the job title of Maintenance Engineer.

3. Take us back to your first year as an employee at MIIS. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?

I was replacing all of the electrical wiring throughout my house and had to remove every existing wall. I was also working 52 hours a week while trying to complete this large undertaking. Slowly and steadily, I was able to replace the wires and install the sheet rock, tape, mud, and texture. I was very proud when I accomplished all of this work by myself.

4. What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?

I am starting to build an addition to my home as my kids have come to live with me. This should prove to be another life experience that I will remember.

5. Have your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at MIIS or due to your association with others who work here?

My life outside of work centers around my family and my granddaughter. I do have hobbies, which include motorcycle rides, wood working, bead work, and nice beach days.

6. What is your fondest memory or experience that you’ve had while working at MIIS?

I do enjoy seeing all of the friendly faces here at MIIS and greeting everyone that I see. One of my fondest memories was when I crafted a plaque from the wood of our Adobe Cypress Tree for former MIIS President Sunder Ramaswamy. It was a pleasure to create something from this wood and give it to our departing President.

7. Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?

When I worked in the general construction industry, the jobs were always completed and once completed, I had to move on. Here at MIIS, the work is never ending. I have a stated purpose and feel fulfilled with a great sense of pride in my work accomplishments. MIIS has become my home away from home and I know that tomorrow, when I come in to work, there will be more work to be done!

8. What are your plans for the next 25 years?

Stay as healthy as I can and keep doing what I have enjoyed for most of my life.

9. Do you have a favorite place on campus?

I don’t have one preferred place here on MIIS Campus. Working as a Maintenance Engineer, I am all over this campus during a week’s work. I enjoy this campus and view each of the buildings as if they were my own and each building and location are special in their own way.

10. Is there any person on campus (or retiree, former employer) that mentored you, or you feel helped you grow into your job, grow to enjoy your work and your time at the Institute?

I worked under President Emeritus Robert Gard in the 90’s and we had some special talks about life and work that I remember well. Additionally, President Emeritus Steve Baker was also one that I admired here at MIIS. He called me his Chief Maintenance Engineer. I have fond memories of them both.

11. If you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at MIIS, what would it be?

My advice to a new employee is to never give up, stay slow and steady, and think about what you are doing before you do it.

12. Is there anything else that you would like to share about your time at MIIS?

I think of my long career here at MIIS like the stock market. It has had its ups and downs but I (we) have always recovered and come back into the light.

Thanks for all of my great memories throughout my 25 years of service here at MIIS. I have seen so many changes and look forward to the next 25 years!

Middlebury Institute 2018 Faculty of Excellence Recipient Announced

Middlebury Institute Vice President Jeff Dayton-Johnson has announced the winner of this year’s Middlebury Institute Faculty Excellence Award – Anne Campbell, Assistant Professor in the International Education Management program.

Nominations for this annual award were opened to the Institute campus community on January 29 and closed on February 28. Nominees were then considered by a selection committee made up of two faculty members, two students, and one member of the Institute Leadership Group.  The committee was faced with what they described as “an extremely strong pool” of 6 nominees, each of whom received careful consideration. At the conclusion of the first round of review, the field was narrowed to several finalists, each of whom exhibited extraordinary dedication both to their students and to the Institute’s commitment to academic excellence. The committee then reviewed recent student evaluations and observed videos of each finalist in the classroom before reaching their decision.

Students in Professor Campbell’s courses raved about their experience in her classroom, noting that her teaching approach exemplifies what it means to be a master in the field of education. She is a master teacher, empathizer, student advocate, researcher, and capacity builder. At the beginning of each course, she orients students on strategies for owning their learning process. Her central recommendation for her students is to be in command of class readings, to question the purpose behind assignments, to discern what is aligned with personal goals, and then to invest energy strategically toward their personal enrichment.  Dr. Campbell has an incredible ability to read her students, empathize and anticipate their concerns, and then respond transparently, authentically, and creatively. Her energy is contagious and her passion for truly equitable and just education systems comes alive through her teaching and her presence.

As this year’s recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award, Professor Campbell will receive a $500 award and will be invited to give the December 2018 Commencement address. Congratulations to Professor Campbell on this recognition of her exceptional commitment to academic excellence and to the students in her classroom.