Author Archives: Matthew Casey

Critical Issues Forum Teachers and Bread Loaf Teacher Network Meeting on Disarmament and Nonproliferation Education

December 12, 2022
Masako Toki
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Critical Issues Forum Teachers and Bread Loaf Teacher Network meeting to Discuss Disarmament and Nonproliferation Education at CNS in Monterey.

On December 3rd, 2022, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) hosted the Critical Issues Forum (CIF) Teachers Retreat. Instructors in attendance were long-term CIF teachers, new teachers who are interested in joining the CIF, and teachers from the Bread Loaf Teacher Network (BLTN).

Participants with Dr. William Potter

Over the past two years, the CIF has conducted all events and activities online. The global pandemic required this change and while the online format brought challenges, the CIF was able to expand its outreach to diverse groups of teachers through online activities that resulted in new teachers joining virtual events. The CIF Teachers Retreat was a significant event for the project as it was the first in-person CIF event since the beginning of the global pandemic in early 2020.

The CIF aims to promote disarmament and nonproliferation education to high school students around the world, including those in the United States, Japan, and Russia while helping students develop critical thinking and cross-cultural communication skills. The goal of this weekend’s Teachers Retreat was to expand and solidify the disarmament and nonproliferation educator network in the United States.

Opportunity Brought by the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Collaborative in Conflict Transformation

The collaboration between the CIF and the BTLN is made possible thanks to the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Collaborative in Conflict Transformation (CT Collaborative).

Through the CT Collaborative, CIF project manager Masako Toki had a chance to meet the Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English Director, Dr. Emily Bartels. Dr. Bartels introduced Masako to the BTLN Communication Director, Tom Mckenna, to discuss possible collaboration between the CIF and the BLTN. Such discussions led Masako to participate in the Conflict Transformation Conference for the BTLN Next Generation Leadership Network in the Navajo Nation in October.

Collaboration between the CIF and the BTLN is proving to be mutually beneficial as the BTLN provides an extensive network of teachers around the US, including teachers in the Navajo Nation. This relationship aids the CIF in its goal to expand its outreach to more diverse groups of teachers while instructors in the BTLN are able to learn more about nuclear disarmament issues and how they might get involved with this instruction. The CIF Teachers Retreat was an excellent step forward toward the goal of deepening the relationship between CIF and BLTN connections to expand the disarmament educator network.

Introductory session including online participants.

Discussions and Lectures at the Teachers Retreat

During the Retreat, participating teachers had a chance to get an overview of global nuclear weapons, listen to presentations about recent nuclear disarmament challenges, and work through possible solutions to those challenges.

Mr. Jean du Preez, CNS Senior Program Manager for Education and Training, gave a lecture in which he highlighted the role educators can play in nuclear disarmament. In addition to the global nuclear overview and challenges to nuclear disarmament, Mr. du Preez introduced educational activities to the teachers that can grab the students’ attention.

Dr. Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, CNS Scientist- in-Residence, gave a brief overview of the destructive power of nuclear weapons as opposed to the capabilities of conventional weapons. He followed this overview with a discussion on the impacts of nuclear weapons from various scientific perspectives and an explanation of the environmental and human impacts of nuclear weapon tests.

Teachers discussed nuclear challenges from multiple perspectives and lenses, such as the intersection of nuclear disarmament and racial justice. Dr. Vincent Intondi, History Professor at the Montgomery College and the author of The African American against the Bomb, was an invited guest speaker who gave a powerful talk on how African Americans contributed to the nuclear disarmament movement and the omission of their contributions in historical accounts. He also highlighted how racial discrimination played a role in the decision-making process for using nuclear weapons against two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Dr. Vincent Intondi talks about African Americans Against the Bomb

During the lunch hour, Dr. William Potter, CNS Founding Director, discussed the origin of the CIF and the importance of introducing nonproliferation and disarmament education to high school students. He shared his efforts to do so despite initial resistance to this idea, as many experts perceived that nonproliferation and disarmament issues are too difficult for high school students to understand. In addition, Dr. Potter shared his experience as a Board Member on the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters for the United Nations Secretary General to promote disarmament and nonproliferation education. His initiative led to the adoption of the United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education – Report of the Secretary-General at the 57th UN General Assembly in 2002.

Dr. Netta Avineri, Associate Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), began the afternoon session with a lecture titled Intercultural Communication (ICC) for Social Change: Application to Nuclear Disarmament Education. She raised a number of key questions in her lecture: how can ICC approaches be mobilized for social change, conflict transformation, and nuclear disarmament education? What new approaches might be necessary to bring ICC to the work of social change, conflict transformation, and nuclear disarmament education? Dr. Avineri’s session was interactive and offered participants a chance to actively participate by sharing their perspectives.

Most of the afternoon session was dedicated to a discussion on how teachers can implement the CIF at each school to teach nuclear disarmament to high school students. Experienced CIF teachers shared their experience, advice, and activities that are unique to each school.

Long-term CIF teacher Andrew King is the Principal at the Alliance Dr. Olga Mohan High School in Los Angeles. Mr. King shared his school’s “Nuclear Free School” activities that included a youth disarmament conference in LA that his school organized in 2017. James Davidson is a veteran teacher from Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut who shared his school’s activities with the CIF while highlighting the increased interest in nuclear issues among his students. Stephanie Villarello from Rock University High School in Wisconsin explained how her school incorporates CIF in classroom activities.

Andrew King shares his CIF teacher’s experience

Shizuka Kuramitsu and Galina Salnikova are currently pursuing their master’s degree in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and are also CIF alumni who participated in the 2015 and 2016 CIF projects, respectively. They shared how the CIF contributed to their awareness and knowledge of nuclear disarmament issues and its impact on their career paths.

CIF alumni Shizuka Kuramitsu and Galina Salnikova

Participating Schools

  • Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, CT
  • Alliance Dr. Olga Mohan High School, LA, CA
  • Window Rock High School, Fort Defiance, AZ, Navajo Nations
  • Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School, Philadelphia, PA
  • Jefferson County Public School District Louisville, KY
  • Juneau Douglas High School, Juneau AK
  • Stevenson School, Pebble Beach, CA
  • York School, Monterey, CA

List of Participants

Link to Agenda

Funder Acknowledgement

This year’s Critical Issues Forum is supported by the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Collaborative in Conflict Transformation Fund, the Tom and Sarah Pattison Fund, the SAGA Foundation, Mr. Gregg Wolpert, and other private donors.

Professor Jeffrey Lewis Appointed to International Security Advisory Board

Professor Jeffrey Lewis teaching his popular Open Source Intelligence course at the Middlebury Institute.

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Professor Jeffrey Lewis has been appointed to the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB), which advises the Secretary of State on critical issues including arms control, nonproliferation, outer space, emerging technologies, and cybersecurity.

“I often joke that nobody listens to me. Now I joke that I’m being ignored by a better class of policy maker,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a professor on the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies faculty. A leading expert on nuclear arms control, Lewis is often called upon by the national and international media to provide analysis and insights. 

When he visits Washington, D.C., he sees plenty of familiar faces—both alumni and former staff from the Institute and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, where he leads a team of open source researchers.

“It’s a very interesting experience to watch so many people who have been friends and colleagues for so many years be in these positions of authority. It’s a small community,” said Lewis. 

Growing up in rural Illinois “with no international anything,” he always had an interest in international affairs.

The turning point for him was the invasion of Iraq.

“It really underscored how much the question of whether countries are building nuclear weapons or not really matters. A lot of us doubted the existence of significant WMD programs in Iraq, but no one wanted to hear from us because we didn’t have our own sources of information.”

That inspired his work with others at the Institute to do open source intelligence work.

“We use public information to do what the intelligence community does,” said Lewis, who teaches a popular course on the subject. “Being able to do the same kind of work as an intelligence agency publicly on behalf of civil society allows those of us on the outside to be part of the conversation.”

A crew from the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) interviewed Jeffrey Lewis in October for an in-depth news program on North Korea’s nuclear program that aired across Japan.

The members of ISAB, which reports to the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, bring different points of view and backgrounds. As a member, Lewis will participate in studies intended to help State Department officials think about challenges from artificial intelligence, climate change, and nuclear deterrence.

“It’s a really special opportunity,” said Lewis. “It’s been a lifelong career goal and not something that I expected so soon.”

What a Small Central American Country Can Teach the World about Peace Building

Professor Sabino Morera’s grandfather working on his farm in Costa Rica. By abolishing the army in 1948, the country was able to make social investments that opened opportunities for families.

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A few months ago, Professor Sabino Morera found himself reflecting on peace with two former presidents of his home country of Costa Rica—one of them also his former professor.

The seminar “Leadership for Peace-Building in Latin America” brought together a diverse group at the University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica, which was founded by the United Nations to train global peace leaders.

“I was very honored to be there with these people to reflect on peace at a moment when we are seeing conflict escalate in different parts of the world,” said Morera, head of Spanish Studies for the Middlebury Institute who was there to discuss the footprint of Fulbright Scholars abroad.

The distinguished gathering included former President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace laureate who led peace-plan negotiations for Central America in the 1980s, as well as former President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, who taught Morera when he was studying diplomacy.

Costa Rica has long had an outsized role in advancing world peace, says Morera. In 1948, following a civil war, the country took the bold step of abolishing its military.

“That single act, that humble act of abolishing the army enabled us to turn military spending into social spending,” said Morera, who is grateful he grew up in that culture of peace and experienced how his own family benefited from that social investment.

“We were able to work our way up the social ladder and to learn from each other,” said Morera. “I think that if you take that first bold step at the national level, at the local level you will soon see the dividends and results that will enable you to keep working toward peace not only at the national, but also the regional and international level.”

Professor Sabino Morera shares how Costa Rica’s bold decision to abolish the army created a culture of peace that positively impacted him and his family, as well as made this small nation a global leader in advancing peace.

In 1987, Morera was awarded the Institute’s Fulbright Scholarship, which brought him to Monterey for what he describes as “two years of challenges and opportunities.” He leveraged his degree working for the Costa Rica Embassy in Washington, where he served as minister counselor for cultural affairs and education, then in Costa Rica, where he worked as a professor of English and translation studies at the University of Costa Rica and was a freelance translator and interpreter.

“William Fulbright thought that the best way to promote cultural understanding and peaceful coexistence was through educational exchange,” said Morera, who has lived that ideal firsthand.

Morera has been teaching Spanish language and Latin American politics and policy at the Institute since 2010. The Institute has welcomed Fulbright Scholars from around the world for decades.

This January, he is leading an experiential learning course called Partnerships for Peace in Costa Rica—which is centered on peace and security, sustainability, and intercultural exchange—along with Professor Marie Butcher. The attendees include students from across different graduate programs of the Institute.

What’s in a name? A lot! How to Update Your Chosen Name for Display in the Directory and Online Systems

HR and ITS are collaborating to streamline the connection between Oracle HCM and other systems such as Outlook and the on-line directory.  Employees have the option of providing a chosen first and last name in addition to their legal names (which will continue to be used when required for payroll, W-2’s, benefits etc.)  by updating their personal details in Oracle. Once changes are approved, chosen first and last names will be reflected in Outlook and the on-line directory. This should typically occur within 24 hours.

We need everyone’s help to ensure your chosen name(s) are correct.  Please review your chosen first and last name in Oracle HCM, and check the name displayed in Outlook.  Please note that Oracle uses the terminology of “preferred name” instead of chosen name, we regret that we don’t have the ability to alter how this field name displays to reflect the terminology adopted by Middlebury.

If you need to make any changes instructions can be found here.  Questions? Contact

GMHEC + MoveJoy: Chance to Win $100 Gift Card

Movejoy has created a wellness check-in program for our employees and registration is open now.  Running from Monday, February 6th to Friday March 31st, registered participants will be matched with a partner and together will support one another to stay accountable to a wellness goal/action for the duration of the program.

Movejoy is a digital tool that aims to promote social connections and build authentic relationships in the workplace. Using a customized algorithm employees will be paired for daily check-ins. Employees are encouraged to create deep connection and support each other in prioritizing wellness. 90% of participants felt supported in reaching their wellness goals and 80% forged ongoing relationships with new colleagues. If you’re interested in meeting someone new, forging new connections and getting some support with your wellness goals, this program is perfect for you.

Deadline for registration is January 29th!

Partner Inclusion Program – A snapshot of how we rocked 2022!

With the launch of the Partner Inclusion Program in February of 2022 we have successfully…

  • Partnered with 39 employers, businesses, and community organizations to help provide support for spouses and partners.
  • Connected with 28 spouses and partners who have utilized our signature one-on-one coaching and advising services. 
  • Developed a comprehensive webpage which has been the primary go to in finding relevant and meaningful information about employment and community organizations. 
  • Established an annual event, in partnerships with the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, to welcome new faculty and their spouses/partners.
  • Offered six online networking events, specifically for partner inclusion, which have been attended by faculty chairs, spouses, partners, and staff. 
  • Conducted an institution wide questionnaire to gather ideas and input from employees at Middlebury/MIIS on what partner inclusion program components they want to see developed.
    • 89 staff and 53 faculty participated, with a total of 142 participants. 

We are excited for what’s in store for 2023, with new events, networking opportunities and possible career development workshops for spouses and partners!

To connect, contact:

Susan Edwards
Partner Inclusion Specialist
To make an appointment, click HERE 
Check out our webpage: Vermont click HERE. Monterey click HERE.
Connect on LinkedIn

MSA Live! | February 14th and 23rd Webinars

MSA Live! | Understanding Tax Returns

February 14, 2023 | Register Here: 9:00 am (PT) – Register Here: 12:00 pm (PT)

For most taxpayers, tax season usually amounts to “How much is my refund?” or “How
much do I owe?” We’ll cover how income tax is calculated, types of adjustments/
deductions, and ways to reduce taxation. We will also review any tax law changes and
explore some common mistakes that could be avoided with proper planning.

MSA Live! | Retirement Planning: Getting Started 

February 23, 2023 | Register Here: 9:00 am (PT) – Register Here: 12:00 pm (PT)

Whether you are at the beginning or near the end of your career, the most important
first step toward building a retirement plan is creating or establishing a savings goal.
Knowing that there are many competing needs or wants for the dollars you save, we
will review goal-setting strategies that can help you stay on track. We will also review
common types of investment accounts for your savings.

Register even if you cannot attend to receive a recording of the webinar | Want to learn more about these topics? Connect with MSA at middlebury.mysecureadvantage.comor call 888-724-2326.


MSA Money Coaching – Just a Call Away

Middlebury College has partnered with My Secure Advantage (MSA) to provide a complete financial wellness benefit to you! When it comes to money, searching for answers can feel overwhelming. By connecting with a personal Money Coach, you can build a stronger and more secure future no matter where you are in your financial journey.

3 Important Things to Know

❶ No two stories are alike and your financial strategies shouldn’t be either

With MSA, you have access to a dedicated Money Coach for 90 days each year to talk about any financial topic. It could be about creating a budget, increasing your credit score, paying down debt or all three! Maybe you’ve got questions about planning for retirement, buying a home, or creating an investment plan. You get the idea. Whatever your financial focus or challenge, MSA has credentialed, skilled Coaches who can help.

❷ Confidentiality and a real person to guide and support your goals

Think of your Coach as a personal financial guide, accountability partner, and chief motivator. Together you’ll create a plan that embodies your values, priorities, and goals – one that reflects and works with your life. MSA encourages your spouse/partner to join in the conversations too. All sessions are confidential, over the phone and a half hour long.

❸ No out-of-pocket cost, hidden fees or charges

Middlebury College has paid for this benefit, full stop. MSA’s coaches don’t work on commission or sell any products. When you talk with a Money Coach, you can be sure that you’re getting unbiased, judgment-free guidance.

So what are you waiting for? Get started today! 

Questions?  Learn more about MSA here. Connect with MSA at or call 888-724-2326.