Author Archives: Gail Borden

Faculty at Home webinar – The Accessibility of Big Data

September 24 – 4:15 – 5:00 p.m ET

Jason Grant, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Alex Lyford, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Hosted by Caitlin Myers, John G. McCullough Professor of Economics

Big data are ubiquitous. Although this may not come as a surprise, you may be surprised at how easy these data are to access without any specialized technical skills! In this talk, we’ll begin by showing the power of accessing big data and the ease at which it can be done by the layperson. We’ll then discuss the pros and cons of the availability of such data and provide examples of each. Finally, we’ll talk about decisionmaking based on big data in facial recognition and how it will affect the future of humankind.

Jason Grant is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science. His research areas include computer vision and biometrics, with emphasis on detecting dangerous and abnormal crowd behavior in large crowds, especially at sporting events and mega-concerts.

Alex Lyford is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics, and he has been at Middlebury College since 2017. He recieved a Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Georgia, and his research areas of interest are machine learning, text analysis, statistics education, and math games.

Visit the Faculty at Home website to register for this (free) webinar.

Faculty at Home webinar – Refugeeness in the 21st Century

Wednesday, September 9 – 12:15 – 1:00 p.m. ET

Peter Stavros, Supervising Attorney at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), faculty, School in Jordan

Hosted by Sarah Stroup, Associate Professor of Political Science

Our ability to effectively respond to forced migration flows in the 21st century is hampered by legal and regulatory regimes that reflect neither the reality of modern displacement nor the moral and social imperatives of our age. Looking at Syrian refugees in Jordan as well as the forthcoming issue of the climate displaced, Peter Stavros will discuss how current regimes serve hardly any party’s interests in the ongoing debate over how to address forced migration.

Peter Nash Stavros (Honours B.A., University of Toronto ; J.D., Harvard Law School) is a Supervising Attorney at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) in Amman, Jordan where he provides legal assistance to refugees in the resettlement and family reunification processes. Peter teaches at Middlebury’s School in Jordan and is a fluent Arabic speaker and a member of the New York Bar. He has experience at several international organizations and NGOs including UNICEF, UNHCR, The International Criminal Court, and Earthjustice.

Visit the Faculty at Home website to register for this (free) webinar.

Faculty at Home webinar – Afterlife: Julia Alvarez in Conversation with John Elder About Her Latest Novel

June 22 – 12:15 – 1:00 p.m. ET

Julia Alvarez discusses her first novel for adults in fifteen years with John Elder. Afterlife — a novel about what happens when the life we plan goes awry, retirement after a long career teaching, and honoring the diversity in each other and ourselves — is especially timely in this moment in our national and global history.

In the course of their discussion, John will invite Julia to place this novel in the larger context of her writing, to relate it to the place of Vermont in her life and work, and to reflect upon its implications for the stresses and opportunities of the present moment.

Additional information is on the Faculty at Home Website

Link to Register

Afterlife book jacket

Reaccreditation Open Meetings

As noted in an email from Provost Jeff Cason on September 18, Middlebury is currently undergoing its decennial comprehensive evaluation for accreditation.  The evaluation consists of the preparation of a Self-Study, a site visit by a review team of peers, and, ultimately, a decision by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

The 100-page self-study was completed in early June, and has been sent to NECHE and the review team.  It is also posted on the Provost’s Office website for your review.

The next phase of the evaluation are site visits.  Representatives of the review team have already visited the Language Schools, the Bread Loaf School of English, The Institute, and the School in Jordan.  The full review team will be in Vermont on November 3-6. 

NECHE asks schools that are undergoing their comprehensive evaluations hold these open meetings so that the faculty, staff, and students can provide input to the review team about the institution. 

  • Staff Open meeting – Monday, November 4 –  12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Wilson Hall in McCullough
  • Faculty Open meeting – Monday, November 4 at 4:30-5:30 p.m. – MBH 216
  • Student Open meeting – Tuesday, November 5 – noon – 12:50 p.m. – Lunch will be provided – Crest Room in McCullough – please RSVP by October 30

On their last day of meetings the Review team will hold an open meeting for the Middlebury Community to report their initial findings.  Faculty, Staff, and Students are invited to attend this meeting which will be held Wednesday, November 6 – 11:00 – noon p.m. – Wilson Hall in McCullough. This meeting will also be live-streamed.

Reaccreditation Update

As noted in an email from Provost Jeff Cason on September 18, Middlebury is currently undergoing its decennial comprehensive evaluation for accreditation.  The evaluation consists of the preparation of a Self-Study, a site visit by a review team of peers, and, ultimately, a decision by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

The 100-page self-study was completed in early June, and has been sent to NECHE and the review team.  It is also posted on the Provost’s Office website for your review.

The next phase of the evaluation are site visits.  In July, two review team members came to Vermont to visit the Language Schools and the Bread Loaf School of English.  The Institute is hosted a site visit for two other review team members on October 1-2. On October 13-14 a team member will travel to the School in Jordan.  The full review team will be in Vermont on November 3-6. 

Faculty, staff and students in Vermont are encouraged to attend open meetings which will be held on November 4 and 5. NECHE asks schools that are undergoing their comprehensive evaluations hold these open meetings so that the faculty, staff, and students can provide input to the review team about the institution. There will also be a meeting on the morning of November 6 for the review team to report out of their visit. Details on these meetings will be announced in the next few weeks. 

Envisioning Middlebury: Panel presentation – Tuesday, July 12 – Immersive Learning and the Future

blue envision with bars cropped

Tuesday, July 12, · 4:00 p.m. · Wilson Hall

Join us for a panel moderated by Susan Baldridge, provost, discussing the value of immersive pedagogy, whether and how it’s changed in the last 100 years at Middlebury, and how our increasingly digital world impacts immersive environments.

PANELISTS
Each panelist has a unique history with Middlebury and a unique perspective on immersive learning.

Jason Merrill, Director, School of Russian
Robert Stepto, Professor, Bread Loaf School of English
Steve Trombulak, Director, School of the Environment
Patricia Rodriguez, Director, School in Spain
Beryl Levinger, Professor, Development Practice and Policy Program, Middlebury Institute
Susan Baldridge, Provost, Moderator

The event will be streamed live: Online

Envisioning Middlebury: Talk by Gardner Campbell on Friday

Gardner Campbell

We are pleased to announce the second in our series of speakers for Envisioning Middlebury, our yearlong conversation.

Dr. Gardner Campbell serves as associate professor of English and special assistant to the provost at Virginia Commonwealth University. In his talk, he will discuss how the paradigm of “romantic computing—the experience of wonders [and] uncanny encounters” through technology—can help us fulfill our highest educational ideals.

Dr. Campbell will speak at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey on Friday, May 6, at 12:15 p.m., PDT, in the 499 Van Buren videoconferencing room. Vermont participants are encouraged to attend and participate in the videoconference in Davis Library 105 at 3:15 p.m., EDT.  Opportunity for discussion immediately following.

Envisioning Middlebury is a community conversation to engage individuals across the Middlebury community. These discussions will form the foundation for Middlebury’s strategic planning process. Please join us by attending the talk and engaging in our community conversation.

Sincerely,

Susan Baldridge