Author Archives: Olivia Raggio

Student Org Profile: Nutrition Outreach and Mentoring

Nutrition Outreach and Mentoring is a student organization at Middlebury College with the goal of creating community and connecting people through food and food education. Our student-run group organizes volunteering events and classes with the purpose of teaching people how to cook healthy food for themselves on a budget and to acquire the independence and knowledge that comes with this life skill. The aims of these initiatives are to establish healthy eating and cooking habits and to raise awareness about nutrition and current food issues.
With our amazing college dining on campus, it can be easy to forget about the food security issues in Addison County and Vermont. NOM works to teach healthy cooking and living by going into schools, hosting workshops and through other events with community partners. My work with NOM has shown me the power of sharing food, that eating almost always involves conversation, and has allowed me to branch out beyond the Middlebury campus. – Emily Beneroff ‘16
This organization has given me the opportunity to dive more deeply into my own study of nutrition as I learn alongside the kids participating in cooking and even writing, drawing and mapping activities together. NOM has also raised my awareness of the problem of food insecurity in Addison County. Children are so affected by this issue but they have very little control over it. I like working with the children in the classroom and in after school settings to try to empower them and place some agency around informed food choices in their lives.
One of my favorite memories was at the Sister-to-Sister Summit last year when NOM brought kale and fruit in to make smoothies with the middle school girls. Many of them were excited about strawberry banana but hesitant to try adding kale because it was green and unknown. Seeing myself and some other volunteers blend in the kale and drink it many girls followed our lead. We had one girl in particular that was so enthusiastic about the kale she wanted seconds and proudly told us she couldn’t wait to go home to tell her mom she had tried kale. My favorite part about NOM is the joy of creating and sharing food with students. – Chelsea Colby ’17.5

Learn about Joshua Allen’s workshop, “Organizing at the Intersection of Black Lives Matter & Gender Justice”

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On November 19th, Joshua Allen presented their workshop entitled “Organizing at the Intersection of Black Lives Matter & Gender Justice” in the Warner Hemicycle. This workshop was sponsored in part by a Community Engagement Mini-Grant. The workshop was also attended by a number of community partners, including the Department of Residence Life at UVM, a staff member at Safe Space, and representatives of the Burlington-based Pride Center Vermont.
            Joshua discussed overlapping or intersecting social identities and oppressions. In this case, they detailed the intersection of the Black Lives Matter movement with violence against women, femmes, and girls. Joshua challenged participants to engage in these movements, providing students, faculty, and community members with tools to create inclusive organizing spaces and engage with these issues more effectively. Joshua didn’t hesitate to ask difficult questions about life at Middlebury, including the language that we use, the identities that we inhabit, and what solidarity means in our community.
            Middlebury’s Queer Studies House initiated this workshop. Noting the increased institutional focus on intersectional identities, including the upcoming visit of scholar Kimberle Crenshaw, student organizers sought to create a space to resist cis-normativity and celebrate trans* leadership. Moreover, given last year’s die-ins and the alternative spring break trip to Montgomery, Alabama, student organizers sought to build upon much of the conversations that had already begun at Middlebury.


Student Org Profile: Community Friends


Community Friends is a one on one mentoring program between Middlebury College students and children in Addison County ages 5-12. Matches meet for two hours each week, and by providing this mentoring opportunity, the group hopes to foster relationships between the college and the local community. 

This is my fourth year meeting with my mentee, and over the past few years we have explored Middlebury, read 
My Fathers Dragon and Warriors, raced fiercely in the natatorium and on the fields around campus, created half-edible Proctor creations, and spent hours drawing and painting in the various craft spaces. I have watched her grow (now taller than me) and develop into a thriving middle school student, and she has provided me with an escape from stressful schoolwork and a reminder of childhood relaxation.  I love seeing other matches around campus. Mentees provoke Middlebury students to break from their college bubble, and Middlebury students serve as additional adult role models for children outside of just their parents and teachers. Community Friends provides a space for these special interactions, and has had a truly amazing impact on my own experience at Middlebury.

Student Org Profile: The Charter House

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Charter House Coalition was founded in 2005 in response to critical food and housing needs in Addison County. Its programs have expanded quickly since then. We now have a volunteer base of over 750 community members contributing 23,000 hours of service every year.

My time at the Charter House has been one of the highlights of my Middlebury experience.  The different programs they have allow for a wide range of volunteer opportunities and give volunteers the opportunity to see how different issues such as food and housing insecurity connect.  This past summer I was able to work in the Charter House gardens working with community members to grow food for free community meals.  During the winter  I enjoy helping cook and sharing  meals with those staying at the shelter that night.  I always look forward to my time volunteering at the Charter because it almost always involves sitting down and sharing a meal  and conversation with people.  By volunteering and working with people outside of the college community I have been able to engage with issues of poverty in a way that you cannot learn in a classroom.  Being able to work with people struggling with issues of homelessness and food insecurity directly, to hear their stories and to have conversation with them have been my most valuable learning experiences.  There is so much Middlebury students can learn by engaging with people outside of the college community. –Kiana Cateriano ‘15.5

To learn more about volunteer opportunities, contact Kiana at or Clare Donohue-Meyer at 


This Year’s CE-related courses

See this year’s CE – related courses below. These courses incorporate partnerships with organizations and individuals from Middlebury’s surrounding community. Courses that fall under the Privilege & Poverty Academic Cluster are also listed.

Check back throughout the year, as the list will continue to be updated!


Semester offered Course Number Course Name Professor
Fall 2015, Spring 2016 ENVS 0112 Natural Science and the Environment Lapin, Marc
Fall 2015 EDST 0305 Elementary Literacy and Social Studies Weston, Tracy
Fall 2015 EDST 0410 Student Teaching Seminar Miller-Lane, Jonathan
Fall 2015, Spring 2016 ECON 0155C Introductory Microeconomics Isham, Jon
Fall 2015 PSYC 0320 Social and Emotional Development Moeller, Robert
Fall 2015 HARC 0731A Architectural Studies Research Thesis Lopez Barrera, Silvina
Spring 2016 HARC 0330A Intermediate Architectural Design Lopez Barrera, Silvina
Fall 2015 SOAN 0105A * Society and the Individual Oxfeld, Ellen
Fall 2015 ENVS 0380A * Global Challenges of the 21st Century Baker-Medard, Merrill
Fall 2015 RELI 0298* Privilege & Poverty Davis, James C.
* designates Privilege & Poverty Academic Cluster

Welcome, Megan and Elle!


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.