Tag Archives: For Staff

Machiavelli in the Ivory Tower Episode 5: North Korea’s Nuclear Hinge Points

In this episode of Machiavelli in the Ivory Tower, hosts Sarah and Hanna speak with Dr. Siegfried Hecker, former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory and current Distinguished Professor of Practice at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS). Their conversation centers on Dr. Hecker’s forthcoming book, Hinge Points: An Inside Look at North Korea’s Nuclear Program (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2023). Dr. Hecker offers insights into the DPRK’s dual-track strategy of diplomacy and nuclear development and highlights missed opportunities when Washington might have been able to channel Pyongyang toward the elimination of nuclear weapons and did not. He shares insights gleaned from his many visits to North Korea and reflects on both the future of US policy toward the DPRK and the importance of facilitating engagement between scientists and diplomats.

Topics discussed include:

  • The DPRK’s dual-track strategy of diplomacy and nuclear development
  • Hinge points: missed opportunities in US policy towards the DPRK
  • Reflecting on the most consequential hinge points
  • Reasons for US policy failures
  • In-person engagement with proliferation-averse actors
  • Why a singular focus on DPRK denuclearization has been problematic
  • What next for US policy on the DPRK?
  • What scientific and policy communities can learn from each other

Episode 5 is also available on Spotify

Monkeypox Briefing: Information to Guide Discussions with Students

Read this guide prepared by Health Educator, Karly Beavers, for information on Monkeypox and campus resources to recommend to students if needed.

Monkeypox Briefing: Information to Guide Discussions with Students

Health & Wellness Education, Center for Health & Wellness

How is it spread?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection from the Monkeypox virus, and is spread through skin to skin contact with sores, scabs, bodily fluids and respiratory droplets. It can also be spread by touching materials used by a person with the virus that haven’t been cleaned, such as bedding and clothing.  

Monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, though many cases have been transmitted sexually. Anyone can get monkeypox.

Most common symptoms: 

  • A rash (can look like pimples, blisters, lesions or sores)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Exhaustion
  • Swollen lymph nodes

How can I help reduce stigma with Monkeypox? 

Stigma can discourage people from seeking medical attention or make them more likely to hide symptoms or illness. While Monkeypox is currently disproportionately affecting men who have sex with men, anyone – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity – can be susceptible to the Monkeypox virus. To reduce stigma, stay focused on evidence-based facts about the virus (listed on this sheet) and correct misinformation or negative language about how the virus spreads. 

Harm reduction strategies to reduce risk:

  • Avoid gatherings involving prolonged skin-to-skin contact with others
  • Wear a mask
  • Utilize proper hand hygiene by washing your hands and using hand sanitizer
  • Monitor your health – stay home if you aren’t feeling well
  • Avoid sharing clothing or bedding with others

What if someone thinks they have Monkeypox, or has been exposed?

Students can contact Health Services at 802-443-3290 if they have concerns about symptoms, a potential exposure, or want to know more about PrEP for Monkeypox. 

How can I respond to a concerned student? 

Respond with empathy while staying focused on the facts. Here are some examples of talking points you can use. 

“I’m too afraid to talk to my classmates. I heard Monkeypox is spread through respiratory droplets.” 

Example answer: It is true that Monkeypox can be spread through respiratory droplets, but that’s typically going to be with close face-to-face contact for long periods of time. A quick hello to your peers isn’t a big risk. If you’re still worried, let’s find a mask that you can wear. 

“I have a bump and I can’t tell if it’s an ingrown hair, a zit, or Monkeypox and I’m freaking out!”

Example answer: Monkeypox can include symptoms of a rash that turn into lesions or bumps, but like you said, it could be lots of other things too. Call Health Services on campus or utilize TimelyCare’s telehealth option to speak to a medical professional and ease your concern.

“Oh, great. It’s the new COVID-19. Just what we need, another pandemic.” 

Example answer: I hear your sarcasm and pandemic fatigue, and I agree that we’re all pretty tired! The good news is that Monkeypox isn’t another pandemic, case trends in the U.S. remain contained. Another great thing we’ve learned from COVID-19 is all of the prevention strategies we can use by continuing to social distance, wear a mask, and wash our hands. 

Where should I direct a student who wants to know more?

The CDC website has the latest information on outbreak data, prevention strategies and treatment. The CDC website also has specific sections for reducing risk with safer sex and social gatherings, and congregate living settings such as residence halls

On campus, students can contact Health Services at 802-443-3290 or use TimelyCare’s telehealth services if they have concerns about symptoms or a potential exposure. They can also contact the Health & Wellness Education office to talk through strategies on individual risk reduction, or contact Counseling services for support related to Monkeypox or other concerns. 

Summer Research Symposium

Thank you to the many Middlebury employees, from all areas of campus, who make the Summer Research Program possible. For over 40 years, students have spent the summer learning with faculty mentors through research projects, experiencing both their college and academic field in a new way.

Come say hello and grab a refreshment as the students speak about their projects at the Summer Research Symposium on Thursday, August 4 from 2-4 pm in the MBH Great Hall.

Contact Undergraduate Research in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research with questions.

Reading for Anti-Racism


The Middlebury College Libraries have built an Anti-Racism Reading Guide to help everyone in the Middlebury community connect with books and other resources to support anti-racism efforts and self-education. In this guide you’ll find works encompassing a wide array of perspectives, and covering foundational concepts, lived experiences, and artistic expressions.

The guide also includes all of the works covered in our ongoing Staff Picks reviews of titles related to anti-racism. Most recently Kay Cyr, Interlibrary Loan Associate at Davis Family Library, reviewed Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Anti-Racist.

All titles included in this reading guide are available through the Middlebury College Libraries. For help connecting to these or any other library resources, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Middlebury librarians via go/AskUs/.

Register for the GMHEC Team Challenge!

Registration is open for the GMHEC team physical activity challenge!

Grab your coworkers (and partner/spouse/family members) and work together to be the first team to complete the Great Western Loop. This 6,875 mile trail links together five long-distance hiking trails: the Pacific Crest Trail, the Pacific Northwest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the Grand Enchantment Trail, and the Arizona Trail. It features some of the most remote, beautiful, hostile, and pristine environments in the United States, including the Mojave Desert, the Sonoran Desert, 12 National Parks, and 75 wilderness areas.

Each participant on your team will be able to bike, hike, swim, paddle or engage in a host of other activities which will be converted to steps to move your team toward the finish line. At the conclusion of the challenge all participants will be entered into a drawing to win one of ten prizes including Garmin Forerunner watches and $100 gift cards to your favorite local coop food store. All participants will have an opportunity to win a prize.

The challenge will begin on Monday, July 20th and will start and end at the Grand Canyon. The challenge will conclude when the first team arrives back at the Grand Canyon. Get more details including the link to register at https://gmhec.org/category/well-being/events/  

Posted on behalf of Rebecca Schubert, MS RDN NBC-HWC
GMHEC Employee Well-being Program Coordinator

Tiffany Nourse Sargent ’79 Retires, Leaving Strong Community Engagement Legacy

Please visit this post on the Center for Community Engagement blog as we celebrate some of Tiffany’s major career accomplishments, announce the new Public Leadership Award created in her honor, and share reflections from colleagues and from Tiffany herself during this time of transition.

The New Middlebury Workplace

For current updates regarding COVID-19 from Middlebury College click here.
See below for a recent communication:

Dear Staff,

Karen, David, and I are following up on the news from this morning that an individual in Addison County has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. We had a lot of information in there from a public health perspective and will, of course, continue to communicate that vital content as we follow developments around COVID-19.

We also know that you have questions and concerns about what working at Middlebury will look like in the months ahead, and how your jobs and lives—and those of your families and loved ones—will be affected. We know this firsthand from the many individual conversations we have had with you, and from our discussions with Staff Council. We would like to address those incredibly important issues here.

First, it bears repeating what was said in this morning’s email: This is a new moment for us, not just for us at Middlebury, but literally for everyone on the planet. We are in a changed environment and are all working tirelessly to navigate it.

Our new educational reality of needing to deliver a curriculum online is taking up much of faculty and staff time, and you are doing so in unusually stressful circumstances. We are also working with new financial realities, such as the extreme stock market volatility and our obligation to refund a percentage of room and board costs to a great majority of students, to name just two.

At the institutional level, we are guided by two overarching values that we hold side by side: the health and well-being of our people, and of Middlebury as a whole. As we have developed the workplace plan below, our goal has been to ensure that your pay continues—for as long as possible—and that your work continues—wherever possible.

Let us tell you what we mean by that:


  1. For benefits-eligible staff, we are committed to paying at their current level for the foreseeable future and will continue to evaluate on a month-to-month basis.
  • For the next three months, we will provide all benefits-eligible employees what we are calling a COVID-19 Pay Bank of up to 21 days that you can use for circumstances in connection with the COVID-19 crisis. These are paid days that you can use in case of COVID-19 illness, or for caring for someone with a COVID-19 illness, or in the event that you are not able to work, or need to self-isolate, etc. These are not vacation or CTO days. We need to create a new pay code for this, which will take us a few days to configure.
  • In addition to the Pay Bank, you will be able to use your CTO and SLR under our ordinary policies.
  • Given the current nature of the pandemic, and how it is essential to practice social distancing, we will now require those who are able to work remotely to do so. You can find resources here.
  • The College still has students living with us, and we are responsible for their care and well-being. In normal times, our employees in dining, facilities, health, and safety are understood as “essential personnel,” which means, when the college is full, they are required to come to campus. However, because we have a smaller number of students now, we must deploy a smaller percentage of staff whose work must be performed on campus.
  • For those employees whose work is usually performed on campus—but whose work is now no longer necessary—we will make best efforts to assign alternative work with appropriate social distancing. Staff who are reassigned and perform other work will maintain their current rate of pay.
  • For  those employees for whom we cannot find alternative work on campus, we may be able to temporarily assign some people to alternative work off campus, in coordination with the hospital and the town, with appropriate social distancing. Details of how such assignments would work have not been determined yet, but we would make best efforts to maintain current rates of pay.
  • If none of the above alternatives is successful, we will ask staff to use their COVID-19 Pay Bank, Medical Leave Assistance Program, and their own CTO or SLR. These employees will be given “on reserve” status and may be called back if work becomes available. If on-reserve staff are called back, they will be required to return to work. If they do not return to work when called back, they risk losing their pay and access to their COVID-19 Pay Bank.
  • We will create special forms of recognition to honor those employees who cannot work remotely, and whose positions take them into the community—either in Middlebury College or the Town.


We know this is a lot to take in, and that it will take adjusting to, as well.

Given the twin values we held in balance during the making of this plan—the health and well-being of our people, and of Middlebury as a whole—we feel we have created a way forward that is compassionate, creative, and based in the realities of the day. We still have details to work out and will have more to tell you within the week.

In the meantime, while some of you are already working remotely, those of you with responsibilities that can only be performed on campus should continue to report to work on campus as long as you are not sick. Thank you for all that you do for Middlebury, for our students and faculty, and for each other.

With great respect and admiration,

Laurie Patton


Karen Miller

VP for Human Resources

David Provost

EVP for Finance and Administration