Tag Archives: Institutional News

Laura Burian Looks Back on 25 Years at the Middlebury Institute

Laura Burian, Dean of the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation, and Language Education recently passed her 25-year mark of employment at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.  Laura is also Professor of Chinese/English translation and interpretation and has received several prestigious teaching awards, including the Eliason Teacher of Excellence Award and the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.  Laura is an experienced diplomatic interpreter who has interpreted for high level officials including former First Lady Michelle Obama.

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

I was living in Beijing, first working as a legal assistant and in-house translator and interpreter for a big NY-based law firm, and later freelancing for clients ranging from the US government (mostly from the embassy and visiting delegations and dignitaries from DC), to news organizations (like CNN, the WSJ, BBC), to clients in the television and entertainment industry (including National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, and Sony pictures) and in the private sector (including Chinese corporations doing IPO roadshows around the world). The work was really varied and very exciting.

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

While I was a student at MIIS in the mid-90s, I was an assistant in the Office of Student Affairs, an instructor of public speaking, and activities coordinator and tutor in the SILP Chinese program. After graduation, I taught as an adjunct in Chinese translation and interpretation for a little while, but moved to China to gain more work experience before returning to teach full time. Since returning, I’ve been a Visiting / Assistant/ Associate/ Full Professor of translation & interpretation, Faculty Senate President (twice), and now Dean of GSTILE. I’ve enjoyed wearing many hats on this campus, because each new role has taught me something new and allowed me to get to know more people in this vibrant community and learn more about the work we do.

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?

When I came back to the Institute as full-time faculty, I had just gotten married and was trying to adjust to life in this beautiful, quiet, small American town after the fast-paced and exciting whirlwind of life in a major Asian city. It was not the easiest transition, but MIIS is a great landing place –  I found the campus community so familiar, welcoming, and vibrant, and also enjoyed exploring and deepening connections with the wider Monterey community.

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

My family is of course the most significant focus my life outside of work. My husband and I have two teenagers, who are amazing and distinctly different individuals. Through them, I’ve learned that the parenting journey is so different from child to child and from moment to moment, so the best thing you can do is stay open to change and available for co-navigation of the ups and downs life brings.

Outside of family life, something I dedicate a lot of my time, energy, and passion to is music – I’ve always enjoyed playing the violin, and I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy continuing to grow musically by playing everything from classical to Celtic to rock in a number of groups with some wonderful musicians in Monterey. Beyond this, my freelance work as a translator and interpreter still excites and sustains me. I’m deeply gratified by how much I’ve been able to grow and deepen family, community, musical, and professional roots during my tenure here.

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 freelance work as a translator, interpreter, and musician is really my favorite hobby. MIIS grads and faculty coincide with me in much of that work – most of the international summits that I’ve interpreted for are staffed by MIIS grads, and colleagues such as Mike Gillen and I often find ourselves playing the same musical gigs, though there’s no way I can compete with his bagpipes!

I suppose one area of change over the last 25 years is athletic – living in a place with year-round mild weather has helped me transition toward becoming a more ambitious hiker, walker, and jogger, soaking up the beauty of the central coast while taking part in events like the Big Sur Marathon (shorter distances within the race – not the full course yet!) and Half Marathon. I’m not competitive at all, but just enjoy the buzz of race day, and find it motivates me to keep moving between races.

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

Hard to say. In terms of one-off experiences, giving two TEDx speeches – one with my colleague Barry Olsen, and the other with Jacolyn Harmer and Gabriel Guillen, both with fabulous student interpreters – was great fun, interpreting for Michelle Obama and her family on a 5-day State Visit to China was a huge honor, watching my students interpret for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in the Irvine auditorium brought me great pride, hosting the Monterey Forum international conference of T&I practitioners and educators last year was a delight, and serving as Chief Interpreter for a clean energy summit in which all 5 interpretation booths were staffed entirely by MIIS faculty and alumni was inspiring. On a more day-to-day basis, watching my students grow both personally and professionally is a huge source of energy and inspiration.

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?

It’s definitely the community and the mission of the school that keeps me here. I deeply admire my colleagues and students alike, and truly aspire to uphold the mission in my day-to-day work. Some days we do better than others, but in the end, I do think we make the world a better place.

What are your plans for the next 25 years?

Continue to learn and grow every day. And, as much as possible, have fun while doing it.

Do you have a favorite place on campus?

The Holland Courtyard, under the canopy of the oak tree, looking up at the flags on the 2nd floor balcony of the Morse Buildings. Ever since 25+ years ago, when I spent so much time there as a student, I’ve enjoyed that uniquely “MIIS” spot – you’ll find people from all over the world in that courtyard soaking in this “third culture” that binds us together.

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?

So many wonderful colleagues have influenced and helped me, it’s hard to narrow it down. However, if I have to choose, I would say that I am particularly grateful to Diane deTerra, Lynette Shi, Chuanyun Bao, Jacolyn Harmer, and Angie Quesenberry – they all have given me exceptional guidance and support. Jacolyn in particular, as my teaching partner for the Practicum in Interpretation for over 15 years, has really helped shape me into who I am as a teacher: She taught me how to share stories of both successes and failures, how to humanize this tricky endeavor, and how to guide the students with humility on a path toward becoming a reflective practitioner and an autonomous life-long learner.

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

I’d emphasize two things:

  • While you should be passionate about and fully dedicated to your work at MIIS, it’s important to be engaged in an active life outside of MIIS so that you don’t put all of the pressure on your workplace to keep you happy and engaged. For me, engagement with the music community, active participation in my kids’ schools and activities, and lots of weekend hiking has been a wonderful complement to engagement on campus.
  • Take the time to get to know your colleagues as whole human beings, not just people to talk shop with. You’ll find that they are pretty amazing.

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

I’m really grateful to have a job and a workplace that allows me to come into contact with so many inspirational ideas and people who strive to have such a positive impact in the wider world. I look forward to many more years of the same.

Oracle Finance News

Workflow Changes in Oracle

On Monday, September 16, we simplified the workflow for expense/invoice approvals by supervisors.  Now, a supervisor* will only need to approve an expense or invoice if the employee submitting it is also the Department Manager* or Designation Manager

This represents a change from the past workflow in two ways.  First, when an employee previously submitted an expense to a department other than their home department, the expense would go to their supervisor for approval as well as the Department Manager.  In the new workflow, the supervisor’s approval is no longer needed.  Second, when an employee previously submitted an expense or invoice and they were also the Designation Manager (i.e. the one responsible for approving the expense) the expense/invoice was routed to Finance for approval.  In the new workflow, if this scenario arises, the expense/invoice is sent to the supervisor of the Designation Manager/employee. 

Now, because of these changes, an invoice/expense will always go to the Department or Designation Manager for approval unless the employee submitting the expense/invoice is also the Department or Designation Manager.  In that case, it will go to the supervisor for approval.

* Supervisors are also sometimes referred to as “Line Managers.” Department Managers are also sometimes referred to as “Cost Center Managers.”

Punch-Out

On Monday, September 16, we turned off “punch-out” for WB Mason and B&H to simplify the process of purchasing items from these vendors.  We still recommend that you use WB Mason and B&H in the following ways to receive discounted pricing and sales tax exemption:

  • For WB Mason, purchase items directly from the corporate website to receive the discount and sales tax-exemption.  You will need to utilize your p-card when doing so or work with your coordinator to make the purchase if you do not have one.  If you need an account, please contact our W.B. Mason account representative, Sherry White, at sherry.white@wbmason.com. Please let her know whether you work in Vermont or in California to ensure you get set up with the correct account, i.e., non-taxable (Vermont and other states) or taxable (California). You can find more information on the go.middlebury.edu/purchasing webpage.
  • For B&H, you can also purchase items directly from the corporate website.  Again, you will need to utilize your p-card or work with your coordinator to purchase the items.  Note that for purchases over $10,000 they provide an additional 10% discount above and beyond the prices on the website. For that discount, call B&H at (800) 947-8003 extension 7741.  If you don’t have a login yet, click on “Not Registered Yet” and use your @middlebury.edu email address.  More instructions about B&H can be found here.

We have not yet set a date for turning off “punch-out” for Amazon but we expect that this too will be eliminated in the upcoming weeks. 

Accounts Payable Trainings

We have scheduled a series of trainings in the Fall for new employees or for those that want a refresher on the new Accounts Payable processes.  These trainings will provide instruction on Accounts Payable-related tasks like how to process expense reimbursements or p-card charges in Oracle, how to register suppliers, submit invoices for payment and approvals.  The dates are:

              Thursday, September 19              3:00-4:30 ET

              Thursday, September 26              3:00-4:30 ET

              Thursday, October 10                   3:00-4:30 ET

              Thursday, October 24                   3:00-4:30 ET

              Thursday, November 14               3:00-4:30 ET

              Thursday, December 12               3:00-4:30 ET

To sign-up, please go to our Middlebury Project Ensemble Finance Resources page.             

Oracle Drop-in Sessions

We will continue to have drop-in sessions for those that want assistance with particular issues in Oracle.  These trainings will be:

Thursday, September 12              3:00-4:30 ET

Thursday, October 3                     3:00-4:30 ET

Thursday, October 17                   3:00-4:30 ET

Thursday, October 31                   3:00-4:30 ET

Thursday, November 7                 3:00-4:30 ET

Thursday, November 21               3:00-4:30 ET

Thursday, December 5                 3:00-4:30 ET

Thursday, December 19               3:00-4:30 ET

You do not need to sign up for these.

Budget to Actual Reporting

On September 7, Finance rolled out budget-to-actual reporting through PBCS and Oracle.  The roll-out has purposefully been staged and we will be expanding capabilities over the course of the fall and spring semesters.  Currently, each department has one or two individuals who can view transaction-level details and a larger group of individuals who receive automated summary-level budget to actual reports via email for their departments.  Over the course of the fall and spring semesters, we will be rolling out more reporting functionality to enable this group of individuals to see other relevant financial information. 

Finance Questions

If you have questions about any of the above, please reach out to the Change Facilitators in your areas.  The names of these individuals can be found in the Google Drive link here.

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.

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) at Middlebury. What’s ERM?

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) at Middlebury. What’s ERM?

Did you know that our Enterprise Risk Management team helps to identify and mitigate risks across the institution? Led by Karen Miller, our chief risk officer, the ERM team works to escalate the mitigation of risks that could have an impact to the institution (think financial sustainability) and also works with departments to help identify and mitigate departmental risks. 

Visit the ERM office website, FAQs or contact Amy Dale, Outreach Specialist, to learn more!

2019 Friends of the Art Museum Award Nominations!

The Friends of the Middlebury College Museum of Art invite you to nominate a current Middlebury College Student whose contribution to the visual arts in the community merits distinction. The Friends have made an annual award to a college student for approximately two decades. Recipients have included sculptors, filmmakers, painters, critics for The Campus, Museum volunteers, and founders of the M Gallery. Anyone [barring a relative of the nominee] can make a nomination. The award will be presented on Sunday, May 5, at Kirk House, at the Friends’ Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner. The nominator and winner will be guests of the Museum.

Nominations are due Wednesday, April 3, 2019

For information and nomination forms, go to: museum.middlebury.edu/news/awards or call Mikki Lane: (802) 443-2309


A Reminder: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is an Official Middlebury Holiday!

Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day has been recognized as an official Middlebury holiday, beginning in 2019. This means that all US-based operations will be closed (except for essential services) on MLK Day, in the same manner as operations are closed for the Thanksgiving and Year-End Holiday Breaks, and that benefits-eligible staff employees will be paid “holiday time” for the day.

Please refer to this article for more information on Holiday Pay.

-Human Resources