Tag Archives: Middlebury

HOPE Holiday Shop 2020

Serving Addison County since 1965, H.O.P.E (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects) is a local  non-profit organization located right here in Middlebury, Vermont. It runs one of the largest food shelves and retail stores in the county, where all of its donations aid the organization’s poverty relief work. And this year, even with coronavirus hovering over us, H.O.P.E did not let that stop their work in fulfilling their mission. Instead, they modified their procedures to ensure safety and continued onwards with their efforts.

Like many other aspects of our lives and the world, the annual HOPE Holiday Shop saw changes and challenges due to the pandemic. Regardless of the limitations set, the program achieved its core purpose in helping families who could not otherwise afford to purchase new gifts provide something a little special for children this holiday season. 

Usually in past years, the Center for Community Engagement coordinated with HOPE to provide campus support by organizing gift drives and raising donations. This year, unfortunately, that was unfeasible and the event looked a little different. Pre COVID-19, the program allowed families to enter its Holiday Shop at 282 Boardman St. and to browse gifts on-the-spot. Conversely, this holiday season HOPE took the operation virtually online by offering donors two ways to contribute: one by letting donors select their choice of gift by virtually shopping online for HOPE to purchase on their behalf and the other option by directly making earmarked donations. 

“The shop has historically been set up like an actual little store, It is beautifully decorated and very festive!” -Kate Selby. A photo of the HOPE Holiday Shop from previous years.

Although HOPE was able to amass gifts from these donations and bring in festive spirits like previous years, Kate Selby, coordinator of the HOPE Holiday Shop, commented on the challenge of how without the ability to run toy drives, these virtual donations might not have been as satisfying as donating actual items. Selby further shared how hard it was for HOPE to not see families come into the shop, roam around, and make their own gift selections. Even when faced with this challenge, Selby noted the highlight of her work as “a wonderful feeling to bring a bright spot to our families in need.”

The Center for Community Engagement’s AmeriCorps members, Tenzin Dorjee and Jilly dos Santos, who volunteered at the HOPE Holiday Shop this past December both reflected on their contribution during a time when human connection has tremendously changed. Tenzin Dorjee, the campus coordinator for the HOPE Holiday Shop, shared how human care and holiday love was still present in the air in spite of the no in-person typical Holiday Shop. “From packing a couple of the gifts to handing it to families through the window and saying ‘Happy Holidays, enjoy!’ it was touching” Tenzin says.  

Volunteer Tenzin Dorjee preparing wrapping papers to place in gift bundles.

Firsthand experience volunteering behind the program also showed both Tenzin and Jilly the difficulties involved. As gifts continued to be packed and distributed, the inventory slowly began seeing drops. Kate Selby mentioned inventory for the shop has always been hard. This year, particularly, gifts towards the end of its stock were bundled or substituted based not only on families ranked gift preferences but also what was left on the shelves. With the gift forms families completed, Jilly shared how she needed to make some assumptions based on the forms and got a sense of the child based on gift selections made by parents. She told this story of how “one father wrote detailed notes by each category that were both very helpful and honestly nearly made me tear up because it was so clear how much he cared about having his daughter’s present feel personal.” 

With the holiday season passed us, these changes and challenges the HOPE Holiday Shop encountered this year have only strengthened the organization’s work. Although Kate believes “it will be better to get back to “normal” as soon as possible, she says, “if things need to remain remote next season, we will be ready!”

Middlebury Language faculty: Apply to join the AALAC workshop on Digital Language Learning, April 7-8, 2017

co00-2008-logo-003We are pleased to announce a workshop on Digital Language Learning: A Liberal Arts Exploration of New Modes of Teaching and Learning Languages that will be hosted by Middlebury, April 7-8, 2017. 

The workshop, which is funded by the Association for the Advancement of Liberal Arts Colleges (AALAC), will include conversations about how the digital can transform language learning in liberal arts contexts. Specifically, participants will look at the ways in which digital language learning transforms traditional language learning environments by amplifying deep connections, improving differentiated instruction, and extending language learning beyond the walls of the classroom. To read a complete description of the workshop, please follow this link.

Non-Middlebury attendees will have a travel allowance of up to $650 to attend this workshop, generously provided by AALAC funding. Because funding is limited, we will accept only a limited number of attendees from other schools.

Since you are a faculty member at Middlebury College and will not need travel funding, please submit an application to participate in the workshop via this link (Institute faculty, please use this link to apply and we will discuss internal funding for your travel).

Applications are due November 4, 2016. Attendees will be selected based on the expertise and experience they will bring to the workshop, and with a goal of diversifying participation across AALAC schools and languages. The workshop organizing committee, consisting of faculty from various AALAC schools, will notify applicants of their acceptance status by December 1, 2016.

Organizing committee:

Steve Snyder, Dean of Language Schools and Kawashima Professor of Japanese Studies, Middlebury College

Gabriele Dillman, Associate Professor of German and Julian H. Robertson Jr. Endowed Chair, Denison University

Felix Kronenberg, Associate Professor of Modern Language and Literatures and Director of the Language Learning Center, Rhodes College

Lynn Miyake, Professor of Japanese, Pomona College

Renee Jourdenais, Dean of the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation, and Language Education, Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey

Peipei Qiu, Professor of Chinese and Japanese on the Louise Boyd Dale and Alfred Lichtenstein Chair, Vassar College

Ann Sherif, Professor of Japanese, Oberlin College

Tatiana Smorodinska, Professor of Russian, Middlebury College

Tom Van Order, Associate Professor of Italian, Middlebury College

Envisioning Distance Collaboration

The Office of Digital Learning, the Digital Learning Commons, and the Academic Cyberinfrastructure Transformation Team (ACTT) will be hosting a community-initiated conversation about remote work and distance collaboration on November 11, 2016 at 12:00pm ET / 9:00am PT. The event will include synchronous collaboration across both campuses and with other remote attendees. For more information, visit the Office of Digital Learning blog, or save your seat for the conversation right away.

Hack Education Writer / Activist Audrey Watters to Speak about MiddCreate

On October 21 at 1:30pm ET, the Office of Digital Learning and the Digital Learning Commons will be hosting a talk by Audrey Watters, internationally recognized education writer and speaker. Audrey will give a talk called “Attending to the Digital / Reclaiming the Web“, which will focus on issues of digital identity and ownership, and on the Domain of One’s Own movement that inspired Middlebury’s own MiddCreate. On Middlebury Campus, we will gather to watch and discuss the livestream at 1:30pm ET in the Davis Family Library, room 105A. For more information, visit the Office of Digital Learning blog.

One Middlebury Fund Helps Faculty Build on Shared Interests across Middlebury Programs

provost_finalbannerOctober 31 is the deadline for One Middlebury applications. The One Middlebury Fund, administered by the Office of the Provost, enables faculty from all Middlebury Programs (the College, the Institute, and the Schools) to engage in collaborative curricular, co-curricular, and scholarly work with colleagues in another Middlebury program. Specific guidelines are available on the Office of the Provost website.

Recently funded projects include MIIS professor Ed Laurance’s September visit hosted by Middlebury College Political Science professor Sarah Stroup. Laurance, who serves as an expert for a UN-led effort to develop global standards for controlling the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, lectured on “Small Arms, Violence, and Global Development.” He discussed a new international treaty on small arms that resulted from the extensive efforts of a global NGO campaign. He also visited Prof. Stroup’s classes, as a first step toward integrating their courses on global development and advancing their shared research interests in advocacy and research by NGO coalitions.

Coming up in the spring, Prof. Andrea Olsen (in residence at the Institute) will bring Professor Emeritus John Elder to Monterey give a lecture and workshop on “Writing as Activism,” as part of the course “Communicating in a Changing world,” co-taught by Olsen and Institute Professor Nukhet Kardam.  The lecture will be videotaped for inclusion in a born-digital textbook that is emerging from this collaborative course.  The lecture will also be available via videoconferencing to participants at the College.

For more information, see our complete list of funded projects.

-Amy McGill

Openness without penalty: The cornerstone of the creative student/classroom/university, with guest speaker Adam Croom

Adam Croom is the Director of Digital Learning and an instructor in the College of Journalism of Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. In this talk, Adam will narrate how he leverages the technology of the open web to stimulate his students’ learning and personal growth, and to catalyze creativity in his classroom.

Adam’s course project, which started off with a 15-student class, has grown into a university-wide initiative in which more than 3,000 students, faculty, and staff are given space and tools on the open web to write, build, and share. Learn how this project is providing soft infrastructure for teaching, learning, and, ultimately, creating a domain of one’s own.

Please join us Monday, September 26 at 4pm ET / 1pm PT for this important conversation.
Location: Library 105
Watch from anywhere via streaming on MiddCreate, http://middcreate.net, or on go/stream

New Intellectual Property Policy Draft & Open Meetings

The Intellectual Property Working Group (IPWG) has updated the draft of the Intellectual Property policy based on input from the Middlebury community. The Board will vote on this policy in late September. Please visit the IPWG website to review the latest draft and provide any additional input or questions: go.middlebury.edu/ippolicy or go.miis.edu/ippolicy  You may also download a copy of the draft and cover memo, both of which are attached to this email. 

The IPWG will host two open meetings next week to discuss the draft:

Monterey: Tuesday, September 20, 12pm PT in the Board Room

Middlebury: Wednesday, September 21, 4:30pm ET in Axinn 220

Please send any questions to Amy Collier, acollier@middlebury.edu