Tag Archives: MiddPoints

Associate Chaplain Naila Baloch to give keynote address at Vermont Women in Higher Education Fall Dinner on October 11, 2016 at St. Michael’s College

naila1At the 2016 Fall Dinner hosted by Vermont Women in Higher Education (VWHE) on October 11, 2o16 at St. Michael’s College, Naila Baloch, Associate Chaplain and Muslim Advisor at Middlebury College’s Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, will be the keynote speaker. Naila brings to her work a focus on building strong, inclusive communities, and in her role she facilitates Islamic and interfaith programming and retreats and also advises the Islamic Society of Middlebury College. Naila earned her bachelor’s degree from Williams College, where she studied astrophysics and comparative religion; her master’s in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School, where she specialized in Islamic ministry; and a graduate certificate from the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism in Pope Valley, California, where her focus was on counseling from a spiritual perspective. She started her training at Harvard Divinity School as their first female, Muslim ministry student to prepare for positions of religious service. In 2015, Naila received the Carol A. Moore Scholarship from Vermont Women in Higher Education to continue her training in mental health counseling at the University of Massachusetts. Congratulations Naila!


Come to the Vermont Women in Higher Education Fall Dinner, Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at St. Michael’s College–All are welcome!

At the 2016 Fall Dinner hosted by Vermont Women in Higher Education (VWHE) on October 11, 2o16 at St. Michael’s College, you can enjoy a great meal, catch up with colleagues from across the state, celebrate the three 2016 VWHE award winners, and hear from keynote speaker Naila Baloch, Associate Chaplain and Muslim Advisor at Middlebury College’s Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life. This year’s theme is Strong Women, Strong World.

Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Time: 4:30 – 7:00 pm

Location and Parking: St. Michael’s College, Dion Family Student Center (third floor – Roy Event Room). Parking is located at the Ross Sports Center.

Cost: $40 register here

Details: The evening will include networking from 4:30 – 5:30 pm with a cash bar and appetizers, followed by the keynote address and a buffet dinner at 5:30 pm with meat, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free options, as well as coffee, tea and dessert. 2016 VWHE award winners will be recognized at 6:45 pm.


Carlos Vélez‐Blasini receives grant from Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

grant-clipartCarlos Vélez‐Blasini (Psychology) has received a grant from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. The grant provides support for a study of the relationship between use of social networking sites, normative beliefs about sex, and relationship quality variables in US adults in and out of stable relationships. The work will provide insights into the impact of social networking on human behaviors and on social norms that can influence these behaviors, as well as help increase understanding of the relationship between use of social networking sites and well-being. Two Middlebury undergraduates will be working with Carlos on this project.

Midd/MIIS Travelers

travelThe following employees have reported upcoming travel between Midd and MIIS:

From Midd to MIIS   From MIIS to Midd
Orion Lewis, Faculty Amy McGill, Integration
Oct 7 – 11 Sept 26-29
Jessica Teets, Faculty
Oct 7 – 11
Dan Stearns, Facilities
Oct 17 – 28
Mike Moore, Facilities
Oct 17 – 28
LeRoy Graham, Provost’s Office
Week of Oct 17
Kim Downs, SFS
Week of Oct 17
Steve Snyder, Language Schools
Nov 8 – 11
Vardit Ringwald, School of Hebrew
Nov 8 – 11

Let’s make the most of our travel budgets! If you have scheduled an upcoming visit to another campus and would like to share your plans with colleagues, please email your name, department, to/from locations, and travel dates to middpoints@middlebury.edu.

Dental Plan Summary and Oral Health Integration Plan: Hot off the Press!

cignaBelow please find a link to the the Cigna version of Middlebury’s dental benefit plan summary. As you will see the covered services, both in- and out-of-network, are nearly identical to what we have now with CBA Blue.  However, there is one substantial difference.  On Cigna’s recommendation Middlebury has added an “Oral Health Integration Program” (2nd link).  This is a special, enhanced level of dental benefit for individuals with certain medical conditions, including: heart disease, diabetes, stroke, pregnancy, certain cancers, organ transplants and chronic kidney disease.  If you are interested in learning more about this program – for which there is no extra charge to participants – please read the program description below or make an appointment to see our Cigna representative during a campus visit (see article above for appointment information.)

Cigna Dental Benefit Summary, Middlebury College, 1/1/17

Cigna Dental Oral Health Program

-Human Resources

Language Schools Thank Midd Staff for another Successful Summer!

ls-topEach year a myriad of staff colleagues from departments outside of the Language Schools play integral roles in preparing for our summer programs by providing countless services during the sessions and in supporting the Schools as our academic year comes to a close. The Language School Administration is deeply grateful to all the staff members, from across campus, who work so hard to make our programs the huge success that they have been for 102 (!) summers.  In particular we send our thanks to our dedicated colleagues from: dining, facilities, public safety, ITS, the library, the bookstore, student financial services, communications, human resources, athletics, ISSS, ADA, advancement, business services, event management, printing and mailing Services, Office of the Dean of Students and HROs, and the Mahaney Center for the Arts as well as Kevin Parizo and Mark Christensen. And special thanks to Julie Hoyenski, Wayne Hall and Dan Detora.  We couldn’t do it without you!  The Language Schools administrators invite you to read on for a snapshot of how our programs – to which your support is so vital – help turn our College into a summer university.

The summer of 2016 saw us taking a breath from our Centennial summer – but only a brief one! In addition to marking the 31st anniversary of the summer carillon series, we celebrated the 100th summer of the Betty A. Jones M.A. ’86 School of French with the lighting of Le Chateau in the colors of France.

There was much anticipation for seeing the “I Will Keep a Light Burning” illumination installed by guest artist Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil near Le Chateau – the campus building most associated with the School. The luminaria exhibition was intended to symbolize the enduring nature of the School.

To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the Chinese School held a forum designed for alumni of the School who teach Chinese. Following the event, there was a concert for symposium attendees given by 2016 Grammy winning banjo artist and Middlebury Chinese School alumna Abigail Washburn, who performed with her musical partner, guzheng player Wu Fei.

Faculty members from across the Middlebury programs examined the practice of immersive learning in the digital age at an Envisioning Middlebury panel discussion in July. Participants from the Language Schools, Bread Loaf School of English, Schools Abroad, Middlebury Institute, and the undergraduate college itself offered their observations in an effort to understand the role of immersive learning at Middlebury today and help shape it for the years to come.

Each summer, the Language Schools offer three sets of summer sessions for foreign languages on the Middlebury College campus. Mills College in Oakland, California, serves as the home base for the entire Arabic, Italian, and Korean Schools. Middlebury at Mills was established eight years ago in response to the increasing demand for admission to the Middlebury Language Schools.

The Language Schools this summer conferred 113 Master of Arts degrees and eight Doctor of Modern Languages degrees at the Language Schools Commencement at the Mills and Middlebury campuses. In Vermont, after over eight decades in Mead Chapel, a move to an air conditioned space with proximate parking and other amenities.

President Laurie L. Patton opened the ceremony by passing the original cane carried by Gamaliel Painter, one of the college’s founders, among the graduates. “It is a well-traveled, well-handled cane. Incoming undergraduates pass the cane from student to student during first-year Convocation, and it has now made the trip with me to Monterey for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ Commencement.”

The dean of the Language Schools, Professor Stephen Snyder, welcomed everyone to the ceremony, thanked all of the individuals and departments involved in orchestrating Language Schools Commencement, and pointed out that 14 master’s degrees and five doctoral degrees had been conferred previously on August 5 at the Language Schools’ second site at Mills College in Oakland, Calif.



President Patton (top) opened the 2016 Language Schools Commencement held in the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Novelist Dany Laferrière (below) delivered a Commencement Address in praise of reading.

Dean Snyder introduced the Commencement speaker, novelist and journalist Dany Laferrière, whom he called “a guardian of the French language.” Laferrière, a recent inductee into the Acadèmie française—the 381-year-old French authority on French usage, vocabulary, and grammar—delivered his address in French “in honor of the centennial of the French School and in accordance with the rules of the Acadèmie,” Snyder said.

The address, entitled “In Praise of Reading,” included Laferrière’s observation that “reading allows you to hit the road with people you have just met without asking them where they are heading or what they intend to do when they get there.”

After the address, Provost Susan Baldridge read the name of each recipient as the degree candidates stepped onto the stage. One by one they accepted congratulations from the director of their school, received their diploma from Dean Snyder, were handed a cane by Vice President Jeffrey Cason, shook hands with President Patton, and posed for celebratory photographs.

An honorary Doctor of Letters degree was  conferred upon Dany Laferrière—the first Haitian and the first Canadian to be inducted into the Acadèmie française—by President Patton, Vice President Cason, and Dean Snyder. He accepted the honor to thunderous applause.

The 2016 Commencement was punctuated by three musical selections and concluded with the singing of (and tapping along with) the song “Gamaliel Painter’s Cane,” led by tenor François Clemmons, Middlebury’s Alexander Twilight Artist in Residence Emeritus. Organist Kevin Parizo offered the processional and recessional, and accompanied soprano Beth Thompson, Affiliate Artist.

The Language Schools conferred graduate degrees this summer in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. Its three other languages, which are taught at the undergraduate level only, are Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese.

Here is a glimpse of what you missed:  https://vimeo.com/179784772

Throughout its rich history, Middlebury has provided a language learning experience like no other. We have welcomed students from every corner of the globe to our campuses, where they pursue their professional, academic, and personal goals through the rigorous study of foreign language and culture. Since 1915, more than 50,000 students—including more than 12,000 advanced degree holders—have attended one or more of the Language Schools, an experience that is more relevant than ever in a rapidly globalizing and increasingly complex world.


-Beth Karnes Keefe

With thanks for photography by Todd Balfour and reporting on commencement by Robert Keren