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Category Archive for 'News from the Provost'

I am pleased to annouce that the recipient of the Fourth Annual Leslie Eliason
Excellence in Teaching Award is Professor Laura Burian.  Professor Burian has
a record of excellence in teaching and an ongoing, inspiring commitment to
providing our students the highest quality education possible.  She has a
wonderful rapport with her colleagues and students, an exceptional teaching
record that reflects her ability to provide an excellent learning experience
to our students, and an intensive commitment to the Institute’s mission.

As a professor dedicated to her students and to delivering quality education,
Professor Burian embodies much of what Professor Eliason also dedicated her
teaching efforts towards.  Leslie Eliason was a strong woman, dynamic and
passionate about her chosen profession of teaching.
She pursued her responsibilities as a teacher and mentor with great warmth and
care for her students and colleagues, reflecting her intelligence, integrity,
good humore, and commitment to quality in all of her endeavors.
 Professor Burian has a similar thoroughness in her role as teacher, colleague,
mentor and advisor.  As was true for Professor Eliason, Professor Burian is
interested in building the capacities of her students, in helping them and the
Institute reach their greatest potential, and in working collaboratively with
her colleagues to achieve their goals.  There is no question that Professor
Burian reflects the qualities Professor Eliason valued the most — hard work,
intense and at times passionate commitment to students and sound academic
programming, and good colleagial interactions and collaborations.  Her
commitment to excellence both inside and outside of the classroom is greatly
appreciated and valued.

Congratulations to Professor Burian — we will celebrate her selection on
April 21st during the “quiet hours” at lunchtime in the Samson Center Reading
Room.  More details will follow about this celebration.

Thanks to all of you who nominated faculty for this award and helped in the
selection process.

Provost Sands

Dr. Amy Sands
Provost and Academic Vice President
Monterey Institute of International Studies Monterey, CA 93940
email:  asands@miis.edu
telephone:  831 647-4116



A $1,000 Rev. William Sloane Coffin cash prize will be awarded to the MIIS
student who writes the best anti-human trafficking essay. $500 will be given
to the writer of the second-best essay.  The award is named after the late
remarkable  civil rights and peace activist Chaplain at Yale University and
the money is donated by his close friend, Professor Peter Grothe. The award is
given in memory of  a victim  of human trafficking in Cambodia, Sale Hillar,
the daughter of MIIS Professor Bill Hillar who teaches a workshop on human
trafficking. The essay should be no more than 2,000 words.

The student should state what experiential and/or academic background she/he
has had in anti-human trafficking and what she/he has learned from this. A
major part of the essay should be devoted to what  motivates the writer to go
into the anti-human trafficking field. Further, what are the most promising
strategies for putting brakes on this affront to humanity?

The deadline for the essay is 5 pm Friday, March 13th. Please submit your
essay to Dr. Grothe or put in his box in the Student Affairs building.
The judges  for the Rev. William Sloane Coffine Prize will be a panel of
faculty experts.

Thanks and good luck!


Welcome back – I hope the spring semester is off to a great start. Since you went on break in December, several changes have occurred on campus:Our new president, Dr. Sunder Ramaswamy, started at the Institute on January 2; the Samson Center has been remodeled with more stations to plug in laptops and a new dining menu; and we just completed our first extended January term with many successful courses and practicums. Additionally, we continue moving toward full integration with Middlebury College, which is scheduled to conclude on June 30, 2010.

In early January our Board of Trustees met in Monterey to review the Institute”s progress and explore new initiatives with staff. They had the opportunity to hear from students about some of the practical learning experiences built into our programs, such as the international business plan, IPSS, DPMI and Team Monterey experiences, interpretation practica and teaching internships. Academic excellence is the overarching theme that guides all of their work. Among the decisions to come out of their January meeting was the adoption of tuition levels for the next academic year.

The Institute continues to focus on sustaining and enhancing the high-quality academic programs that are central to our mission. In this year’s especially challenging fiscal environment, many schools are simultaneously implementing tuition increases and program cuts. Here at the Institute, we have adopted a tuition level for Academic Year 2009-2010 that protects academic programs from cuts, supports student services and continues our tradition of academic excellence. Next year’s tuition will be $31,000, or $15,500 per semester, for students enrolled full time. If you plan to apply for federal financial aid for next year, your aid package will reflect this tuition figure.

In the coming weeks, the new academic Deans will be announced as will the new Dean of Advising. These changes are aimed at increased interdisciplinary collaboration and learning opportunities, and at improving services to students. We are committed to helping you reach your educational and professional goals and encourage you to get involved with some of the various activities that will be taking place this semester to ensure a smooth transition to our new academic organization.

Best regards,

Dr. Sands
Dr. Amy Sands
Provost and Academic Vice President
Monterey Institute of International Studies Monterey, CA 93940
email: asands@miis.edu
telephone: 831 647-4116

Please see the following message from Provost Dr. Amy Sands about the Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Award.

From:              Amy Sands


Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

This year we have again received notification that funding to support the Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Award has been given to the Institute by Karen and Christopher Payne, good friends of Professor Eliason. I am requesting nominations for this award from all of you.

The Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Award is a prestigious Monterey Institute award that recognizes outstanding contributions as a classroom teacher by a faculty member of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. This award is especially meaningful to the Institute because it honors the memory of Professor Leslie Eliason, well recognized for her commitment to quality teaching and to her students and their education.

Regular faculty members from the MIIS community are eligible for consideration.  The faculty member, who is selected, will receive a $10K stipend and will be recognized in the spring at a special ceremony and reception.  The award must be used for professional development, such as conference registrations, fees, and travel; release time from classes for research or training purposes; or acquisition of materials for curriculum development or research.

The award will be announced in March 2009 and must be used by August 31, 2010, at which time a report summarizing the professional development and expenditures made will be due to the Community Foundation, the group overseeing the disbursement of these funds on behalf of the Payne family.  A short interim report will be due approximately one year after the award.  Faculty recipients of the Excellence in Teaching Award are not eligible to receive the award more than once in a four-year period.  (Previous winners are Professor Moyara Ruehsen, Professor Jackie Harmer, and Professor Jean Turner.)

The selection process for this award is as follows:

1) The Provost will request nominations from students, faculty, and staff of the MIIS community.
•    To nominate a faculty member, letters should be addressed to the Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Committee and should explain why the nominee’s performance as a teacher merits the Excellence in Teaching Award.
•    Nomination letters should address specifically the award criteria outlined below and include examples from personal experience with the instructor. Nomination letters without such information will not be accepted.

2) The Provost will establish a Selection Committee consisting of 3 faculty, 3 students, and 1 staff member to be responsible for selecting the faculty member to receive this award.

3) The Committee will review the nominations and make their selections based on the award criteria outlined below.

4) Once the selection has been finalized and announced, a reception and ceremony will be scheduled in April to honor the recipient.

Award Criteria

The award recipient should:

•    Foster a sense of excitement in the classroom that stimulates the students’ learning process and creates a dynamic interactive learning space;
•    Inspire in students further pursuit of knowledge, especially relating to global issues/challenges;
•    Demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of his/her chosen area of expertise;
•    Enhance classroom discussion and interaction with the use of collaborative and innovative tools and pedagogy;
•    Be responsive to student needs, providing timely evaluation and feedback of student work;
•    Demonstrate intercultural competence and respect for all students;
•    Have a good rapport with students in and out of the classroom.

Timeline for Award Selection


The request for nominations is issued to students, faculty, and staff of the MIIS community.

The Provost will be responsible for forming the selection committee for the Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Award.  Nominations will be due to the Provost by February 1, 2009.


At the beginning of February, nominees will be notified.  Each will be asked to accept or decline their nominations.  Faculty accepting their nomination will be required to submit a dossier for committee review.  The dossier must be submitted to the Provost by the end of February 2009 and consist of the following items:
•    Course syllabi;
•    Some sample materials used in their classes;
•    Student evaluations;
•    Curriculum Vitae;
•    At least one recommendation and one other reference, including contact information, who could comment on nominee’s teaching ability; and
•    Letter by the nominee explaining in detail how they would use the grant money if they receive the Excellence in Teaching Award.


The Selection Committee reads the dossiers, keeping in mind the strict confidentiality necessary because of the nature of faculty evaluations, nomination letters, and other information in the dossiers.

The last week of March, the committee meets after reading all of the dossiers and selects an award recipient based on the criteria for the award, nomination letters, and faculty dossiers.


The winner is notified by the Provost and a campus announcement is sent out to the students, faculty, and the President’s Office. The winner is honored at a reception and ceremony.

I look forward to seeing your nominations.


Dr. Amy Sands, Provost
Monterey Institute of International Studies
Monterey, CA 93940
email:  asands@miis.edu
telephone:  831 647-4102

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