Centennial Conference Schedule

Wednesday, July 15 – Friday, July 17

Centennial Conference: The Local App: Language and Culture in a “Flat World.” ​
Attendees will tackle the question, “What is the environment in which tomorrow’s students and professionals will most productively learn about other parts of the globe and how to engage speakers of other languages?” Several expert panel discussions will cover topics including global academics, language and identity, and the next century of the Language Schools.

Download the Conference Program (PDF). If you cannot join us for the conference, be sure to watch the video streams.

Wednesday, July 15

Conference Panel: The human-language-technology nexus: Where do ‘we’ fit in?
Streamed from Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Monterey, California
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., Davis Library 105

Thursday, July 16

Honorary Degree Ceremony and Conference Opening
10:00 a.m., Mead Chapel

Keynote Speaker - Adrian Wooldridge
The Economist magazine’s management editor and writer of the Schumpeter column

Conference Panel: Framing the Global Academic Agenda
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Wilson Hall

In the competitive race to "globalize the curriculum" and attract larger numbers of international students, how do colleges and universities worldwide retain their ties to the communities and environments they were once created to serve? How can academic leaders globalize their institutions' agendas while remaining true to the local, regional and national roots from which they emerged? How can we ensure local identities, economies, and traditions these institutions represent are not lost in a "flat world”?

Jeff Cason, Moderator

Dean of International Programs, Middlebury College

Junko Hibiya

President, International Christian University

Laurie L. Patton

President, Middlebury College

Driss Ouaouicha

President, AI Akhawayn University

Donald Steinberg

President & CEO, World Learning, Inc.

Conference Panel: The Secret Sauce: Selling Global Products in Local Markets
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m., Wilson Hall

What do globalization failures like Walmart's in Germany or the Daimler/Chrysler divorce tell us about the need to teach business executives a basic understanding of regional cultures, values, and customs?  Can marketing specialists fine-tune their message for a foreign market if they are ignorant of the societal discourses that undergird and shape them? How important is direct access to local and regional communication venues (media, advertisements, social networks, cultural practices) in understanding global markets?

Charles MacCormack, Moderator

Executive-In-Residence, Middlebury College, former President and Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children

Catherine Lee

Change Director, Stena Line, Trustee of Middlebury

Steve Martus 

Managing Director and head of the Derivative Solutions Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, London

Bill McAndrews

Vice President, Communications Strategy/Corporate Communications, BMW 

Marna Whittington

Chair, Middlebury Board of Trustees


Friday, July 17

Conference Panel: Working Without Subtitles: Language Schools Alumni/Kathryn Davis Fellows
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m., Wilson Hall

Former students of the Middlebury Language Schools reflect on how having studied language and culture impacts their work and professional trajectory. This panel will include Kathryn Davis Fellows who are working around the world in a variety of professions.

Philip Geier, Moderator 

Kathryn Davis Family Foundation; Partner, College Board of Overseers

Jessica Beinecke

Shaping the future of the US-China relationship on the Chinese web - Foreign Policy's Pacific Power Index

Christa Bryant

Harvard Nieman Journalism Fellow, former Christian Science Monitor Bureau Chief

Scott Markowitz

Managing Director, Bank of New York Mellon

Helene Songe

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Community Development Officer in Pasto, Colombia.

Caroline Travalia

Associate professor of Spanish Linguistics, Hobart and William Smith Colleges 

Conference Panel: Language & Identity: Putting Your Self on the Line
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Wilson Hall

How does the "New Tribalism" affect the languages we are born with and the languages we want to learn, or need to learn, or are expected to learn?  Is the Wittgenstein conundrum ("The limits of my language mean the limits of my world") still valid? How do linguists and linguistics negotiate tensions between global convergence and national identities?

Susan Baldridge, Moderator

Provost, Middlebury College

Rosemary Feal

Executive Director, Modern Language Association

Michael Geisler

Vice President for Language Schools and Chief Risk Office, Middlebury College

Judith Liskin-Gasparro

Associate Professor of Spanish and Co-Director of Foreign Language Acquisition Research and Education (FLARE/SLA), University of Iowa (Emerita)

Art Troitsky

Russian journalist and School of Russian faculty

Conference Panel: Language Schools 2.0: The Next Century
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Wilson Hall

What are the emergent trends and best practices in teaching in the new millennium while understanding the reality of diverse communities and particularities? Will area studies make a comeback? How do faculty and administrators triangulate the push and pull of international cross-cultural education, multiculturalism, and globalism? What will be the role of technology (translation software, social media online/hybrid forms of curriculum delivery) in mediating these divergent interests? What might a path breaking concept like the Language Schools’ intensive immersion look like a hundred years from now as we move from 1.0 to 2.0?

Stephen Snyder, Moderator

Dean of Language Schools, Middlebury College

Elizabeth Bernhardt

Director of Stanford Language Center, Stanford University

Aline Germain-Rutherford

Chief Academic Officer for Middlebury Interactive Languages and the Surdna professor of Linguistics at Middlebury College

Scott McGinnis

Academic Advisor and Professor, Defense Language Institute

Vardit Ringvald

Director, Institute for Advancement of Hebrew & School of Hebrew, Middlebury College

Conference: Closing Speaker - Frank Sesno
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Mead Chapel

Frank Sesno ’77, and former CNN correspondent, anchor, and Washington bureau chief, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University