Academic Development Team

Michael Geisler, Academic Development Director

Michael Geisler is vice president for Language Schools, Schools Abroad and graduate programs, and C. V. Starr Professor in Linguistics and Languages at Middlebury College. He has also served as Middlebury’s dean of Language Schools and Schools Abroad, as associate dean of the faculty, chair of the Foreign Language Division and chair of the German Department. His teaching and research interests include questions of nationalism, mass media in Germany and the United States, and 20th century German literature and German studies. He was a member of the Modern Language Association (MLA) Ad Hoc Committee on Foreign Languages that produced a report, “Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World,” released in 2006.

Geisler holds a Staatsexamen from the University of Mannheim (1976) and a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh (1982).

Robert Davis, Spanish

Robert Davis is associate professor and the director of the Spanish Language Program at the University of Oregon where he teaches courses in Spanish language, historical linguistics and teaching methodology. He is also the associate director of the Middlebury Spanish School site at Mills College in Oakland, Calif. His interests include language pedagogy and material development, in particular the development of language skills within content-based instruction. He has co-authored two introductory textbooks on the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world — “Entrevistas” (McGraw Hill, 2004) and ”Portafolio” (McGraw-Hill, 2008), an advanced oral skills textbook (Tertulia, ITP, 2001), and articles on language pedagogy, material development and language program direction.

Davis holds a doctorate in linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1991).

Heather Quarles, Spanish

Heather Quarles is an instructor of Spanish in the Romance languages department at the University of Oregon, and has twice served as resident director for the school’s study abroad programs. For the past five years she has spent summers teaching Spanish at the Middlebury Language Schools, serving three years as co-coordinator of the first-year Spanish program. In addition to her teaching background, Quarles brings six years of assessment development experience to this project. She has worked in concept development and as lead researcher and writer for many on-line language assessment tools, including for the University of Oregon’s National Foreign Language Research Center CASLS, and for various U.S. government offices.

Quarles holds a master's degree in Spanish from the University of Oregon (2003).

Aline Germain-Rutherford, French

Aline Germain-Rutherford is an associate professor at The Institute of Official Languages and Bilingualism (OLBI) and the director of the Canadian Centre for Study of Bilingualism and Language Policy at the University of Ottawa. Prior to that, she was the director of the Centre for University Teaching. She is also the director of the Middlebury College French School and has been a visiting professor and keynote speaker in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The author of numerous publications on faculty development, second language pedagogy, speech technology and the integration of sound pedagogy in e-learning practices, Germain-Rutherford has headed several national and international research projects, specifically on faculty development and multicultural issues in post-secondary education and online environments. She is also a recipient of the Canadian 3M National Teaching Fellow Award.

Germain-Rutherford holds a Doctorat, Didactologie/Didactique des langues et des cultures secondes, La Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris III, France (1992).

Barbara Sicot, French

Barbara Sicot is the curriculum developer for the Middlebury College French School, where she has taught for the last 12 summers. She comes from Paris, France, and has had a wide range of experience teaching French. She started her career in her native country but has been an educator in the States for the past 19 years. Sicot has taught at the college, high school and elementary levels. She also worked with Pierre Capretz and his team on the second edition of the textbook “French in Action.” Sicot collaborated on several instruction manuals and designed learning material for French immersion programs. She received the National Honors Society Teacher Award in 2007.

Sicot has a doctorate in American History from Paris IV, Sorbonne (1998).