New Faces, Roles in Student Creativity, Engagement, Careers

June 13, 2016

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Vice President for Academic Affairs Andi Lloyd and Vice President for Student Affairs Katy Smith Abbott have announced some significant changes to several programs in the undergraduate college that will take place at the start of the new fiscal year.

Effective July 1, the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, MiddCORE, and the Programs for Creativity and Innovation will merge into a single entity called the Center for Creativity, Innovation, and Social Entrepreneurship. The new integrated structure is designed to foster synergies among the programs and create a more efficient operation with shared staffing and fewer administrative demands on the faculty directors. 

Heather Neuwirth, formerly associate director of the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, will serve as the director of programs for the new center, overseeing program operations and providing administrative support and direction.

Professor of Economics Jon Isham, who has served as the director of the Center for Social Entrepreneurship since its founding in 2012, will be stepping down as he embarks on a Fulbright fellowship in Ghana during his upcoming sabbatical. Isham served as the founding co-director of CSE, with Associate Dean of the College Elizabeth Robinson and Neuwirth, and his vision has been instrumental in putting Middlebury on the map as a leader in social entrepreneurship.  Nadia Horning, associate professor of political science, will begin a 3-year term as the faculty director of social entrepreneurship in the new center effective July 1.

Jessica Holmes, professor of economics will be stepping down at the end of winter term as director of MiddCORE, a position she has held since 2010. Holmes oversaw the growth of MiddCORE from its origins as a winter term course to a nationally recognized program in leadership and innovation. She has worked to broaden MiddCORE’s focus and reach by involving faculty from across the curriculum and by engaging alumni from a broad range of careers. Christal Brown, assistant professor of dance, will assume the role of faculty director of MiddCORE beginning January 1. Brown will work closely with Kathryn Benson, who will become the new associate director for MiddCORE within the center.

This summer, MiddCORE will move from DKE Alumni House to 118 South Main Street, where it will share space with the other programs of the new center. 

The Community Engagement office, under the leadership of Tiffany Sargent, will become known as the Center for Community Engagement, and will be moving to DKE. Its mission – to help students prepare “for lives of meaning and impact through service, scholarship, and citizenship” and to help “strengthen communities and contribute to the public good” – will remain unchanged, and the center will continue to work closely with the Privilege and Poverty academic cluster that is directed by Professor James Davis and continue to support faculty and students in projects that involve community-connected teaching or research.

The two centers will continue to be led by Associate Dean of the College Elizabeth Robinson, who also oversees the Center for Careers and Internships. Since January, Robinson has reported to both the vice president for student affairs and the vice president for academic affairs, a structure that recognizes that these programs, collectively, have one foot in the curricular realm and one in the co-curricular realm.