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SGA Presents Faculty, Staff Appreciation Awards

May 9, 2017

SGA President Karina Toy presents the Marjorie Lamberti Award to Professor Will Amidon.
Karina Toy reads excerpts from student nominations as she awards the Rodney and Beverly DeGray Staff Award to Associate Chaplain Ira Schiffer.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Student Government Association presented its two annual awards in recognition of outstanding faculty and staff members in a ceremony on Friday, May 5. SGA President Karina Toy ’17 made the presentations on behalf of the student organization.

Will Amidon, assistant professor of geology, received the Majorie Lamberti Faculty Appreciation Award, which was created in honor of Professor Emeritus Marjorie Lamberti and recognizes faculty members who demonstrate excellence in teaching as well as dedication by giving of their time, energy, and effort.

Reading from student nominations, Toy described Amidon as a personal and caring teacher, who made science truly enjoyable and helped students think about their post-college careers in geology. She quoted one nominator as saying, “I really can’t say enough about how he has helped shape my experience at Middlebury and how I see him engaging students day in and day out.” Another student wrote in their nomination, “Many of Will’s courses are taken by nonmajors, who always remark at the end of the semester that they should have been geology majors and that his class was one of their favorites at Midd.”

Toy said this year there were so many nominations for the faculty award that they awarded honorable mention to two additional faculty members. Peter Matthews, professor of economics, who was not able to attend the ceremony, and Kathryn Morse, professor of history, were both given honorable mention.

For the Rodney and Beverly DeGray Staff Appreciation Award, Toy called Rabbi Ira Schiffer, associate chaplain, to the stage. Schiffer recently announced he will be retiring from Middlebury after 16 years.

Schiffer was a popular nominee, according to Toy, for his exceptional care and support for students, always going above and beyond to ensure that students felt welcome and comfortable on campus.

About Schiffer, one student nominator wrote, “Ira has been one of the most caring and prominent figures in my experience at Middlebury. I remember vividly him welcoming me to Hillel during orientation week, buying me lunch over the summer when I was going through a family emergency, and making the D.C. trip a special experience. He is deeply caring and thoughtful, and very much invested in making sure students have the best experiences they can. He helped me transition to college life and has continuously supported me since. I truly cannot imagine Middlebury without him.”

Two additional staff members received honorable mentions: Traci Payne, dining room server worker, and Amanda Reinhardt, assistant director of orientation.

The staff appreciation award honors former staff members Beverly and Rodney DeGray, who worked tirelessly for Middlebury College for decades. The award is given to a staff member who goes above and beyond their role for the betterment of Middlebury students.