Middlebury ranks second nationally in Directors' Cup for Division III

Middlebury College has finished second in the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup race for the second straight season. The Panthers earned their sixth consecutive top-five finish, including four second place finishes. Williams won the cup, followed by Middlebury, Amherst in third and Tufts in 10th place, to represent NESCAC schools. Points for the cup are awarded based on excellence in NCAA tournament play.

Middlebury graduate receives Vermont Community Foundation fellowship

Middlebury College graduate Alexandra Braunstein of the class of 2009 has been awarded the Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) Philanthropic Engagement Fellowship.

Braunstein, from Providence, R.I., majored in English and American Literatures. While at Middlebury, she was a co-chair of the Middlebury College Relay for Life, the most successful youth relay in New England. She also spent time as an intern at the VCF and volunteered at local schools and libraries.

Three Middlebury students honored by Center for Research on Vermont

Three Middlebury College seniors have received recognition for their research projects from the Center for Research on Vermont at the University of Vermont. Elizabeth Kelley is the recipient of the 2009 Andrew E. Nuquist Award for Outstanding Student Research on a Vermont Topic. Gregory McDermott received the 2009 George B. Bryan Award for Excellence in Vermont Research. Benjamin Robins received special mention from the Nuquist Award committee. The awards were presented at the Center’s annual meeting on May 1.

Middlebury awards Fellowships in Environmental Journalism for 2009

Administrators of the Middlebury College Fellowships in Environmental Journalism recently announced 10 fellowship recipients for 2009. The program, in its third year, is designed to support intensive, year-long reporting about environmental issues by journalists at the start of their careers. According to Bill McKibben, scholar in residence in Environmental studies and program director, the pool this year included “a fiercely competitive field of applicants.”

“There were at least 30 proposals equally deserving,” said McKibben, author of “Deep Economy” (2007) and “The End of Nature” (1989). “But the range of stories allowed us to pick among the most immediate and pressing, the ones we felt most needed to be told and were least likely to be reported otherwise.”

College supports students’ summer work with endowed internship funds

Thirty-three Middlebury College undergraduates were selected from more than 131 applicants to receive Middlebury funding for unpaid internships with national and international organizations and companies this summer.

“Access to funding for unpaid internships provides our students with ‘real life’ experiences outside the classroom and supports our mission to help students better understand and practice the skills needed for success in today's global community,” said Susan Walker, associate director of career services. “Our students’ depth of involvement in these internships demonstrates again how Middlebury is a model for the liberal arts in the 21st century.”

College's Axinn Center at Starr Library wins awards for sustainable design

Earlier this spring, the Donald E. Axinn ’51, Litt. D. ’89 Center for Literary and Cultural Studies at Starr Library received a Sustainable Design Award from the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) and an Excellence in Architecture award from the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP). Sustainability is an integral part of the culture at Middlebury College, which has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2016.

According to a news release from the building’s architects, Boston-based Childs Bertman Tseckares (CBT), the awards are an affirmation of the high quality planning, design and service efforts associated with the facility. The BSA is Boston’s local American Institute of Architects (AIA) chapter, and the SCUP award recognizes best practices and emerging trends related to planning in higher education.

Faculty member edits journal that examines Muslims and the state, post-9/11

Erik Bleich’s (Political Science) guest edited special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies titled, “Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West,” was published in March 2009. In addition to his introduction, the issue also includes his article, “State Responses to ‘Muslim’ Violence: A Comparison of Six West European Countries” (JEMS, 35:3, 361-79). This special issue is the culmination of an April 2007 workshop of the same title held at Middlebury College, which brought together 20 scholars and policymakers from the United States and Europe thanks to funding from over a dozen campus sources, including departments, centers, commons, and student groups. Erik would like to thank everyone who supported this workshop and encourages anyone interested to access the table of contents and abstracts.

Middlebury board of trustees approves promotions for faculty members

Three members of the Middlebury College faculty have been promoted from assistant professor to the rank of associate professor without limit of tenure: Noah Graham of the Physics Department; Bert Johnson from the Department of Political Science; and Amy Morsman of the History Department.

The board of trustees, at its meeting on May 6, accepted the recommendations of President Ronald D. Liebowitz and the board’s educational affairs committee in promoting the three faculty members. Their promotions take effect July 1, 2009.

How did you get here? Student journalists present 15 stories from their peers

Established in the fall of 2008, the Middlebury Fellowship in Narrative Journalism provided three exceptional students the opportunity to explore and apply their journalistic talents. Organizers of the program sought highly motivated and intellectually curious students from a pool of more than 50 applicants who were interested in creating digital portraits of the Middlebury student body. Co-directed by Middlebury College Scholar-in-Residence in English and American Literatures Sue Halpern and Matt Jennings, editor of Middlebury Magazine, the fellowship spanned the academic year and included training in interview techniques, basic photography and sound editing.

Selected fellows were seniors Aylie Baker and Mallory Falk, and sophomore Sarah Harris. They began their project last fall by questioning various peers about their individual journeys to Middlebury by asking the question, “How did you get here?”

New space for queer studies is one student’s legacy

On a typical Thursday evening, senior Christine Bachman is busy hosting students at the Queer Studies House, a residential academic interest house with a focus on queer studies. These evenings are called “Thursday Teas.” Sipping tea and eating cookies, Bachman and the four other residents of the house start informal conversations on a variety of topics related to queer studies, an emerging interdisciplinary field that critiques traditional norms of sexuality and gender. Sometimes, as many as 30 or 40 students stop by for these gatherings.

“Students get to know and relate to each other on a personal level that in turn enables a safe, open, varied discussion about issues of difference,” explains sophomore Catarina Campbell, who frequently attends these gatherings.

As co-president of the Middlebury Open-Queer Alliance (MOQA), Bachman was one of the three chief architects of the proposal for the Queer Studies House. The proposal was approved by Community Council last year.