Patricia Zupan

C.A. Dana Professor of Italian; Commons Head - Cook

Phone: work802.443.3330
Office Hours: SPRING 2014: Italian Dept. (Voter 113) Tues 3:00-5:00; Cooks Commons (Battell 151) Wed 2:00-4:00 and by appointment
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As Head of Cook Commons, I join Dean Ian Sutherland, Coordinator Linda Schiffer, Commons Residential Advisor (CRA) Sarah Helland, Middlebury ’10, the residential life student staff, and Commons Council, to welcome all new and returning students, faculty, and staff to our social and intellectual community of “pleasure and intelligence.”

I have been Professor of Italian at Middlebury since 1982 and Commons Head of Cook since 2000. I supervise the general running of our Commons, which I conduct in a collaborative manner with the aid of with our Dean and Coordinator, both highly experienced and expert in their roles, our CRA, and our FYCs and RAs.

This year I will be on sabbatical to pursue research and writing of special interest to me.  Assistant Professor of Italian Stefano Mula will serve as the interim Head of Cook Commons.

Professor Mula will  have a College home at 46 South Street where faculty, students, and visiting experts dine and discuss a wide variety of topics in more intimate groups.  There is also a larger dining and social venue in Forest East Lounge for dinners, lectures, and receptions. As in the past, students, staff, and faculty will have an opportunity to work with Professor Mula to plan events in these facilities.

The Commons system, and Cook as a particular neighborhood of the Commons, places first-and second-year students at the forefront our work. Our First-Year Counsellers, the upper-class students who live on the halls with the new students, work to establish an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful atmosphere on the halls. They offer personal and academic support, and encourage the growth of social, cultural, and academic community through a variety of activities, starting with Orientation itself.

The Cook House, along with other Commons Houses, offers direct support to First-Year Seminars affiliated with our Commons by providing venues for class dinners, discussions, and film viewings.

Continued thought and planning is going into the “Sophomore Experience,” when students start to think more concretely about their academic and personal futures.  This includes meetings about the decision to study abroad, choosing career and study paths, and the academic disciplines, represented by professors sharing their research and their life stories with students.

Each year, the Sophomore class determines the scope and path of their experience.  The “Sophomore Experience” in 20111-2012 will take shape according to the preferences of the class of 2014.

First year and sophomore students are required to live in the Cook community; after the first two years, students go on to live in “Community” Housing.  All students who start in Cook Commons, even as juniors and seniors, remain in Cook and maintain contact with our Dean. We invite our upperclassmen to return to the Cook Office, 150 Battell North, for candy, conversation, and academic and personal support.

Cook Commons Council, meets every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Pearsons Lounge and welcomes students from all four years to participate in creating events and building Cook’s vibrant local community

Where you live and how you live there profoundly affect the quality of your college experience

Cook is your community. You are responsible for this place and its quality of life.

The Commons staff, faculty and staff affiliates, res life staff, and Council welcome you and support you in this great new year in the life of Cook Commons.