One goal of the Davis United World College Scholars program is a better world, and alumni are proving daily that their education has empowered them to act as agents of positive change.
2013 Slate of Nominees
We’re counting on your vote, so make your vote count!
Each year, the Nomination Committee of the Middlebury College Alumni Association (MCAA) puts forward candidates for the next fiscal year's open positions. For the 2013-14 term, we have two nominees: one for the role of Alumni Trustee and one for a seat on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
The activities of students past and present speak most clearly about our program. Our alumni perform in professional dance companies; choreograph independently and found their own companies; teach in colleges, universities, private and public educational institutions; and are enrolled in graduate programs across the country. They also pursue a wide range of careers putting their dance educations to work in a variety of ways.
Pamela Vail received a B.A. in dance and sociology from Middlebury College and an M.F.A. in dance from Smith College. She is a founding member of NYC-based Yanira Castro + Company, and is also a founding member of The Architects, a performance improvisation quartet, with Katherine Ferrier, Lisa Gonzales, and Jennifer Kayle (all Middlebury graduates). In addition to working with such artists as Peter Schmitz, Heidi Henderson, and others, she continues to create and perform her own work.
A dance major from Rifle, Colorado. Making the decision to seriously pursue dance at Middlebury he performed with the Dance Company of Middlebury, for several other student concerts, and performed in work choreographed by Peter Schmitz and Paul Matteson. Mark presented an evening-length work, moment's noticeas a senior; A duet from that work was performed at the ACDFA national gala concert at the Kennedy Center.
Middlebury graduates go on to a wide range of careers – often, but not necessarily, tied to their major. Here are a sampling of Middlebury graduates who either majored in Film and Media Culture, or have pursued a career in the film and media industries. Graduates end up in the media industry from a range of majors, and FMMC majors can end up in a broad array of careers, pointing to the flexibility of a liberal arts degree.
Some religion alumni continue their study of religion in academic settings or train to become clergy, but most of our alumni pursue a wide variety of professions, including law, education, medicine, business, and non-profit work. In fact, many students have found that the study of religion provides an excellent base from which to take full advantage of a liberal education.
Liz Kofman & Astri von Arbin Ahlander both '07 pen a blog on work-life issues for young people. They also are more well known at Midd for their other project: The Lattice Group.
LOVE MONEY was written by Thompson Davis, Lucas Kavner, and Willie Orbison. Judith Dry, Lucas, Willie, and Ali Kresch are acting in it. Thompson, Chris Rominger, and Nick Barone foot the band. Maegan Mishico produces, and Aaron Gensler directs. Almost all Middkids put on a show at NYC Fringe Theater Festival.
In a truly collaborative effort, students, alumni, faculty and staff joined together in a unique hands-on project. In the Spring of 2008, Henry the Hydro-Tractor was born. Mark Benz '54 and Dick Catlin '54 presented the physics department with a project to convert their Ford 8N tractor from running on gasoline to running on hydrogen. Through current hydrogen developments and research and hands-on tinkering with the tractor, Maggie Bale '10, Matt Vaughan '09, Jenny Erwin '10 and Marty Schnure '10 reconstructed the old Ford to burn hydrogen, a renewable resource, instead of gasoline. With help from physics faculty and the mechanical genius of Middlebury staff, this project became what a liberal arts education should be: collaboration, hands-on learning, independence, and ground-breaking projects. (submitted by Maggie Bale)
Recent graduate Stefan Claypool '09 has collaborated with other alumni and current students to launch Escape Pod X, a radio theater podcast and serialized anthology about a character traveling the galaxy. The project was born out of the Middlebury Radio Theater of Thrills and Suspense (Mr|Tots), a popular radio theater program hosted by WRMC 91.1FM, the college radio station, and syndicated by other college radio stations around the country. Radio Theater at Middlebury started in 2005 with the class of 2009.
Peter Hamlin, Class of 1973 and chair of the Music Department at Middlebury, served as on-air host and interviewer for live television broadcasts of the Quad City Symphony and Dubuque Symphony on Iowa Public Television (fall, 2008).
Hamilin also was the emcee for the Vermont Symphony's youth concerts, performing in five different school locations throughout the state (spring 2009). The program included three movements from an orchestra piece of Hamlin's called Green Mountain Variations.
Hamlin's electronic music ensemble Data Stream, with Scot Schwestka, Sandy Nordahl, and Hamlin, created and performed music for a CD last summer. The CD, Flow, was released in March 2009.
Also, Hamlin composed "Grand Theft Flauto" for fellow music faculty member Su Tan. This is a piece for solo flute and live computer processing that was performed at Tufts University, Bennington and Middlebury (fall, 2009).
He has just completed a choral piece called "Chaoufarou," a setting of an excerpt from Samuel de Champlain's diary. The piece will be performed this summer, as part of the 400th anniversary celebration of Champlain's voyage, by a choir of students from France, Quebec and New England.
My four years cooking, managing, and eating as part of Dolci stand out as some of the most important parts of my Middlebury education, and the memories that seem to most resonate whenever I return to Vermont or pass by a bustling restaurant kitchen.
Spending my Fridays in the basement kitchens of Chateau, FIC, and finally Proctor led me to many of my closest friends at Middlebury, taught me how to lead and teach peers (not without some bumps and bruises, as well as a few burns), and introduced friendships with the exceptional men and women of Dining Services who work tirelessly to serve an often under-appreciative student body. Learning how to balance the pressure of preparing a truly gourmet meal for nearly 100 people with the overarching reality that this was something we did for enjoyment remained one of the greatest challenges I faced at Middlebury, and one of the lasting lessons. Plus, it was just really, really fun (not to mention a great thing to talk about on my resume).
As was always true when we were forced to migrate to a new dining-hall home, these most recent changes will create both new challenges, as well as new opportunities (perhaps 51 Main will allow the broader town community to experience the pleasures of Dolci). And yet, I hope that some things stay the same: notably, that the organization remains well-connected with dining services, and that Dolci continues to bring together students and Midd Dining staff to collaborate, learn, make great food, and become friends.
But for one detail, you’d be hard pressed to pick out the former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst from among the two-dozen or so students milling around the large second-floor conference room in the Robert A. Jones ’59 House, home to Middlebury’s Rohatyn Center for International Affairs.
It’s an unseasonably warm day in the middle of March, so most of the students are decked out in spring comfort-wear: light fleeces, down vests, Midd sweat shirts. The former analyst, though closer in age to the twenty somethings than to the professors and townsfolk who have also descended on RAJ, stands just a little bit apart because he’s sporting a wrinkled, gray pinstriped suit and maroon dress shirt. Otherwise, you’d just assume that the tall, lanky fellow with a boyish haircut, boats for shoes (size 15), and a somewhat pasty skin tone is one of the many eager students who have turned out for a noonday lecture on the Iraq War.
The medical facility at Camp Ramadi, the U.S. military base for thousands of soldiers in the heart of Iraq’s Al Anbar Province, is a hardened building that features a trauma ward about the size of a small conference room. The walls of the room are lined with medical supplies, and every piece of equipment—gurneys, operating tables, crash carts—is portable, allowing the utmost flexibility when dealing with multiple incoming casualties. When the casualties do come in, the room is often crowded with people, though they are well versed in the choreography of medical combat trauma; rarely does someone get in another’s way.
Matching a crinkly, crimson tube top and glittery skirt to her auburn-tinted- brunette, shoulder-length hair and ruby lipstick, Anaïs Mitchell ’04 looks bewitching on stage, part siren and part waif; only her ice blue eyes offset the fiery red. She strums her acoustic guitar as the sold-out crowd at Club Passim, the legendary folk haunt in Cambridge, Massachusetts, nods along in appreciation. And then we hear her voice, a light, fresh thing, and a jolt of energy shoots through the room. This, this is something new.
In 2001, PBS NewsHour correspondent Elizabeth Farnsworth ’65 asked Henry Kissinger why human rights weren’t really at the top of his list of priorities when he met with Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1976. “Why did you not say to him: You’re violating human rights. You’re killing people. Stop it!” she asked the former National Security Advisor and secretary of state. Kissinger punted: “Human rights were not an international issue at that time, the way they have become since. That was not what diplomats and secretaries of states and presidents were saying generally to anybody in those days.” Winning the Cold War, at whatever cost, was the only thing that mattered; in South America, this meant preventing what Nixon referred to as a “red sandwich”—a continent of communist movements anchored by Cuba and Chile.