| by Jeff Dayton-Johnson
This issue of Communiqué offers much to celebrate, from the 25th anniversary of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) to the launch of the new Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL) to the many achievements of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff. As I reviewed the outline for this issue, I was struck by how its contents illustrate three key themes that characterize a Middlebury Institute education: career readiness, immersive learning, and the importance of language.
The connection between CNS and these themes feels obvious. Where else but at the Institute can a student in a negotiation simulation class interact with the diplomats who actually negotiated the treaty their class is discussing? CNS gives our nonproliferation students access to unique immersive learning experiences in which they interact with leading professionals in their field, all while honing their diplomatic and language skills.
The Center for Social Impact Learning convenes and manages innovative programs focused on social impact investing and is designed to offer students a head start in the field. Among these is Frontier Market Scouts, a unique fellowship program that trains “scouts” for two- to twelve-month field assignments during which they identify and collaborate with small-scale entrepreneurs in developing economies, connecting them with capital from impact investors. These assignments require a combination of language and intercultural skills, business sense, and adaptability, and they position scouts to emerge as field-tested leaders in the impact investing sector.
Also highlighted in this issue are several examples of our alumni, students, and faculty demonstrating their skill at facilitating communication across language barriers. From interpreting for medical staff and their patients, to translating 17th century Italian operas, to teaching Salinas Valley growers Spanish in order to facilitate communication among staff, to helping Japanese officials prepare multilingual promotional materials for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, members of the Institute community consistently serve as a bridge to mutual understanding and collaboration, both on our campus and throughout the world.
Career readiness, immersive learning, and language—that is what the Institute is all about.
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