The Middlebury Institute’s Alumni Achievement Awards will be presented as part of the Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 21. This year the Institute will recognize four outstanding alumni who through their work, service, and passionate professional commitment have stayed true to the values of the Institute. These alumni “showcase the kinds of career paths can strive to achieve,” according to Director of Alumni Relations Leah Gowron. “The awards are a way to demonstrate the Institute’s commitment to and pride in its alumni through annual recognition of alumni leaders.”
The Young Alumni Achievement Award for the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation and Language Education is going to Eva Gross MATLM ’10, who leads localization at BOLD (formerly LiveCareer), helping launch BOLD’s products into global markets. Due to the success of her globalization efforts, her role has recently expanded to include product management for BOLD’s largest product line. Gross is passionate about helping students and alumni achieve their career goals by assisting with networking and interview coaching. “My first boss at Apple was a graduate of the Institute, as was the first person I hired when I started my own company.”
Maureen Fura MPA ’09 will receive the Young Alumni Achievement Award for the Graduate School of International Policy and Management. She is the writer, director and producer of Dark Side of the Full Moon, a documentary film that exposes the barriers of care and lack of services in the U.S. when new motherhood crashes into mental illness. Additionally, Maureen is the Advocacy Chair for the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health, leading the May Campaign for the last three years, a national public awareness campaign for maternal mental health complications in the U.S. “Through the MPA program at the Institute I gained all the skills I needed to do what I want to do,” Fura says, adding that she has called on her network of alumni friends and colleagues for all of her projects.
The Alumni Volunteer Service Award for 2016 will go to Sam Driggers MAIPS ’97, who brought more than 22 years of international, statewide, and local experience to his current position as director of global initiatives for the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce (Cal Asian Chamber). “For me, the Institute will always be home in a lot of ways,” Drigger shares. He says that wherever he travels for work or pleasure, he comes across people with connections to the Institute. “Just recently when I was in Shanghai, just mentioning that I was an alumnus of the Institute created unexpected connections and opportunities.”
“The Institute name has opened many doors for me, as there is a lot of respect for it in our field of translation and interpretation,” agrees Holly Mikkelson MAICC ’76/Cert. Translation & Interpretation ’76, associate professor of translation and interpretation, who will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. She is an ATA-certified translator and a state and federally certified court interpreter who has taught translation and interpreting for over 35 years. In addition to co-authoring Fundamentals of Court Interpretation: Theory, Policy, and Practice, she is the author of Introduction to Court Interpreting as well as the Acebo interpreter training manuals and numerous articles on translation and interpretation. In 2011, the American Translators Association awarded her the prestigious Alexander Gode Medal for outstanding service to the translation and interpreting professions.