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Middlebury launched President Laurie Patton's new podcast Midd Moment in October.

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Laurie Patton Hosts New Podcast ‘Midd Moment’

October 7, 2019

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – In the very first episode of the new podcast Midd Moment, Schumann Distinguished Scholar Bill McKibben, possibly the best-known name in the fight against climate change, sets the pace. In a wide-ranging 25-minute conversation, President Laurie Patton, who hosts the podcast, engages the author and activist on topics from building social movements to the Green New Deal and many things in between.

At one point in the conversation, McKibben reflects on his decades-long career as an author and journalist, to which he eventually added the credential of movement builder. “What it took me a long time to realize was that winning the argument was nowhere near enough,” said McKibben whose 17 books, include The End of Nature, which is widely considered the first book about global warming written for a general audience.

“We’d won the argument about climate change within five or 10 years,” he said. “Having won the argument, we were still losing the fight. It finally dawned on me that the fight wasn’t about data and reasoned analysis; the fight was what fights were always about—money and power.”

In the last several years, McKibben has dedicated leadership to major climate-change social movements including the creation of, divestment from fossil fuel companies, and fighting the Keystone Pipeline.

President Laurie Patton interviews Firas Nasr ’15 in her office at Old chapel for the new podcast, Midd Moment.

    Patton’s interview with McKibben marks the debut episode of the podcast series, produced for Middlebury Magazine on the theme of “Ideas of Our Day.” In coming episodes, Patton interviews author Julia Alvarez ’71; Emmy-winning filmmaker and radio producer Bianca Giaever ’12.5; Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman ’04; and activist, designer, and web developer Firas Nasr ’15, among others.

    Midd Moment Schedule

    Week of:          Guest:

    10/7                 Bill McKibben

    10/14               Julia Alvarez ’71

    10/21               Temi Giwa MIIS ’10

    10/28                Bianca Giaever ’12.5

    11/4                  Adun Samon and Mr. Punnawit

    11/11                Koby Altman ’04

    11/18                Jill Seaman ’74

    11/25                No podcast this week

    12/2                  Firas Nasr ’15

    12/9                  Voices from Reunion 

    12/16                Roy Heffernan ’78

    More information about Midd Moment is available here.

    “We hear from so many alums that they want a direct link to what’s going on at Middlebury,” said Patton. “I wanted to do a podcast because it felt like a really good way to share with the entire Middlebury community the ideas that are being discussed, the way people feel about current events, and the fact that the world has come to Middlebury.”

    Midd Moment listeners can expect to hear highly accomplished guests discuss their paths, their failures, what inspires them, and what drives them to make a difference in the world.

    “I think listeners will also experience President Patton’s scholarly and creative voice in a new way,” says Erin Davis, who produced the podcast with recent graduate Juliette Luini ’18.5.

    “Her interests are wide-ranging and this is evident in her slate of guests, which features Temie Giwa-Tobusun MPA ’10, who is using technology to improve maternal health outcomes in Nigeria, and even teenaged Adul Samon, the multilingual survivor of the 2018 Thai cave rescue. Laurie is present with each of her guests and, by proxy, we get to be present with them too,” said Davis.

    Midd Moment began as a single-episode pilot but quickly grew into a robust first season. Davis says the production team is currently gathering ideas for a second season of interviews and that anyone who has a “Midd Moment” to share—that is, a story about a time when things came together in a particularly Middlebury way—should send a one-minute voice memo from their phone to

    “I really think of this as a way to bring alumni and Middlebury friends back to campus for a bit, and to create that feeling of being ‘in the room’ for a great ‘Midd Moment,’” said Davis. “We want listeners to feel connected: to laugh with us, think with us, and consider the great questions of our day.”

    Midd Moment is available through Apple iTunes, Stitcher, and most podcast apps. Click “subscribe” in your podcast app to be notified when new episodes become available. If you’re new to podcasting, you can find helpful information on how to get started here. A schedule of upcoming Midd Moment episodes is available here.