Welcome to the Innovation Hub team and our various programs! We want to get to know you and help you take full advantage of the Innovation Hub.

Below you will find short videos about a host of different programs to help orient you to the Innovation Hub.

We want to meet you

Set up an appointment with any of our staff or faculty to learn more. Not sure who to meet with get to know the programs by watching the videos below. 

Meet the Innovation Hub team

Meet the Innovation Hub team

Discover the possibilities of funding, mentorship, space, classes, and events. The Innovation Hub helps you develop leadership, creative thought, and intellectual risk taking—through a multitude of opportunities on and off campus. These programs provide opportunities for you to try new things, develop creative ideas, and learn to engage our local community and the world.

Innovation Hub Transcript of Orientation video 2020

Heather Lovejoy: Hello, and welcome to the Innovation Hub overview session! I’m Heather Lovejoy and I’m the Director of Programs at the hub. The hub is one of the experiential learning centers alongside the Center for Careers and Internships and the Center for Community Engagement.

We are a team of staff and faculty that offers creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and social impact programming. On this webinar you will get to know some of our team and learn about some of our programs.

One of the most important things you need to know about our programs is that they are available to everyone, you do not need to identify as an innovator or entrepreneur! So much of our programming is dedicated to exposure and skill-building. In fact, we see about ⅔ of the student body in our programs each school year. The first step to getting involved is meeting with an advisor to learn about our offerings in coursework, mentoring, funding, events and space. 

I also wanted to share a few examples of how you can plug into our Creativity and Innovation suite; MiddSTART is a crowdfunding website for your creative projects, you can participate in the TEDx student board to organize a speakers’ conference, you can apply to work on a business idea in our MiddEntrepreneurs course over winter term, or you can pitch for a MiddChallenge grant to work on a project over the summer. There are many other opportunities for funding and mentorship through the hub so feel free to schedule a meeting with us. Now I’ll pass it off to my colleagues to share some details about their programs. 

Charlotte Sullivan: Hi, My name is Charlotte Sullivan and I help facilitate Middlebury’s Social Entrepreneurship programs at the Innovation Hub. For example, each fall, I help select a small cohort of students from the Sophomore and Sophomore Feb classes who are interested in studying and implementing social change. The program offers funding, mentorship, and experiential learning opportunities for students to pursue this goal during their career at Middlebury. I would be happy to email with you or make a time to meet if you have any questions about this or our other programs. Now I’d like to introduce you to Greg Conrad.

Greg Conrad: Hi, My name is Greg Conrad and I am the Associate Director of Middlebury’s leadership and innovation program, MiddCORE.

We are a one month, mentor-led program designed to help you launch your education, your passions, and your purpose into the professional world. By consulting for companies, with real-world problems to solve you will up-level your potential: Develop the confidence, skills, hands-on experience, and network you’ll need to make a positive impact on the world and on your future. As a MiddCORE alum, I can say with certainty that MiddCORE was a highlight of my Middlebury experience.

For more information, please check out our website and feel free to email us at MiddCORE@middlebury.edu. Our team is looking forward to hearing from you! Next up, I’m excited to introduce, Ben Powers!

Ben Powers: Hi there! I’m Ben Powers, and I help run Oratory Now, Middlebury’s FREE peer coaching service dedicated to public speaking. Each semester, we train about 50 students to work as peer Oratory Coaches, who can help you get ready for presentations, pitches, interviews — anything that involves oral expression. Lately, we’ve been especially focused on helping speakers to present ONLINE. We now offer both synchronous and asynchronous remote coaching options. Oratory Now coaches and Interns also produce speech competitions, do coaching work in the local community, and this fall we’re offering an online, credit-bearing course called Oratory In Action. You can find us at the Hub, or at oratorynow.org. We look forward to speaking with you this Fall! Now I get to pass you over to EJ Bartlett…

EJ Bartlett: Hi and welcome to Middlebury College. We are glad you are here. I am EJ Bartlett the Marketing Director at the Innovation Hub and MiddCORE. Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit more about Innovation Hub. We’d like to invite you to connect with us in person. We will be hosting two drop-in zoom chats. One on Wednesday Aug. 26 10:30 a.m. - noon and a second one Wednesday Sept. 9th 10:30-noon. We will be available to answer any of your questions. We will also have student representatives from our various programs available for you to chat with and ask questions about the student experience.

Slide: Drop-in zoom chats
Aug. 26 10:30-noon 
Sept. 9th 10:30-noon

You can find those zoom links below. If any of these programs have peaked your interest there are videos below on the orientation page on the individual programs. or visit go/innovaitonhub

Slide: go/innovationhub

Thank you for coming and we look forward to working with you.

Meet the students that participated in MiddCORE remote this past summer.

Meet MiddCORE Participants

MiddCORE is a four-week, mentor-led program designed to help students launch their education, passions, and purpose into the professional world. By consulting for companies, with real-life problems to solve, students will increase their potential.

Greg Conrad—Associate Director, MiddCORE

Hi everyone, and thanks again for joining us on tonight’s call. I hope you enjoyed that intro video, highlighting some of the moments from this past summer’s programming. My name is Greg Conrad. I’m the associate director of Middlebury’s leadership and innovation program, MiddCORE. And joining me on tonight’s call we are fortunate to have three of the students who participated in our program this summer. So, I’m going to tell you a bit about the program, give you a quick overview, and then pass things over to the students so you can hear a bit more about their personal experience.

So, to kick things off, we are an intensive, one-month, credit-bearing program led by Middlebury faculty and 40+ professionals, who work with our students on over 160 hours of real-world problem solving and professional skill building.

Our program operates twice a year. First, right here on Middlebury College campus in J-term and then again in the summer months, at Middlebury Institute of International Studies over in Monterey, California.

So, our month at a glance: first, you will walk through a design-thinking and leadership curriculum, where you will discover a framework for creative problem solving and learn from the best at how to both collaborate and lead in a team setting. Then, you will take on our strategic challenge where you work in a consulting role for either a for-profit or nonprofit company.

And finally, you will take part in our life-prototyping module, where you will have the opportunity to envision your life and career post-college, while building the skills and mindset necessary to make those dreams a reality.

So, in the past we’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing strategic challenge partners and we’re really excited to see who we partner with next. For the first time this past summer, we’ve learned that the magic of MiddCORE can be experienced in a remote model. This June, we worked with 24 students, 45 mentors, across 16 time zones in what was a truly transformative experience.

Now, I’m going to pass things over to Daniel Manekia, who joins us from Johannesburg, South Africa, and you can learn a bit more about his experience with MiddCORE.

Daniel Manekia ’22—Student, MiddCORE, Summer 2020

Hi, my name is Daniel Manekia, I’m a Middlebury College student in the Class of 2022 with a major in economics. I’m going to be speaking to you today about the expectations of my MiddCORE program versus the reality. When I heard that MiddCORE was going remote, I was a little bit disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to spend time underneath the California sun, and I was a little bit hesitant to join the program at first. After some time of research and weighing my options, I decided that it would be best for me to continue. The MiddCORE remote experience offered the best of both synchronous and asynchronous class modules. We had the ability to speak every day as a unit for a couple of hours in a synchronous way. We also had the ability of asynchronous learning, in the form of podcasts as well as information packets on Canvas.

MiddCORE remote was a great way for me to not only meet kids of my own age but also link with professionals in various different fields. Through this, I was able to learn skills for outreach and networking that would have never been previously available to me and that are still crucial to this day. I was able to connect with professionals and learn about all sorts of career paths, understanding my financial future and planning for that, as well as learning about the skills that I need to be successful in the career that I choose to pursue. All in all, it was a fantastic program for me, and it was truly life changing. I hope this can be an experience that you take advantage of as well.

I’d now like to introduce Katie Marshall, who will be talking a bit about our strategic challenge and the life prototyping module.

Katie Marshall ’21—Student, MiddCORE, Summer 2020

Hi, my name is Katie Marshall and I’m a rising senior at the College. I’m a double major in theater and sociology.

First, I’ll tell you a little bit about the strategic challenge. So, at the beginning of the week, we were given a prompt and it was our job with our team to come up with a solution. I was definitely nervous, but it was really reassuring when I realized just how engaged all of my teammates were in this particular process and even just how engaged they were to participate remotely. We conducted field interviews and then we synthesized all this research into a branding strategy that we were able to pitch to the C-suite of Orvis.

The presentations were energizing and exciting—each team created such dynamic and unique solutions to the same problem. Not only did I learn from my own teammates, I also learned from all the teams around me. This is a great exercise and I’m so happy that I had this experience.

Next, the second part of the month we focused on a life-prototyping model and this had a lot to do with self-reflection. In the model we had the privilege of looking both outward and inward in order to gather insights about all that we wanted to become. At first, I was a little intimidated because it seemed as though all of my peers were wise beyond their years and they had these huge dreams of changing the world.

But I quickly realized that the value of intimacy and vulnerability was really what was important in the situation. All these dreams that once sounded too ambitious began to seem real. MiddCORE provided us with the perfect skills and foundation to be able to pivot and to find support when necessary if we fall short in certain areas.

I really appreciated all that my team had to share and I’m very happy that I had this experience. Next, Emily Jones will tell you a little bit more about MiddCORE.

Emily Jones ’23—Student, MiddCORE, Summer 2020

Hi, I’m Emily and I’m a prospective International and Global Studies major of the Class of 2023. I signed up for MiddCORE remote on a whim at the start of this very challenging summer, as a way to occupy my time and my mind. I had no idea what this program would soon come to mean to me.

As you’ve heard from everyone else, MiddCORE was a truly transformative experience for all of us this summer. The skills I built through this program, such as design thinking, innovation consulting, networking, and financial literacy, will undoubtedly carry over to the rest of my time at Middlebury and my future career endeavors.

But the MiddCORE experience was about so much more than just skill-building. It was about community. Although the digital space typically does not allow us to connect with each other in conventional ways, the MiddCORE mentors were dedicated to making the remote experience engaging and fulfilling. The people I’ve met through this program, both my peers and mentors, now function as my personal advisory board for my future.

My MiddCORE network even helped me land an amazing remote internship this summer. If you’re a highly motivated student looking to build your professional skills and create an incredible network of peers, educators, and professionals, then you should definitely consider applying to MiddCORE.


Listen to the social impact journeys of social entrepreneurship fellows

Listen to the social impact journeys of social entrepreneurship fellows.

Middlebury’s Social Entrepreneurship Program helps students develop their personal qualities and enhance their academic experience at Middlebury through an extracurricular commitment to driving social change, thereby helping them to carry out the college’s mission: “Through a commitment to immersive learning, we prepare students to lead engaged, consequential, and creative lives, contribute to their communities, and address the world’s most challenging problems.”

Hear directly from student Oratory Now coaches

Meet Our Oratory Now Student Coaches

Oratory Now is Middlebury’s FREE peer coaching service dedicated to public speaking. Find out about credit-bearing courses, and request coaching for presentations, pitches, and interviews at oratorynow.org.

Hi there! And welcome to Middlebury. 

I’m Ben Powers, and I’d like to introduce you to Oratory Now, Middlebury’s FREE peer coaching service dedicated to public speaking.  Oratory Coaches are available online to work with individual students, small groups, and full classes on presenting, pitching, and interviewing. There’s a pretty good chance we’ll get to meet you during the upcoming school year. A couple of our coaches are gonna tell you how:

  • Hey everyone! I’m GiGi. Ben’s absolutely right— You might meet a team of Oratory Now coaches through your First Year Seminar- where  they join you via Zoom to run a presentation workshop for you and your classmates. You could even follow up for 1 to 1 remote coaching to make sure you nail your first college presentation!
  • If a professor notices your speaking skill, dedication, and potential, either in presenting or simply speaking up in class, you might be nominated for the Spencer Prize for First-Years. That’s where I found Oratory Now! You’ll join other nominees for a super friendly competition where you’ll deliver a speech connecting what you’re learning in class to what you care about. Final bonus - you could win your share of $1600 in prize money!
  • Toward the end of the Fall term, you and your classmates might present at the (first annual!) First Year Symposium.
  • In the winter or spring, you could get one of your PE credits by taking OratoryX- the “vocal workout” Phys Ed course taught by student coaches.

So that’s a small sample of some of the things going on over at Oratory Now..Who does all the coaching, teaching and event production? We’re a team of about 50 students who train together each semester, and are hired by the college as student employees. We’re all working on our speaking, coaching, and professional communication because we know how valuable these skills are, no matter what we do after Midd. And lately, we’ve been forced to get pretty good at all this online stuff!

Just this summer, Oratory Now hired a couple of interns —that’s us! We ran a series of online workshops for MiddCORE and Middlebury Social Impact Corps, and we coordinated remote oratory coaching in-language for three of the Middlebury Language Schools. We also helped begin planning Oratory Now’s credit-bearing Fall course: Oratory In Action, and got a couple of free sandwiches out of it.

So! Sound like something you might want to do? Come chat with a Coach during Orientation Drop -In hours, Or find us at oratorynow.org.

Thanks for watching. We look forward to speaking with you!

Global Health Minor

Tired but excited, a cohort of students arrived in the Accra, Ghana airport in January to begin their winter term internships.
Tired but excited, a cohort of students arrived in the Accra, Ghana airport in January to begin their winter term internships. The Global Health program consists of an interdisciplinary academic minor, events, and experiential learning opportunities. Global Health faculty members are Professors of the Practice who bring their real-world experience into the classroom and into the Innovation Hub for mentoring and advising.

Innovation Hub
132 Blinn Lane
Middlebury, VT 05753