The following projects received support from a variety of grants administered by the Office of the Provost.

Green tea plantation - Tenryumura, Japan
This mountain slope is a green tea plantation located in the village of Tenryumura, Japan.

New in 2023-2024

(Critical Issues Forum + Bread Loaf Teacher Network)3 for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

This project aims to promote disarmament and nonproliferation education among high school students in the United States and Japan. By enhancing collaboration between the Critical Issues Forum (CIF), one of the flagship educational projects at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), and the Bread Loaf Teacher Network at Middlebury College, we expect to reach out to more diverse groups of high school students, including the ones in underserved communities. Issues related to nuclear weapons are rarely taught at the high school level despite collectively being one of the existential threats to humanity. By using the full extent of the Middlebury College education network, the project will strengthen the bonds that tie the CIF, Middlebury College, and the Bread Loaf Teacher Network. Through this network, the project can advance the mission of global citizenship across the Middlebury community. It will empower high school students to start and tread their own paths in the field of international peace and security, with a view to tackling the most pressing issues facing their generation.

Discovering Economics

Discovering Economics will establish a long-term Fellowship Program to provide mentoring and meaningful research assistant (RA) work opportunities for underrepresented minorities (URM), as well as first- generation and LGBTQIA+ students. Each student will be paired up with a faculty mentor. This program aims to focus on research, teaching, and other professional experiences and provide mentorship with regard to (economics) coursework, internships, etc.

Diversifying National Security Expertise

This project proposes an initiative aimed at diversifying the national security sector by including traditionally excluded voices, with a particular focus on women and students from the Global South. The project involves funding two research assistant positions to study the normalization of domestic extremism, bridging academic research and policy relevance, and fostering collaboration across campuses in California and Vermont. Beyond building research skills, it aims to empower these students with public engagement and media training, enhancing both their own personal abilities to showcase their expertise and ultimately enriching the national security field with diverse perspectives and contributing to a more inclusive environment.

Environmental Storytelling Speaker Series

This project seeks to improve and formalize the offerings for environmental storytelling at Middlebury, with a focus on real-world skill-building and employability/utility. The series will invite three speakers who each bring a high-profile presence and skill to share with the writing and environmental communities. Speakers would offer a talk and then also visit classes.

Feminism, Fascism & the Future

This project will produce a multi-country, multi-collaborator podcast called Feminism, Fascism & the Future. This podcast will educate the public on the global antigender ideology movement and how it threatens women’s and LGBTQ rights. It will give people examples of how people around the world are fighting against it and why we cannot give up hope. Additionally, the podcast will bring more students into the project in order to empower them in how to tell important stories through podcasting.

Middlebury and Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato/Waikato University Exchange

The exchange supports a small delegation of School of Abenaki faculty and staff and undergraduate HT23 participants in making an exchange visit to the University of Waikato. The delegation would have opportunity to meet and learn from Māori community leaders - including those involved with language revitalization - at the university and beyond. This project will also further develop Indigenous-to-Indigenous relationship and solidarity.

MIIS Class on “Technology & AI for Literary Translators” at BLTC

The project leaders will present a workshop (aka “craft course”) on “Technology and AI for Literary Translators” at the BLTC (Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference) in Vermont. This is an updated version of a successful workshop on “Technology for Literary Translators” given in 2016. This course will be part of a continued effort to connect MIIS to BLTC with shared knowledge and shared recruitment benefits.

MIISION CRITICAL

This project aims to provide Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) students the opportunity to deepen their strategic thinking, international crisis response, and intercultural cooperation by competing at the world’s premier cyber policy simulation – the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge (“Cyber 9/12” henceforth). This annual competition, hosted by the Atlantic Council, a leading policy think tank in Washington, DC, offers a unique platform for students to delve into pressing global issues related to cyber and AI developments, global security, and digital transformation. The primary objective of our project is to facilitate an immersive experience for MIIS students by bringing a MIIS team (under the name of “MIISSION CRITICAL”) to participate in Cyber 9/12. This initiative aligns with Middlebury’s strategic priority of fostering global connections, given the competition’s exposure to global partnerships, discourses, and connections. Participants have the opportunity to make connections with other teams and with competition judges, who are accomplished experts from cybersecurity policy and practitioner communities, including US government officials.

Scoping Trip for Sustainability and Food Justice Track at the Middlebury School Abroad in Puerto Rico

This project will establish a solid Sustainability and Food Justice Track in the new School Abroad in Puerto Rico. Based on past experience, this requires on-the-ground scoping to clarify how a Sustainability and Food Justice Track will add value to students’ experience in Puerto Rico and to set up potential student internships.

Uncovering East Asian Soft Power: Developing an Interdisciplinary ICC Course with the Monterey Model

The project is to design an interdisciplinary ICC course called “Uncovering East Asian Soft Power” to explore the dynamics of soft power in East Asia, focusing on China, Japan, and South Korea. Leveraging expert instructors from these countries, the course aims to develop students’ intercultural competence and sensitivity, enhancing their understanding of East Asian influence through a blend of disciplines like international policy, nonproliferation, and applied linguistics. This course will prepare students for professional careers in East Asia or related international fields, fostering critical analysis, cultural humility, and effective communication across diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Women in Nuclear Security - Podcast

In the last two decades, there has been a paradigm shift in attitude towards women’s participation in the nuclear field. However, despite these improvements, women are still underrepresented and often unseen in the nuclear security policy-making domain. Therefore, initiating a Podcast on Women in Nuclear Security is critical to acknowledge the contributions women have made in this field throughout history. It is also vital for female early career professionals and scholars from around the world to have female role models in this field. In the past few years, several initiatives have been started at different international and regional forums for women’s inclusion in the nuclear security field and this project to start a Podcast is a step towards achieving this global goal.This Podcast will serve as a pilot project in the year 2024 to gather experiences, challenges, and achievements of women in nuclear security from around the world.

Continuing Projects

photo of Middlebury students in Monterey
Middlebury Social Impact Corps students work with several local community organizations near Monterey.
 

BIPOC Faculty Community Initiative

Housed in the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE), this project will support a peer mentorship program for faculty from under-represented backgrounds

BIPOC Voices at MIIS

BIPOC Voices at MIIS brings BIPOC scholars, professionals, and experts to the Monterey campus to deliver virtual or hybrid guest lectures on topics of interest to the MIIS community, with the goal of exposing students to non-western schools of thought that are often underrepresented in higher education. We also intend to record and archive these lectures with the help of the Institute library, with the intent of developing a collection of resources to support teaching and research on these topics that can be freely used by the wider Middlebury network of schools.

California Coast and Climate Semester

The Middlebury California Coast and Climate Semester offers an immersive place-based experience in Monterey California, with both classroom and hands-on work, to undergraduate students interested in the study of the environment.  Students begin with a course in J-term followed by additional courses, as well as a research experience or internship throughout the spring. This initiative is a collaboration of the Environmental Studies program at the College and the International Environmental Policy program at the Institute building on Middlebury’s global network and faculty expertise.  The program launched in January 2022.  

CoLab:  Where Critical Service Learning Meets Action Research

The Institute and California State University Monterey Bay are forming a partnership with the goal to make a tangible difference in structural problems that confront the communities of our region.   This grant will help formalize CoLab which was created in 2016.  This new work will connect a variety of resources from the two institutions to provide community-engaged research training, supported by faculty fellows, community fellows, and a graduate assistant.

Development of Learning Pathways

A continuing trend in higher education is the opportunity to provide “on ramps” and “off ramps” to content that enable lifelong engagement with an institution and its subject matter expertise. The goal of this project is to run a pilot implementation of learning pathways that enable non-degree seekers to engage with the Institute’s professionally-focused content without committing to a master’s degree.

Digital Teaching and Learning Fellowship Program

As we look to a post-pandemic future, intentionally designed digital learning, including hybrid and online modalities, can support key institutional goals: curricular flexibility, inclusive and equitable teaching and learning, and offering access to new audiences of students, each identified as key institutional goals. To build institutional capacity toward these goals, the Digital Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellowship program will provide Institute faculty an opportunity to build on new skills and knowledge they developed over the last two years, with the support of digital learning experts at Digital Learning & Inquiry (DLINQ).

Embracing Tradition, Memories, and Reconciliation for Intercultural and Cross-Generational Empowerment and Transformation

This iterative project will include the translation, analysis, and archiving of the historical records of Tenryumura, a mountain village in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.  It will rely on the expertise of Translation and Interpretation (TI) and Translation Localization Management (TLM) students at the Institute.  Goals include establishing clear guidelines that support consistency in the translation work and developing a systematic framework through which the ongoing and future contributions of collaborators from varied disciplines can be integrated into a coherent whole.  It is a partnership between the School in Japan, the TI and TLM program and the Institute, the Japanese Studies Department at the College, and the Center for Community Engagement.  More information about this effort was shared in the spring of 2022 at a Faculty at Home webinar.

Energy 2028 Behavioral Science Research Lab

The goal of the Energy 2028 Behavioral Science Research Lab is to sustain and expand Energy 2028 research projects, supported in partnership with non-academic offices, to create an innovative research hub to support other like-minded faculty across the institution in connecting, sharing, and collaborating with each other and students on climate and environmental projects.

History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

Several faculty in the History Department are working to establish a new track within the history department’s curriculum to allow students, be they science-minded or humanities based, to focus on the history of science, medicine and technology (HSMT). Across the country, HSMT is currently among the most popular and appealing fields of academic study among both humanities and STEM students. Our project will research best practices within this discipline; invite leading scholars to Middlebury; and develop a collection of new courses to launch this track.

Language Studies and Intercultural Competence for multiple Middlebury MA programs (Online course development)

This effort identifies the most likely first moves for collaboration and/or consolidation of language studies and intercultural competence (ICC) coursework across multiple Middlebury MA programs.

Mapping the Global

Mapping the Global is an atlas with a printed text and website, a hybrid project capturing the technological accordances constitutive of the contemporary idiom of the global. It is designed to build on the College’s commitment to the global by tapping into the resources and opportunities Middlebury’s varied institutions across the world and to create long-term opportunities for student research experiences. The primary audience for this print-digital project is international and global studies students.

Midd.data

Midd.data seeks to provide equitable and inclusive access to powerful tools for data analysis from the moment students arrive on campus. They work to see that students are prepared to critically evaluate data-based arguments from a variety of perspectives, discover insights from data both independently and in collaboration with others, and effectively communicate their findings.  Following a successful pilot course, Data Science Across Disciplines taught in January 2021, leaders of midd.data plan to work with colleagues to develop connector courses for students to take that will further develop skills in this area.

The Middlebury Science Café: A Collaboration between Midd.Data, The Center for Community Engagement, and Royal Oak

This program aims to bring back to Vermont a model for informal STEM education for lifelong learning, namely the Middlebury Science Café. The intended audience for this program is adults and teens who are interested in STEM topics to learn and share their enthusiasm for STEM with a community.

Rooted and Reindigenized: Scripting Stories of Place and Belonging

How do we come to understand stories of place, and what makes them come alive? This project seeks to create physical signage at the Knoll and craft a temporary home for the School of Abenaki’s summer programming while exploring the process and form.

Parallel Practice Logging:  An Innovative & Interactive Pedagogical Activity in Interpretation Training

Parallel Practice Logging (PPL) is designed to address one of the most important yet the least studied areas in interpreting education, i.e. how to make sure that students’ after-class practice are conducive to their learning outcomes. Students are expected to keep logs for both interpretation practice as well as another skill-based activity through a link provided by the Professor. The hypothesis is that regular logging, self-reflections, and tailored feedback will not only motivate but also inspire students, thus contributing to their learning outcomes.

Passport Grant Program

Students who receive financial aid study abroad at lower rates than their peers. In order to increase access to and participation in study abroad, this program, administered by the International Programs Office, removes one of the barriers to this experience by funding a passport and providing guidance on the process to a cohort of high-need students.

Project Based Learning - Time to Scale Up

Organizers plan to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Project Based Learning (PBL) model, particularly in the First Year Seminars.  They plan to build on earlier work to increase the capacity for promoting, supporting, and growing PBL pedagogy as an adopted pedagogy and an anti-racist pedagogy.  

Completed Projects

Beyond the Page

For decades, a diverse cohort of professional actors (the Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble) have served as part of the Bread Loaf School of English (BLSE) teaching force, collaborating with faculty to bring theater arts practices into Bread Loaf classes and catalyze critical thinking. Our theater arts pedagogy cultivates an exceptionally high level of student engagement as well as of intellectual risk-taking, acuity, and trust. It gives students an opportunity to experience what they’re reading, writing, or researching in an embodied, affective, and affecting form – to see, hear, and feel the force of text and thought and to be fully immersed in the moment of inquiry. It enables students to develop ideas and entertain diverse perspectives as part of a learning community. Beyond the Page expands the reach and impact of this work – from the graduate to the undergraduate classroom and from the discipline of English to diverse fields across the arts and sciences. BLSE will partner with Middlebury faculty and students to develop a sustainable model of theater arts practices that has the potential to grow across the institution and revolutionize what teaching across the liberal arts can be and do.

Bread Loaf School of English 100+

The goal of this project is to develop a 3.5-week immersive residential session at Bread Loaf School of English (BLSE) to run concurrently with the traditional 6-week summer program offering to increase BLSE’s flexibility, accessibility, and inclusiveness.  Themes around timely issues will be developed and the programs will be held at alternate sites, potentially an HBCU. 

DC Career Exploration and Mentoring Pilot: A Middlebury Cross-Institutional Collaboration

A collaboration between CCI, CACS; Rohatyn Global Scholars and Fellows Program, and Middlebury in DC, this pilot program featured a joint career exploration trek to Washington DC during Spring Break 2023. Daily site visits to multiple employers of thematic interest to both groups and evening reflection dinners with select alumni were enhanced with the pairing of 10 MIIS students in a mentoring role with 10 Rohatyn Global Scholars and Fellows.

Diverting Hate, A Student-Led Counter-Terrorism Initiative

Diverting Hate uses strategic targeting fueled by network analysis and a database of known misogynistic terms and profiles, to divert susceptible men away from dangerous paths and towards resilience-building tactics. These tactics live on a website that the organizers have carefully curated to incorporate community groups and mental health organizations that are focused on men’s well-being.

The Dogteam

This project created The Dogteam, a theatre company that will build on the tradition of excellence established by PTP/NYC, while incorporating innovations to propel the company into the future.

English Communications for Cyber Security, Counter Terrorism and Financial Crimes

This project is to design and develop a three-module curriculum intended for non-native speakers of English working in law enforcement at the municipal, national, and international levels where cross-border communication in English is necessary. The project would be a cross-Middlebury collaboration headed by Custom Language Services with support from the Cyber CollaborativeDLINQ, Institute and College faculty and their networks in the field.

Exhibit Sharing:  Middlebury College Museum of Art and MIIS

This project will arrange for the exhibit, “Being There: The Photographs of James P. Blair,” to be placed on permanent view at the Institute.  The collection, on exhibit at the College in 2019, contains a wide range of images from around the world taken by Blair during his 35-year career working for the National Geographic Society.  In addition, a collection of pre-Columbian pottery and related materials, gifted to the Institute, will be shipped to the College to be on display in the Davis Family Library.

Immigration Advocacy Cohort Internship Program

This student-led project is supported by the Center for Community Engagement and Center for Careers and Internships to create a cohort of Middlebury students to work with different immigrant advocacy organizations.  Goals of the project are to introduce Middlebury students to legal work, specifically immigration related legal work, as well as maintain connections between the college and the partner organizations. This experiential learning will be paired with academic coursework in partnership with the International and Global studies department.

Inclusive Hiring Fellowship Program

The Inclusive Hiring Fellowship Program is a pilot model to build an onramp for women transitioning back to the community after incarceration and will provide the critical pillars of support - stable employment, reliable housing, and robust wraparound support services. Program participants will be employed at Middlebury in entry level operations positions and have an opportunity to gain skills and build personal agency. Women will also have VT Works for Women staff support, intentional programming as a cohort and housing in Middlebury.

International Education Management:  Changing TIDES (Technology, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Sustainability)

Funding will allow leaders of the International Education Management (IEM) program to do a diversity, equity, and inclusion audit and explore technology-mediated learning.  They will also be working with DLINQ to plan, design, and launch a low-residency master’s degree.

Italian Language, Culture, and Wine in Tuscany

For Tuscany, wine is culture, family, and land, a fundamental part of the history of the entire region. In this 12-day program participants explore Italian language, wine, and culture and gain insider perspectives from local wine experts and network with industry professionals and wine enthusiasts.  The program includes Italian language and culture classes in Florence, cultural excursions in Florence and Val d’Orcia, wine tastings, and Italian cooking classes, and accommodations at a villa near Siena. 

Mental Health and Well-being for BIPOC students

This initiative, a partnership between Counseling and Health & Wellness Education, focuses on the mental health of students of color by addressing the impacts of racism on students of color through supportive, affinity-based psychoeducational spaces, primarily through workshops provided by practitioners of color for students of color. 

Middlebury Escape Room

The Middlebury Escape Room will offer an environment that combines community building, fun, and the opportunity to learn about Middlebury’s unique culture. Designed with Middlebury community members as the target audience, the Middlebury Escape Room will be grounded in Middlebury’s value of inclusivity and focus on conveying information about the Energy 2028 Initiative and the Twilight Project as well as aspects of the natural environment of Middlebury.

Middlebury Formula Hybrid Team

The Middlebury Formula Hybrid team received funds to build a hybrid race car to compete in the Formula Hybrid & Electric Student Racing Competition in May 2022.

New Directions in Post-Pandemic Performance

New Directions in Post-Pandemic Performance” is a Multidisciplinary Arts Festival created by junior faculty from all campus arts departments to present performances of new work, introduce cutting edge methods in art-making using new technologies, and supporting an all-campus collaborative creation with students from all majors.

Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Partnership 

This pilot program will feature a robust “study away” cohort of Middlebury undergraduates at the Middlebury Institute each semester beginning in Fall 2019 to study in the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program.  Middlebury undergrads joined students from other colleges for summer program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies - in person in 2019 and remotely in 2020.

Online Excel Learning Modules

The director of the META Lab will supervise graduate students to develop an online learning tool to help students throughout Middlebury gain skills in Excel or access instruction in Excel as-needed and on-demand.  These modules are being designed to correspond with the venue and format of the Online Social Science Research Modules Project (see below).

Online Social Science Research 

Online Social Science Research seeks to create a flexible, open source, online, modular system of research training in social science methods. These modules will be available to students and faculty across Middlebury, to provide an introduction to formulating a research question, identifying appropriate methods to explore that question, and tutorials focused on specific research methods, such as surveys, interviews, ethnographic studies and fieldwork, archival work, media analysis, and experiments.

Online TESOL

The goal of this project is to broaden access to an Institute education by designing a fully online Master’s program, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  Project leads will be working with DLINQ to develop this online program which will be part-time and therefore appealing to practicing teachers. 

Online Translation and Localization Management (TLM) 

The Middlebury Institute’s TLM program collaborated with DLINQ to develop Middlebury’s first fully online program, advanced-entry, MA in Translation and Localization Management to appeal to working professionals. The program will launched in fall 2020.

Public Humanities Lab Initiative

The Axinn Center’s Public Humanities Lab Initiative is designed to help students and faculty integrate Humanistic learning in creative ways into public facing and/or community curated projects that address social and cultural issues of urgent importance.  The “Laboratory” element of these classes is envisaged to reshape possibilities for Humanities classes on campus by promoting hands-on engagement with varied experts and organizations, both within our Vermont context and beyond.

Social Impact Learning Corps

The Middlebury Social Impact Corps (MSIC) program provides opportunity to leverage our academic strengths across Middlebury programs by connecting MIIS graduate students to Middlebury undergraduate students for an unparalleled peer learning opportunity. MSIC is a collaboration between Middlebury College, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), and community partners, providing an 8-week world-class, cohort-based experience focused on effecting social change throughout the world. MSIC participants build the experience, knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to be purposeful global citizens and to seek innovative solutions to the world’s complex social and environmental problems.

Sustainability Education for Study Abroad

This project aims to conduct a sustainability assessment of Middlebury’s study abroad operations and to create a sustainability plan for the future. This project includes all study abroad students, including those studying at the Middlebury Schools Abroad and those studying abroad at externally sponsored programs.

Sustainability Impact Lab

The Sustainability Impact Lab (SIL) aims to elevate graduates from the Institute to impact sustainability challenges at the nexus of academic excellence, policy analysis and practical implementation.  Students are awarded fellowships to undertake projects in support of the Institute’s sustainability goals in relation to Energy 2028, DEI and anti-racist programming, community engagement, and cross-program collaboration.

Vermont Innovation Summer Cohort Internship Program

As part of the “Vermont Innovation Summer,” the Center for Careers and Internships (CCI) began a summer internship program that focuses on the Vermont start-up ecosystem, with a living-learning-working immersion experience.  In addition to the experiential component, this program fosters internship and career opportunities for the Middlebury College student and new graduate, thereby encouraging and facilitating Middlebury talent to remain in Vermont during summers, after graduation, and beyond.

Office of the Provost
9 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury, VT 05753