Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

New Video Series Features Faculty Stories

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Faculty Stories Graphic with Professor Beryl Levinger

Eight new videos, including one featuring Professor Beryl Levinger of the International Policy and Development and Public Administration (MPA) programs, highlight the commitment of Institute faculty to practice what they teach and shed light on their backgrounds and passion for teaching.

March 7, 2016

The Middlebury Institute has released a new series of videos capturing some of the compelling personal stories of its faculty. Taken together, they portray a remarkable breadth of life experience, from Anna Vassilieva's tale of teaching impoverished, yet dedicated, students in the Soviet Union to Jeff Langholz’s heart-rending story of a West African toddler dying in his arms from starvation. As many of the faculty members note, their past experiences—whether sad, joyful, or profound—inform how they teach today’s students.

Professor Beryl Levinger is chair of the International Policy and Development and Public Administration(MPA) programs. Levinger shares the inspiration that led to her founding of the Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship program for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

Assistant Professor Edgard Coly teaches courses in his native French. As a young college student in Senegal, Coly and his friends started a free summer school for underserved students to prepare them for college entrance exams.

Professor Kathi Bailey has shown exceptional dedication to her students in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Teaching Foreign Language (TFL) degree programs from 1981. She shares the deep emotional rewards of the promise fulfilled by graduates.

As a young Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, Professor Jeffrey Langholz had an experience that has had profound influence on his life and his career. “I’ve been on a quest for sustainability ever since.” It is a passion he shares with many of his students in the International Environmental Policy program.

Professor Laura Burian shares her experience working on a wide-variety of projects ranging from high-level governmental events to Hollywood movie productions with her students in the Translation and Interpretation and Conference Interpretation degree programs.

Professor Anna Vassilieva is the director of the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies. She is still inspired by her first students at a school in a small town outside Leningrad in the communist Soviet Union, who despite often horrible living conditions, came to school prepared and eager to learn every morning.

Assistant Professor Philipp Bleek teaches in the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies degree program. He shares with students some of the unexpected lessons he has learned while working in the federal government and serving on a White House delegation on Syrian chemical weapons.

Dean Kent Glenzer of the Graduate School of International Policy and Management shares a story of an important mentorship from the beginning of his 30-year career as a development professional in Africa. He says it is his job to replicate the spirit of that mentorship and “make every student who comes into the classroom a better development professional than I ever was.”

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