News in Brief



President Patton announced the transition of four administrators from interim roles to permanent positions in an email to the community on Dec. 19. Jeff Cason, Baishakhi Taylor, Steve Snyder and Carlos Velez have continued their duties in an official capacity since Jan. 1. 

Jeff Cason, who is now executive vice president and provost, previously served as a faculty leader, vice president for academic affairs for the Language Schools and interim provost. In his provisional role, Cason collaborated with the Institute and led the Envisioning Middlebury initiative.  

Baishakhi Taylor continues her previous work, now as the vice president for student affairs and dean of students. Taylor previously led the Community Council and helped direct the “How We Live Together” initiative, an assessment of the residential and commons system currently in progress.  

Steve Snyder, dean of Language Schools, received an additional title of vice president for academic affairs for the language schools. In addition to his work with the Language Schools, Snyder will also serve on the School’s Board of Overseers.

Carlos Velez has become dean of international programs.  In this capacity, he oversees the Schools Abroad, the Study Abroad Program and International Student and Scholar Services. Previously a faculty member in the Psychology department, Velez began his administrative career serving in faculty leadership positions.    

– Bochu Ding 


Students in Atwater Commons were notified last Thursday that the Atwater Common Residence Director (CRD), Doug Desrochers, is resigning his role. Desrochers’ last day at Middlebury will be Jan. 21.

Desrochers resumed his role of CRD at Middlebury last Fall with the creation of the position. In his email to Atwater students, Desrochers thanked students for the opportunity to serve as a CRD and all the positive memories he will have of his time in the role.

While acknowledging the immense stress that can be prevalent at Middlebury, Desrochers encouraged students to fight this standard. “No, Middlebury won’t turn into an amusement park overnight, but changing the culture not only starts with you – it is you,” he advised students in his email. “Appreciate the little things that make this community really special.”  

Desrochers was known for greeting students while strolling campus with his dog, Fesik, chatting with residents in the Allen common room and taking the time to build relationships with students on an individual level.

It is not yet known whether the role of Atwater CRD will be filled after Desrochers’s departure next week. However, if someone does fill the position, Desrochers encouraged students to treat the replacement with respect.

 – Cali Kapp 


Students received a campus-wide email last Tuesday from David Kloepfer, Assistant Director of Programming & Events for Student Activities, announcing the expansion of the community mural in the McCullough Student Center. The mural was started last spring when four professional artists collaborated with students to transform the walls near the mailroom and box office.

This year’s workshop is a continuation of the work initiated by Jennifer Herrera Condry, associate director of the Anderson Freeman Resource Center, along with her husband, Will Kasso Condry, one of the artists involved.

The project will continue on Sunday, Jan. 13 with a workshop led by Dr. Meagan Corrado. Corrado is a clinical social worker and mosaic artist.

“Participants will reflect on their past experiences, process current experiences, and identify their future vision,” the email explained. The workshop will culminate with students generating a small piece, either written or visual, representing their experiences and identities. 

The student’s pieces will then be used by Kasso Condry, a community muralist and educator, as well as Isaias Crow, an international muralist, both as inspiration and collaged into design for a 40-foot mural. Students will have opportunities to assist the artists throughout the process.

“The continuation of the McCullough Mural Project is to further deepen student expression on campus and community connection,” Kloepfer explained in the email.

– Cali Kapp