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Open Meeting 1 Agenda

The first open meeting of the 2016-17 school year will occur on October 4, 2016, 12pm-1:50pm, in Morse A101.

The following topics will be addressed:

12:00 pm

12:03 pm

12:05 pm

12:15 pm

12:25 pm

12:35 pm

12:45 pm

1:05 pm

1:45 pm



Appointment of 2nd Yr GSTILE Member at Large

Mario Romero: MForce and Amnesty International Funding Request

Ziming Yuan: GSTILE Fall Forum

Elea Becker Lowe: Bike racks on campus

Stephen Doolittle: Class gift

Cabinet Reports

  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Social Chair
  • Communications
  • Secretary
  • President

General Business

Closing Remarks


In order to better serve MIIS students, StuCo decided last year to revamp its constitution, as well as its structure. You can read the updated constitution here, but in case you have more interesting ways to spend your weekends, here are the important things you need to know.

The main change is the consolidation of the Program Representative positions into two positions per school. We now have GSIPM first-year and second-year Members at Large and GSTILE first-year and second year Members at Large. Elections for both positions will take place in September.

For you, this means the following:

  • Instead of reaching out to your respective Program Representative(s), you will instead reach out to your respective school Member at Large.
  • StuCo will now host a townhall for each program once per semester, which gives you the chance to voice your concerns
  • StuCo will also now be hosting one ‘open meeting’ per month, which invites any students interested to attend (if there’s something specific they would like to discuss an agenda request form will be shared in Fall)
  • Program Event funding requests can now come from any student interested in hosting an event (under the auspices of a club  Student Council or department) that will benefit all the students in their program

Student Council looks forwards to a great year serving you!

MIIS Students Visit Bhutan

*The following blog post was taken from MIIS Newsroom Stories:


Middlebury Institute students had the opportunity to travel to Bhutan over spring break to engage with community leaders and local citizens experience first hand the Himalayan nation’s commitment to a political philosophy based on “Gross National Happiness.” “It was amazing, amazing, amazing,” says an enthusiastic Christine Lukeman MBA ’17, who was one of 10 students who took on the close to 50-hour journey each way from Monterey. The students spent nine days in country.

Bhutan is a small country of around 700,000 people sandwiched between two large powers, India and China. Through strict restrictions for travelers and volunteers (who must have a graduate degree), they have kept their culture relatively untouched by globalization and modernity. “It is in many ways like going back to medieval times,” says Lukeman, “but very happy medieval times.” Since 1971, Bhutan has rejected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the only way to measure progress and instead measures prosperity through formal principles of “Gross National Happiness” or GNH. The GNH measures the spiritual, physical, social and environmental health of the country’s citizens and the natural environment.

The trip was organized by Professor Jan Black and Carolyn Taylor Meyer, director of profesional immersive and special programs in the Graduate School of International Policy and Management, in partnership with the Royal Thimpu College of Bhutan. Students stayed in dorms at the college for the first part of the trip and were treated to lectures organized specifically for them by local community leaders.

“The lectures were absolutely phenomenal,” says Lukeman, who before coming to the Institute had traveled extensively, visiting over 60 countries. “It is the only place in the world I have been to where there does not seem to be any tourism industry, and the whole concept of selling anything to tourists seems to be foreign to them.” The group had the opportunity to participate in the Paro Tsechu Festival, with dances performed by monks and laypeople dressed in colorful costumes. For the festival, the students all dressed in traditional clothing that they bought for the occasion.

Students Visit Bhutan Tigers NestDuring the second part of the trip, the students traveled with Black and Meyer for eight hours in a bus to reach the Phobjikha Valley, known for the black-necked cranes that winter there. They split into smaller groups and stayed at the homes of local farmers while hiking in the area. “We had the opportunity to interact with the families and have a wonderfully authentic experience,” says Lukeman. On their last day, they hiked up to the Tiger’s Nest, the famous monastery perched on a cliff at high elevation.

The Institute students who traveled to Bhutan this spring are working on individual research projects tailored to fit their degree program. “I would say that most of us changed our topics once we were there, because there was just so much we could not have foreseen,” says Lukeman, who is researching the role Buddhism plays in public policy—a fascinating topic born of a fascinating experience.

A Conversation with Maria Laura Abal

Q: A historic policy change by the United States government had a direct impact on your work. What are you doing in connection with the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba?

A: Our office has translated fact sheets, website content, diplomatic notes and letters, and speeches by Secretary of State Kerry. We are translating official documents, and many of our translation requesters are in direct contact with their counterparts in Cuba.

Q: Are the conversations you are facilitating more about the basic details of diplomacy (embassies and ambassadors) or about broader policy issues (trade, immigration), or both?

A: The conversations we are facilitating are about basic details of diplomacy, such as the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, the reopening of embassies, and related issues. But the speeches and fact sheets we have translated, many of them available online, touch on a wide range of bilateral issues.

Q: Is this assignment for translation only or are you doing interpreting as well?

A: Our division provides translation services, but we work closely with the interpreters in the interpreting division of our office. We engage in consultations, collaborate, and share information. Thus we ensure consistency and learn from each other, making our jobs more effective and enjoyable.

Q: How have your previous professional experiences prepared you for this assignment?

A: Everything I have ever learned in different professional settings comes into play every time i am faced with an assignment. I lived in Miami for 12 years. Working in the field of translation and interpretation there afforded me a great opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Cuba. On a related note, I was part of a municipal government’s international affairs team in its mayor’s office. In that capacity, I was exposed to a local government’s diplomatic perspective. A big priority was people-to-people exchange initiatives based on sister cities agreements. Being in direct contact with the people benefiting from those efforts all over the world has shaped me in many ways. In general, my past work experiences have made me aware of the cultural differences we must consider in our line of work. In addition, having a legal-translation degree from my native country of Argentina and legal-translation experience has proven to be a plus in terms of accuracy and subject-matter knowledge.

Q: How has MIIS prepared you for this assignment?

A: MIIS gave me exposure to the field of translation in international affairs. At MIIS, I also learned translation-specific and language-specific techniques I put into practice every day. But most importantly, and having a major impact in my life beyond this assignment, MIIS gave me life-long friends and colleagues who are always there for me: Claudia Tebay MACI ’10, Alfonso Ferrer Amich MATI ’10, Carmen Villalba Ruiz MATI ’10, and Anna Martorell Fusté MACI ’10. MIIS made me part of its community, and I will always be thankful for having that support in my life.

Q: When you were a student, what was your dream job?

A: My current job was my dream job. I feel blessed.

Q: Aside from its historic nature, what are some other challenges of this assignment?

A: Translating diplomatic notes involves following certain time-tested practices, so that helps ensure accuracy and effective-ness. Translating speeches is completely different in that you need to engage the creative side of your brain. In an assignment of this kind, you particularly benefit from brainstorming with colleagues and finding inspiration in the culture of your target audience.


Taken from MIIS Communiqué Winter 2016

MIIS Communiqué Highlight: Numbers

Communique MIIS





Each January, students from the Institute travel abroad for immersive learning courses in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. We take a look at where they went; what they do; why they go; and how their work is measured.

3 Percentage of indigenous population in Chile who receive any education beyond high school

5 Immersive learning courses offered by the Institute in other countries during the 2015 Winter Term

50 Cups of Nepali milk tea consumed daily by MIIS students in Nepal

64 Number of students who participated in courses conducted in Spain, Rwanda, Peru, Chile, and Nepal

7,200 Elevation, in feet, of the Hotel at the End of the Universe, where students in Nepal stayed

12,000 Volunteer hours that the Institute’s partner in Chile, Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development, facilitated in one year

1,000,000 Rwandans served by Partners in Health, the host of Institute students in Rwanda, in partnership with the government

Taken from MIIS Communiqué Winter 2016 Newsletter