From the Desk of the Chief Diversity Officer

Congratulations to our 2020 graduates who are stepping into the professional world at one of the most uncertain, unknown, and challenging times of the century. Graduates, you might feel most vulnerable and helpless given the responsibility on your shoulders to ensure we not only resolve this current crisis, but also to ensure that the world does not go back to “normal” as defined by our past. 

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A Letter from the Vice President

By Jeff Dayton Johnson

It is very good news for the Middlebury Institute that this new issue of The Black Mirror has appeared, even amidst the current, and ever more complex, global health crisis we are experiencing. It’s good news, to me, for two reasons. First, because The Black Mirror has, in its short start-up phase, become a lively and open forum for debates central to what we do at MIIS, as well as how we do it.

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Community Spotlight

In this issue, we hear about final Student Council events this semester, Poetry Week, Lavender Graduation, the Racism and Policy Workshop, some activities specific to degree programs, and some noteworthy community responses to the pandemic published elsewhere.

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My Experience as ______ at MIIS

We typically present personal stories and experiences of community members in this section. In this issue, we hear from a variety of students, faculty, and staff about their experience during the pandemic. We feature responses from students Layisha Paerhati, Isabel Zaragosa, and Chetna Aggarwal; professors Wallace Chen, Jeff Knopf, and Scott Pulizzi; and staff members Rachel Christopherson, Patricia Szasz, and Carolyn Taylor Meyer.

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Food for Thought: Selfish v. Selfless

By Jason Buchanan

The coronavirus pandemic has brought on a whole host of new ethical questions. Am I selfish for going outside? Is shopping at a local business that’s open a show of support or is it really putting workers at risk? Should I keep a mask on at all times or not? How do we balance trying to take care of ourselves versus caring for others? How can we strive to act more selflessly, instead of being selfish? 

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