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Life Stories

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CCSRE Life Stories: Marion Wells

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Marion Wells speaks about the assumptions people make because of her British accent, the difficulties of preparing to apply to Oxford as a teenager, the diversity and geographic distances experienced within her own family, her practice of Zen Buddhism and how this personal history helps her to keep her mind open to others.

 

People

Marion Wells

Associate Professor of English and American Literatures

Susan Burch

Associate Professor of American Studies

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: Jacqueline Davies

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Jackie Davies shares her journey from a one room school house in Vermont to California and back to Vermont; her experience as an outsider due to moving to California, poverty, and limited opportunities for enriching experiences. Now her work has come full circle as Student Services Director, which is much more than financial aid forms – she has an intuitive way of working with individual students and families that is personal and direct.

 

People

Jackie Davies, Student Services Director

Dana Yeaton, Interviewer

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: JJ Boggs

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity.  In her interview, JJ Boggs says that she grew up with teachers as parents but traditional education was not a good career fit for her. She feels that destiny brought her to Middlebury and that she loves working with students because they have vision and energy to pursue their dreams, and when they come up against a policy in the Student Activities Office that limits them, they question and challenge her in a good way.  Middlebury has tremendous resources compared to other schools and the student population has the luxury of this residential liberal arts environment but the tough part is to make sure the programming is not focused on traditional mainstream students alone but also minorities. Orientation has developed to include intentional conversations and she hopes her legacy will be that she helped to create a community for which we can all be proud.

People

JJ Boggs

Associate Dean of Students for Student Activities & Orientation

Susan Burch

Associate Professor of American Studies

 

 

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“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity.  In his interview, Adam Sawamura shares how he has changed as a result of his classes at Middlebury, particularly Education in the U.S.  and that his future plans involve working for social justice; he thinks what’s missing from the diversity conversations here are the voices of the poor because even students of  lower socio-economic status have had consistent access to decent education; he plans to teach when he graduates.

 

People

Adam Sawamura

Madeleine Winterfalcon

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: Jonathan Dow

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College.

Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity.  In his interview, Jonathan Dow, who works in Dining Services, gives the viewer a sense of  the nature of the food service at Middlebury College, where his father worked as well; he believes that everyone has the experience of relying on others for service and that the most important thing is to be positive, whether it is just being friendly or making someone’s job just a little easier.

 

People

Jonathan Dow

Dana Yeaton

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: Elizabeth Morrison

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity.  In her interview, Elizabeth Morrison , who teaches East Asian religion, talks about the connections she hopes to make with the students, whether it is creating an atmosphere of affirmation for students of Asian background or bringing more awareness of religious beliefs and practices to Americans, Africans, or others, and also to invite discussions that can break open some of the tightly held views that people hold  of others’ religions.

 

People

Elizabeth Morrison

Associate Professor of Religion

Danny Loehr

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: Jonathan Miller-Lane

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College .

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In his interview, Jonathan Miller-Lane, an education studies professor and Aikido instructor, compares liberal arts and martial arts and the depth of study that both of these require; he would like people to substitute the word ‘busy’ for ‘mindless’; he thinks Middlebury is at an interesting crossroads with regard to the diversity of its community, not because it is not diverse enough, but that it is time to stop saying that we are not talking about it (race or sexuality) and create more opportunities  and invitations do things with others who are not like ourselves; he wants his students to ask themselves a different question than what do I want to do or achieve, but what am I doing here and what do I want to care for?

 

People

Jonathan Miller-Lane

Associate Professor of Education Studies

Gabby Arca, interviewer

 

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: Mukui Mbindyo

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Mukui Mbindyo describes her experience as a woman of color in Houston, Texas and then after high school, at Middlebury College, where she felt visible as a minority student, but invisible because she did not meet the standards of beauty of the college.  As a result of her discomfort with Middlebury’s culture, she became much more political, putting her energy in to feminist issues and social justice on campus.

People

Mukui Mbindyo

Susan Burch

Associate Professor of American Studies; Head of Life Stories project

 

 

 

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: Chris de la Cruz

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In his interview,  Chris de la Cruz talks about growing up in Dayton, Ohio and his experience at Middlebury, where he has never felt that his ethnicity has been an issue in connecting with others on campus, how he relates to others has to do with a vibe and the search for home, and being with others who can elicit the feeling of home.

 

People

Chris de la Cruz

Paige Keren

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: Luis Rivera

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity.  In his interview, Luis Rivera describes himself as Puerto Rican even though he was born in New York, grew up in the Bronx speaking Spanish at home.  He chose Middlebury as a member of Posse ’10 and when he first arrived he felt like a minority for the first time in his life. He majored in Russian, worked at Language Tables, and for Residential Life; went abroad to Russia for a semester.

 

People

Luis Rivera

Posse ’10; CCSRE; Russian major

Susan Burch

Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: Vedika Khanna

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Vedika Khana describes her experience growing up abroad, including South Korea, Vietnam and Dubai, coming to Middlebury College as a first year international student  but making an effort to reconnect with her American roots, and how she struggles to answer the question ‘where are you from?’ ; she concludes that a sense of place and adapting to where you are is key.

People

Vedika Khanna

Dan Egol

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: Pieter Broucke

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In his interview, Pieter Broucke talks about how he came to the United States from Belgium as a graduate student, his early dislike of Middlebury that changed to a realization of the richness of life here with his family, colleagues and the multitude of events; how as Director for the Arts, he has pushed for broadening the scope teaching the arts from a Western to a global perspective, his international experiences and travels and visits with multilingual, European extended family and friends.

People

Pieter Broucke

Professor of History of Art and Architecture; Associate Curator of Ancient Art

Adam Sawamura, interviewer

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CCSRE Life Stories: Penny Campbell

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview,  Penny Campbell talks about the circuitous route she took to Middlebury, from Bennington College where she became inspired to pursue improvisational dance, to bus driving and protesting in Burlington, living and dancing in Japan, gathering all the dancers in Vermont and finally becoming part of the Dance faculty at Middlebury.  Over the years she has learned Spanish, traveled to Cuba and the Dominican Republic; improvisational dance has its root in Black and African culture – hip hop in particular influences modern dance and that is where her interests lie.

 

People

Penny Campbell

Senior Lecturer in Dance

Antonia Losano

Associate Professor of English and American Literatures

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: Priscilla Bremser

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Priscilla Bremser discusses her choice to work at Middlebury, where she found a supportive environment to balance family and work, the challenges of working in a male dominated profession, and handling violations of the ethics code.

People

Priscilla Bremser

Nathan Beman Professor of Mathematics

Kiya Vega-Hutchens

Interviewer

 

 

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CCSRE Life Stories: Anna Mack

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Anna Mack describes her early years in Bristol, Rhode Island, living with a disabled twin brother, struggling to communicate with him and the difficulties communicating on her trips to Southeast Asia,  integrating all of those experiences in her undergraduate study and leading to her research on disabilities in China, funded by a Mellon Grant.

 

People

Anna Mack

Mellon Grant Recipient; CCSRE

Ian Sutherland

Visiting Associate Professor of Classics; Commons Dean

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CCSRE Life Stories: Larry Yarbrough

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In his interview, Larry Yarbrough talks about growing up in Alabama and the culture shock he experienced when he began teaching at Middlebury College over thirty years ago.  He remarks on the secular nature of life here, the never-ending opportunities to learn about other religions and cultures, his experience of racial and socioeconomic diversity, how religion is an integral part of his life, making him different from most of his colleagues, how traveling to the Middle East and chairing the religion department has broadened his understanding of Islam and Arab culture.

People

Larry Yarbrough

Pardon Tillinghast Professor of Religion

Adam Sawamura

Interviewer

 

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“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity.  In her interview, Barbara Ofosu-Somuah describes her life journey from Ghana, where she lived until she was nine, through her arrival in Middlebury as a member of Posse, and her discomfort with the sometimes circular assumptions from other Middlebury students that if you are black and a Posse scholar, then you are poor, not, if you are a Posse scholar, you are a leader. She also felt that as a black woman, she was an object of interest and at times her body was not her own, and in particular her hair was an object of interest. The ultimate question is, what does it mean to be a student of color at Middlebury?

Barbara Ofosu-Somuah

Middlebury Posse Scholar 2011

Watson fellow, 2013-2014

Will Nash

Professor of American Studies and English and American Literatures, Faculty co-Head, Wonnacott Commons

 

Interview Transcript

 

 

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity.  In her interview, Yonna McShane describes her life growing up in Poultney Vermont, her years as a clinical psychologist and how her career at Middlebury College  gradually  grew into more research and prevention, and how, over the thirty years she has worked her, the student body, and the whole college community has become more diverse, racially and socioeconomically. Also, since the 1990s, there has been more awareness of disability and the College has had to adapt its buildings and programs for a more diverse population. Yonna McShane discusses her work in CTLR and her interactions with the general student body, the changes in the makeup of the student body.

Yonna McShane

Director of Learning Resources/Lecturer in Psychology

Dana Yeaton

Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre

 

 

 

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity.  In her interview, Shirley Collado talks about growing up Dominican in New York city, the influence of her maternal grandmother and how the decision to be part of the Posse program and attend Vanderbilt University changed her life.

 

People

Shirley Collado

Dean of the College

Susan Burch

Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

 

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“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity.  In his interview, Dzavid Mahmuljin tells about his difficult early years in Bosnia, where he spent six months in a prison camp during the civil war, how he was  reunited with his wife and son and worked to come to Vermont, his experience working here at Middlebury College and his definition of home.

 

 Dzavid Mahmuljin

Plumber B, Facilities Department

 

Susan Burch

Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

 

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D. Mahmuljin Transcript

 

 

 

Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Lydia Jun describes growing up in a Korean neighborhood in Los Angeles. She contrasts that experience with the reality at Middlebury College in terms of race and class.

 

Lydia Jun, Christopher DiOrio

 

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CCSRE Life Stories Project: Kaye-Lani Laughna

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity.  In her interview, Kaye-Lani Laughna explains that, although she grew up in Upper Peninsula, Michigan, she experienced international travel and study abroad throughout her life.  These experiences led her to her current job in the Middlebury College’s Office of International Students and Scholar Services.

People

Kaye-Lani Laughna
International Student & Scholar Advisor

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

K. Laughna Transcription

 

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CCSRE Life Stories Project: Armelle Crouzieres-Ingenthron

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Armelle Crouzieres-Ingenthron discusses the freedom she gained from learning new languages, teaching French and English in Switzerland, the importance of being the first in her family to graduate from college, the difference in suburban life between France and Boston, why leaving your own country makes you more aware of your status in society, overcoming the aloofness of peers and forming friendships with international professionals at Middlebury, learning from a student who hated France, and the advantages of raising bi-lingual children.

People

Armelle Crouzieres-Ingenthron
Professor of French

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

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CCSRE Life Stories Project: Susan Watson

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Susan Watson discusses adapting lessons from High School to teaching in college, her strategy of isolation for dealing with being a woman in a predominantly male field, the TA who became her mentor in college, lunch discussions with past generations of female physicists, the importance of brutal honesty in mentoring colleagues, how the size of Middlebury has helped her get to know students, and creating an environment where people are encouraged to succeed.

People

Susan Watson
Professor of Physics

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

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CCSRE Life Stories Project: Erin Fuller

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Erin Fuller discusses attending college close to home, being a personal care assistant to a boy with autism, being a ski instructor for people with disabilities, pursuing her academic interest in disability studies, the differences in dorm life between boarding school and college, and how she plans to integrate these experiences in a medical profession.

People

Erin Fuller
Middlebury Class of 2011

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

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CCSRE Life Stories Project: Roman Graf

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In his interview, Roman Graf talks about his reluctance to teach at a liberal arts college in New England, the politics of Jeans Day, the difficulty of individual expression in a professional environment before tenure, his prejudices of small-town living, the difference between America and Europe in terms of sexism, racism, and homophobia, learning to say “yes”, why working as a diversity administrator created a daily experience of negativity, how a blind student helped him improve teaching, and why we need “theory checks” instead of “reality checks”.

People

Roman Graf
Professor of German and Head of the Brainerd Commons

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

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CCSRE Life Stories Project: Missy Foote

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Missy Foote talks about crafting homemade lacrosse sticks for her team in Chester, VT, the early days of Title IX implementation and women’s athletics, having to share the women’s locker room with opposing teams, how sports are defined by race, the tug between academics and athletics, the difficulty of recruiting, how technology is changing sports, the pleasures of living in Middlebury, and her philosophy of coaching.

People

Missy Foote
Head Womens Lacrosse Coach, Director of Physical Education, and Senior Women Administrator in the Athletics Department

Lydia Jun, Will Nash, and Judy Olinick
Interviewers

Jon Luis Castro
Interview Transcriber

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

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CCSRE Life Stories Project: Arthur Choo

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity  at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In his interview, Arthur Choo talks about the “global community” ideal in higher education, the experience of activism while being an ethnic minority, how an individual’s idea of race affects their perception of self, the effect of political correctness on classroom discussions, the humor of stereotypes, the difference between the ideal of diversity and the reality in the dining halls, combating the feeling of exclusivity in the Korean American Student Association, and the paradox of the success of minority students.

People

Arthur Choo
Sociology Major at Middlebury College

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

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CCSRE Life Stories Project: Claudia Cooper

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In her interview, Claudia Cooper talk about teaching literature with Middlebury College students in Africa, her work in advocacy for community building to overcome AIDS, adopting a foreign-born child, and the feeling of difference at home and abroad.

People

Claudia Cooper
Visiting Assistant Professor of English & American Literature & Education Studies

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

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CCSRE Life Stories Project: Ian McCray

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In his interview, Ian McCray discusses the transfer student experience, the growth of the Middlebury campus, working as a staff member at the College, the admissions process, questioning perceptions of racism in town, and the changes to the student body in terms of socioeconomic and racial diversity.

People

Ian McCray
Assistant Director of Admissions; Interview Subject

Emma Hodge
Interviewer

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

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CCSRE Life Stories Project: Miguel Fernández

Learn more about theComparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In his interview, discusses growing up while living abroad, studying Russian, French, Spanish, and Japanese, differences between rural and urban settings, performing a wedding at Middlebury, diversity, raising a family in Middlebury, and being ‘the other’.

People

Miguel Fernández
Professor of Spanish; Interview Subject

Amy Rebecca Chin
Interviewer

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

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CCSRE Life Stories Project: Ryan Kellett

Learn more about the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College.

“Life Stories of Middlebury College” is a multi-phase initiative intended to gather people’s experiences while at the college, particularly reflections that highlight issues of diversity. In his interview, Ryan Kellett discusses issues of diversity he encountered growing up in San Francisco, his time studying and working in China, being part of a diverse group of students at the PALANA House, reflecting on work at Middlebury, and blogging.

People

Ryan Kellett
Interview Subject

Amy Rebecca Chin
Interviewer

Susan Burch
Associate Professor of American Studies; Director, CCSRE; Head of Life Stories project

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