SIT to cut 30 staff positions in Brattleboro

first_imgWorld Learning/SIT,Declining enrollments will shift full-time graduate programs from flagship campus to foreign sitesby Randolph T Holhut/The Commons(link is external) The School for International Training in Brattleboro is about to undergo a major transition. SIT still will have its headquarters in Brattleboro, but according to its president, Dr Sophia Howlett, its educational programs will expand to the more than 30 countries where SIT has learning sites. Last week, SIT issued a news release saying it would no longer offer full-time graduate programs in Brattleboro. The emphasis will be shifted to developing a new, full-time, global master’s degree program that will instead use SIT’s overseas program centers.In a January 8 interview with The Commons, Howlett said that as result of this change, up to 30 positions on the Brattleboro campus would be eliminated by the end of fiscal year 2019.Dr Sophia Howlett, president of the School for International Training in Brattleboro. Randolph T Holhut/The Commons“This is not a case of SIT moving away from Vermont, or that we’re in trouble and shutting down,” she said. “We’re doing this precisely because we want to avoid being in trouble. We are not in decent shape [financially] and by doing this, we will be in decent shape by the end of fiscal 2019.”A new approachWhile Brattleboro will still be the headquarters for the SIT Graduate Institute, the Experiment in International Living, and the administrative and philanthropic staff of SIT’s parent, World Learning, Howlett said there will be fewer positions needed in Brattleboro and more needed at SIT’s international sites.SIT and World Learning employ about 160 people in Brattleboro, and Howlett said the SIT staff reductions will be made gradually over the next six months.The ultimate number of positions that will be cut are independent of how many people take early retirement or seek work elsewhere, Howlett said.Howlett said the financial issues afflicting SIT aren’t new, and aren’t a secret. They have been present for years, and people associated with the institution have been aware of them. But one trend in particular, she said, has been unmistakable.“We’ve been seeing declining enrollment for our graduate programs [in Brattleboro],” she said. “However, we have seen record-breaking enrollment for our study-abroad programs. We now have more than 2,500 students in our study abroad programs every year.”The trouble, she said is that the money SIT is making on the study-abroad programs is being swallowed up by the deficits in the on-campus graduate programs.Howlett, who took over as SIT’s president in January 2017, said the determination that something needed to be done became clear last month, when she learned that SIT wasn’t going to make its enrollment target for January. The target was about 40 new students, but by early December, only 10 had signed up.“The idea of this new model is to change it around, get us to the point where we’re not in deficit in 2019, and then we can say, ‘let’s take a breath and start building again,’” Howlett said.Pending accreditation, SIT hopes to launch a one-year Master’s degree program in Climate Change and Global Sustainability in the fall.Two semesters will be taught in Iceland and Tanzania, countries known for their innovative approaches to dealing with global warming and climate change. In the third semester, students will conduct their own practicums at any location in the world to apply what they’ve learned.Looking outwardThere has been a decline in international enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities, Howlett said — particularly in the programs that SIT offers. But the sharp increase in U.S. students wanting to study abroad gives her hope.The Experiment in International Living was started in Putney in 1932 by Donald Watt “to burst bubbles” Howlett said, and to expose U.S. students to other cultures. That tradition continues at SIT.“It’s important to get U.S. students out of the country and get them thinking more globally and approaching the things that affect us on a global level,” she said.Two programs will continue on the SIT campus. One is a low-residency program for international education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and the other is CONTACT, a summer peace-building program that brings together children from nations in conflict.Howlett said she has been talking with her peers, such as Marlboro College president Kevin Quigley and Landmark College president Peter Eden, “not to compare notes, but to make sure they know what’s going on.”“On one hand, there’s a lot of pain,” she said, “but there’s also a determination from faculty that what they created and invested in continues and hopefully improves for the better. It’s like a grieving process. You get anger, you get tears, you get people asking ‘why?’ Part of my role is to guide people through it.”That is why she has also been meeting with local alumni in the Brattleboro area to outline the changes. She said she wants to be as transparent as possible and to ensure that they understand “why it is necessary to make the changes.”“There’s so much about the old model that is loved — all the amazing faculty that devoted their lives to SIT and all the amazing alumni,” Howlett said. “Everyone has been working like crazy trying to get this right. It’s a tightrope, but if everything goes as planned, ultimately this will be positive.”Originally published in The Commons issue #441 (Wednesday, January 10, 2018). This story appeared on page A1. commonsnews.org(link is external).last_img read more

Obituary: Laverne J. Harbert June 17, 1925 – April 27, 2020

first_imgLAVERNE J. HARBERT June 17, 1925 – April 27, 2020Laverne J. Harbert, beloved mother, grandma or G-ma, and great-grandma, passed away peacefully at her home with her daughter by her side on April 27, 2020. I’m sure Dad welcomed her home. Laverne was born on June 17, 1925. She was preceded in death by her parents Irma and Rocky Capps and George Wittich. She was also preceded in death by her high-school sweetheart and loving husband of 64 1/2 years, Tom Harbert in November 2009. She is survived by her 3 children: Jim, Bob (Vicky) and Sue Harbert. She also leaves behind 4 grandchildren: Kari (Rob), Steve (Christy), Brad, and Missy (Mike); and 7 great-grandkids: Skyler (Shelbie), Kyle, Kirsten, Dustin, Ryan (Monique), Allyson and Jaxon.The family moved to Los Alamos in 1959 where the kids grew up. Mom was an avid bowler in Los Alamos and Albuquerque. She and Dad also loved to square dance and round dance in St. Louis and in Los Alamos. Mom grew up dancing a lot of Jitterbug but unfortunately married Dad who couldn’t dance the Jitterbug very well.Mom always told a story about a soldier friend “Charlie Dunn” that she would dance with on the Admiral when he was on leave. After Mom and Dad were married, Charlie came to town and the three of them went to a cocktail lounge and Dad fed the juke box so Mom and Charlie could dance. What a special love they had for each other. After Dad retired in 1986, they moved to Albuquerque. Mom was a hoot at family gatherings and if there was music playing, you can bet, her hips were moving. She will always be remembered for her sense of humor, dancing and just being so darn cute.To view information or leave a condolence, please visitwww.danielsfuneral.comlast_img read more

T&T government moving to grant further autonomy to Tobago

first_imgThe Trinidad and Tobago government Friday presented legislation to Parliament seeking to amend the constitution to grant further autonomy to the island of Tobago within the context of the sovereign democratic state of Trinidad and Tobago.Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley told Parliament that the Constitution (Amendment) (Tobago Self Government) Bill, 2018 would be sent to a Joint Select Committee (JSC), adding that he hopes “it will be received and advanced to the satisfaction of all the people of our beloved Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, particularly our brothers and sisters in Tobago.”Legislation developedRowley said that the JSC should report to the Parliament by July 31 this year.  He said the legislation had been developed “after a very long and transparent process of research, extensive public consultations and a genuine desire to advance and improve the process of granting further autonomy to the Island of Tobago within the context of the sovereign democratic state of Trinidad and Tobago.”Rowley, who gave a historic overview of the relationship the two islands have shared over a number of years, said that 120 years after the union of Trinidad and Tobago “it is opportune that the basis for advancement of the sovereign democratic state is reformatted.“The amendment of the Republican Constitution which establishes the present foundation is necessary to provide the autonomy which Tobago requires. This will allow Tobago to play a meaningful role in the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals as well as to advance and align Tobago’s development towards the attainment of Vision 2030.”Rowley said that the document had been developed as a “policy document for the enactment of legislation to advance the process of self-government and autonomy for Tobago.”last_img read more

UWF Posts Strong Second Round To Open Play at Lady Moc Classic

first_imgLAKELAND, Fla. – The UWF women’s golf team shot a season-best 303 in the second round of the Lady Moc Classic Monday and sits in 12th place after the first day of action at Grasslands Golf and Country Club.In the second round of the day, the Argoanuts posted four scores of 77 or better to improve 22 strokes from the morning round. UWF’s 36-hole total is 628. Nova Southeastern led after both rounds with a 583 total.Senior Paloma Vaccaro is in 26th place with a 75-77=152. Sophomore Kelie Kan posted her best round of the year and fourth best as an Argo, signing for a 74 after an 81 in the morning. She moved 22 places into 34th position at 155.Freshman Alexandra Ozuna made a big move as well, trimming 10 strokes off her 85 for a 75 to slide into 60th place at 160. Junior Kayla Smith followed her 84 in round one with a 77 for a 161 total. Freshman Paige Cavalier is in 92nd place with a 187.The Argonauts will conclude play on Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. Easstern Time. UWF will start on holes 9-11 in the shutgun start and play with Rollins and Limestone. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Ski: Nkrumah, Ghana’s pride

first_imgHis Winter Games story will forever include the interesting little titbit that before he was 14 years old he had never seen snow.After exiting a plane in London in 2000, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong marveled at a spectacle he had only seen on television or in the movies.A few years after almost frolicking in snow out of amazement – he remembers tasting it that day – the Ghanaian put on skis for the first time.Ten years later, in one of the more astonishing stories of Olympic achievement, he is on the Ghana Winter Olympic team.Actually, Nkrumah-Acheampong is the Ghana Winter Olympic team, the first from his sub-Saharian African nation of 23 million to ever compete in the Winter Games.“There is such pride in being able to be the first to represent my country,” the seemingly ever-smiling Nkrumah Acheampong said. “I hope that my being an Olympian will open doors for others to try. “I can imagine children now dreaming of skiing and winning the gold medal.” Nkrumah-Acheampong, who will compete in the men’s slalom, does not have a shot at winning a medal in Whistler. Then again, the “Snow Leopard” as he has been dubbed by journalists and competitors, figures he has already won.“Qualifying is my medal,” he said.“That was my goal and thus my gold. That’s the true Olympic spirit.Nkrumah-Acheampong takes great pride in Ghana being one of five countries participating in its first Winter Games, along with the Cayman Islands, Colombia, Pakistan and Peru.He has even inspired the Peruvian teenage brother-sister ski duo of Manfred and Ornella Oettl Reyes with his attitude and his attire. Nkrumah-Acheampong didn’t have a place to stay in Whistler before the Games began, but has since received donations to help his cause. He skis in a leopard-print ski uniform, and has formed a company (Leopard Sports Limited) that sells Ghana ski gear.Source: APlast_img read more