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Thursday, Jun 20, 2024

Staff members’ favorite places in Middlebury

<p>Help Desk staff member Cindy "Pij" Slater said that the Trail Around Middlebury is her favorite spot in town, especially the bench on east side of Chipman Hill and the all-weather boardwalk that goes out to Otter Creek by the Pulp Mill Bridge.&nbsp;</p>

Help Desk staff member Cindy "Pij" Slater said that the Trail Around Middlebury is her favorite spot in town, especially the bench on east side of Chipman Hill and the all-weather boardwalk that goes out to Otter Creek by the Pulp Mill Bridge. 

From the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM) to Haymaker Buns and the Marquis Theater, the town of Middlebury is buzzing with places to go, things to do and people to see. Amidst all of these options, many residents and college staff members have their special favorite locations. 

Nate Burt, a member of Middlebury’s Managed Devices & Software team in ITS, immediately shared that HappyValley Orchard was his favorite location in town. 

“I only had to think about that question for a few moments,” he said. “Our freezer is often filled with applesauce, cider and cider donuts, and dried apples are in the pantry. Sometimes while cycling up past the orchard on my way to work the smell of Stan Pratt’s fresh cider donuts wafts across the road.”  

Burt shared that one of his favorite memories from the orchard is bringing a peck of apples back to share with all of the residents of the second floor center hallway in Battell. 

Another staff member, Cindy “Pij” Slater, has worked for the college since her graduation from Middlebury in the mid 80s. Slater currently works behind the scenes at the Help Desk on documentation and websites. 

“There’s definitely a lot of spots along the TAM,” she said. Specifically, Slater said she  loves both watching the sunrise on the bench on the east side of Chipman Hill and the all-weather boardwalk that goes out to Otter Creek by the Pulp Mill Bridge. 


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“It feels like you’re miles away from everything,”  she said. “I’m giving away all my good secret spots.”

Charlotte Tate, an employee at the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, also named the TAM as her favorite location, specifically the Otter Creek Gorge section between Morgan Horse Farm Road and Belden Falls, for which she is a trail monitor. Tate said she loves to walk that section with her dogs. 

Tate’s interest in the TAM perhaps goes beyond that of the average Middlebury resident — one year she decided to walk the entire TAM once every month. “I think my dog could do it blind after that,” Charlotte said with a laugh. 

Jami Black, associate vice president for Advancement Operations at the Office of Advancement, said her love for her favorite place, the Ilsley Public Library, is tied to her 11-year-old daughter.  

“[We] spent a lot of time in the children’s library as she was growing up,” Black said, adding that they attended all of the book sales together. It became her and her daughter’s special tradition to go across the street to Shafer’s or Otter Creek for a sweet treat after their library visits. 

“It was nice to have something fun to do together,” Black said.  

Jonathan Kemp is Middlebury’s telescope and scientific computing specialist and his wife, Wendy Shook, also works at the college as a science data librarian. Kemp said that he and his wife’s experiences at Middlebury are closely intertwined, and many of his favorite locations are the places they go together. 

Kemp said he especially loves Royal Oak Coffee.

“[It is a] great locally run coffee shop,” he said, mentioning that it can be helpful to get off-campus when meeting people. 

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‘It can be kind of creative to get out of your normal paradigm, to get outside of your comfort zone, your normal digs, your normal work…office,” Kemp said. 

Another staff member, Erika Paine, the college’s constituent records assistant, is apparently known among her department for her food reviews. “I originally thought [this interview] was only on favorite places to eat in Middlebury,” Paine said. She noted that her favorite sit-down restaurant is Mister Ups because it is both adult- and kid-friendly. 

Paine added that Seven South Sandwich Company takes the award for her favorite sandwich place. 

“Don’t sleep on their ranch,” Paine said. 


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