PODCAST: Thinking in Systems with Rachel Ruppel

Center for New Leadership - April 5, 2016 - 3:19pm

In this quick podcast Rachel explains how systems thinking showed up in surprising ways in her capstone – and in her coursework at Marlboro.

Marlboro Staff at the Women in Higher Ed Conference

Center for New Leadership - April 5, 2016 - 3:14pm

Five members of the Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies staff were selected to present at the VT Women in Higher Education conference, a 2-day event in Killington.

The conference attracts staff and faculty from all Vermont colleges, and includes a mix of skill-building, leadership development and networking. In this instance, Marlboro took center stage – with our staff representing more than 25% of the presenters.

UMass Amherst Research Trip: Sunday, 4/3

Library Blog - March 29, 2016 - 9:13am
Yes, that’s the library.

This Sunday, April 3rd, the Library is sponsoring a trip to the UMass Amherst Libraries. Space is limited! Sign up on the sheet at the Library Research Bar.

The van will leave the Dining Hall at 11:30am and return by 5:30pm.

While at UMass, you can search their hundreds of databases and download or scan articles from their extensive journal holdings (e-journal list; library catalog). If you are a Massachusetts resident, you can get a library card and borrow books; if not, you can jot down any book titles that look useful and request them via Marlboro’s Interlibrary Loan service.

Beth and Amber are happy to meet with you this week to help you make the most of your 3 hours (roughly) at UMass. Stop by or email us to set up an appointment!

Is Employee Ownership a Right or a Privilege? A conversation with ESOP expert Jerry Gorde

Center for New Leadership - March 15, 2016 - 8:18am

Claire Wheeler and Lori Hanau recently published, “Is Employee Ownership a Right or a Privilege?” in Conscious Company Magazine.

The magazine issue focuses on Social Justice in Social Enterprise.  Lori and Claire’s article dovetails beautifully with discussion topics which arose during the Social Enterprise Workshop Day at Marlboro Graduate and Professional Studies, including exploring the origins of the current S-Corporation Model rooted in Plantations and Slavery and what is needed to completely shift the paradigm of business if employee ownership is truly a right rather than a privilege.

It is a wonderful example of how faculty and alumni continue the good work and ideas that spark at the Gradschool.

Read the article

Spring Break @ the Library

Library Blog - March 9, 2016 - 12:45pm

Spring is finally here! Well. Kinda. Though the temperatures are encouraging, at the very least, Spring Break is upon us.

During Spring Break, the Library will be open, so come see us! Our hours will be:

Friday, March 11: 8:30am – 4:00pm

Saturday, March 12 & Sunday, March 13: Closed

Monday, March 14 – Friday, March 18: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Saturday, March 19 & Sunday, March 20: Closed

Monday, March 21 – Friday, March 25: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Saturday, March 26: Closed

The Library will resume regular Service Desk hours on Sunday, March 27th, at 12:30pm.

During the Break, we’ll be doing some cleaning in the Library building; if you are leaving personal items in the Library, please make sure all library books are checked out and other items are placed in designated areas in the stacks.

If you’re not going to be on campus, library staff will still be available to help during break — just email library@marlboro.edu or give us a call at 802-258-9221. And, of course, our electronic resources remain available to you 24/7 via our website.

Safe travels to those venturing off the Hill, and we admit to a small amount of envy of anyone heading to warmer climes!

Board Leadership Institute Launches

Center for New Leadership - March 9, 2016 - 10:40am
The Board Leadership Institute is off to a strong start. There are 9 outstanding Fellows in the Get on Board program this year, representing  many different backgrounds, goals and perspectives, as well as a strong cohort of local boards working through the entire program. David Grant and Annie Peyton led opening sessions for the fellows and board participants. Up next, Annie returns to facilitate a session on Board Recruitment and Development. There is still time to register for courses a la carte. For a complete list and registration information visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-board-leadership-institute-tickets-20063255738 Questions can be directed to Kim Lier at klier@gradschool.marlboro.edu

Podcast: Nonprofit Boards, What You Oughta Know

Center for New Leadership - February 29, 2016 - 11:52am



David Grant kicks off our Board Leadership Institute and Certificate in Nonprofit Management. In this podcast, Hillary Boone interviews David about formative assessment, reframing the way with think about nonprofits, and the power of thinking about organizational lifecycles.

More about David:

  • Work: Principal, Grant Associates
  • Education: A.B. in English, Princeton University; M.A. in American Studies, University of Michigan.

David Grant is the former president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey. Earlier in his career, he and his wife Nancy co-founded and co-directed The Mountain School in Vershire Vermont, a semester-long interdisciplinary environmental studies program for high school juniors. A life-long teacher and performer, David has taken his one-man show as Mark Twain around the world.

David is the author of The Social Profit Handbook: The Essential Guide to Setting Goals, Assessing Outcomes, and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations (2015), published by Chelsea Green.


Martial Practice 2. Back to the Basics

Center for New Leadership - February 24, 2016 - 11:26am

by Hillary Boone, Organizational Development Specialist at the Center for New Leadership, RBA Consultant,  and Faculty at Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies. 

Martial practice is not something that I came to naturally. I am a terrible dancer and lanky, nonviolent person. Learning choreographed routines and striking objects are not what I consider my strengths. However, I desperately needed a weekly routine to integrate physicality and spiritual practice into my life. I have always been an avid hiker, finding the presence and physicality I needed outside. But I just can’t get out and climb a mountain every week. I tried meditation and couldn’t stay committed. I tried running and consistently over-did it in the beginning, ending up with hurt ankles and a slow, lounge-y recovery. I dabbled in yoga and battled a constant internal dialogue – aware of pressure to look a certain way, questioning why I wasn’t improving faster, laying in savasana wondering what I would eat when class was finally over. I did some online research, and before I knew it I was signed up for weekly classes in Kempo-Jujitsu.

Kempo is based on elements of Karate, Kung Fu, and Jiu-Jitsu. There is a degree of meditation and mindfulness throughout the practice, both in entering the space and throughout class as we move through sequences of positions. I found myself most excited about the belt ranking system and the incentive to keep coming back to earn new, better belt colors. It seemed like the right fit. I was ready to commit to this thing for a year.

The first classes were a system shock. I was so new to this. And so remarkably bad at this. In that space, I noticed some things about my mindset that were at odds with the rest of my life. As a complete beginner I found myself especially observant of those around me. I watched with great care and full attention as my instructor demonstrated techniques and explained concepts. I mimicked their motions, slowly integrating the correct posture and techniques into my own muscle memory. Interestingly, not long after practicing this hyper-attention, I found myself more aware of my surroundings outside of class like, “hey, did you ever notice we have a library in our town?! And it’s right by our house!” At work I found it easier to keep the big picture in mind and prevent getting pulled into small, unimportant tasks.

I also practiced with great intention, learning, thinking, repeating, and evaluating my performance. This intense repetition ingrained the basic movements deep into my body and started to change the way I hold myself throughout the day. The shift in my posture made the learning of new techniques easier. I was also considerably less sore after a day spent working at the laptop, and my physical therapist mother stopped publicly correcting my posture.

In this state of beginner’s mind I felt real openness and willingness to being wrong. I had to be. I was wrong constantly, hearing reminders to “look up!” “drop your shoulders!” “make a real fist!” “breathe!!!” I had no hangups or shame about being corrected, which made it easy to take feedback, readjust and improve. Without defensiveness or reaction to correction, the hour of practice was just fun, like being shot of out a cannon and trying as many new things as possible. Being wrong was not a reflection on my intelligence or worth in the class, but rather an invitation to grow in my practice.

As a contrast to the willingness to be wrong, I felt more joy about getting something right. Instead of feeling relief that I hadn’t been called out for a mistake, or fear that I would be expected to be an expert for the rest of class, I was able to enjoy my small successes in the moment they occurred. I also felt real joy in learning how to hit and kick a bag, or how to hold a knife in a knife fight. So much for “nonviolent.” That joy in learning contributed to a mindfulness and a presence during class that I don’t feel often in my life. I became more aware of when fear of being wrong arises at work, and how that affects my behavior and performance. Noticing the benefits of letting go of that helped me begin to loosen my grip on my ego in the workplace.

Now, just four months into Kempo, I am healthier and stronger than I have been in years. The chiropractor reports that my hips are remarkably more flexible and I don’t need to schedule a follow-up appointment. I feel safer walking alone at night. I have earned my yellow belt, and I feel pride in the work and knowledge that it represents. On the other hand, I am already less mindful in my practice. As my comfort increases I am inclined to distraction. I move through the motions blindly, failing to focus mindfully on the task at hand.
This challenge to remain in the beginner’s mind in my Kempo practice directly relates to worklife. As we gain mastery in our jobs, how we can continue to remember the power of the beginner’s mind and revisit that? Is it possible to push aside the temptation to simply go through the motions? Can we practice mindfulness intentionally instead of capitulating to boredom and burnout? How do we avoid positioning ourselves into the role of “expert,” trapping ourselves in a reality where we fear being wrong or not having the answers? For my part I have been working to get myself into the right headspace on the car ride to Kempo, as well as at my desk before I begin my work day. I am at my best at both when I dig back in, return to the basics, and reconnect with the joy of learning and being present all over again, as if for the first time.

CNL Offers B Corps Consultation

Center for New Leadership - February 22, 2016 - 4:10pm
CNL offers the following services to companies interested in becoming B Corporations or improving their scores.
  • B Corp 101 on-demand webinar – $20
  • Free 1-hour consultation call
  • Company readiness evaluation
  • Full certification consultation and support
  • Score improvement consultation and support

To get started, please contact Hillary Boone at hboone@gradschool.marlboro.edu

Results-Based Accountability Workshop in St Johnsbury

Center for New Leadership - February 10, 2016 - 10:26am

Wednesday, March 23, 2016,
8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Springfield College, Emerson Falls Road, St. Johnsbury
Summer Room (first floor classroom)

Presented by faculty from Benchmarks for a Better Vermont, Center for New Leadership at Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies

By the compleon of the program parcipants will be able to:

  • Distinguish between population level accountability and program level accountability.
  • Define results, indicators, and performance measures.
  • Relate a story of a me when working backwards, using turn the curve thinking, contributed to solving a problem.
  • Sort performance measures into three categories.
  • Experience and facilitate three RBA tools.

Cost: $95.00

(includes all materials, light breakfast, and lunch)

Online registration will be available beginning February 15, 2016 at www.nevahec.org
or you can call (802) 748-2506
Space is limited- please register early to reserve your spot. Registration deadline is Friday, March 18, 2016

Questions? Contact Laura Remick: (802) 748-2506 / lremick@nevahec.org

Sponsored by the Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in collaboration with Benchmarks for a Better Vermont, Center for New Leadership at Marlboro College Graduate
and Professional Studies

Northeastern Vermont AHEC, 347 Emerson Falls Road, Suite 3, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

Podcast: Icebreakers That Don’t Suck

Center for New Leadership - January 28, 2016 - 10:52pm



with Lori Hanau and Jodi Clark.

Jodi and Lori teach “The Art of Facilitative Leadership” at Marlboro Graduate and Professional Studies. In this podcast, Hillary Boone hosts a conversation that dives deep into the art of facilitation and explores the power and responsibility a facilitator holds in beginning with a group. These podcasts are sponsored by the Center for New Leadership at Marlboro College.

Music credit to Nicolai Heidlas for “Drive” Nicolai-heidlas – Drive-fresh-upbeat-pop-background-music

Henderson Animates Center for New Leadership

Center for New Leadership - January 28, 2016 - 12:57pm

Originally posted by Philip Johansson on the Marlboro College website

Launched in June 2015, the Marlboro College Center for New Leadership (CNL) has become the umbrella for a growing suite of community engagement and professional development activities for Vermont’s mission-driven sector. But this dazzling beehive of activity would not have been possible without the generous support of the A. D. Henderson Foundation, which includes in its mission to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations in Vermont.

“The long-term financial support and the confidence of the Henderson Foundation enabled Marlboro College to plan, build, and launch the Center for New Leadership,” said Kate Jellema, associate dean for graduate and professional studies and director of CNL. “This is the realization of a dream we’ve had for many years, to create a unified home for the various programs we run in leadership development and nonprofit management.”

Henderson support this year included a $50,000 grant for internal capacity building, as well as an additional $30,000 for Benchmarks for a Better Vermont, the foremost provider of Results-Based Accountability (RBA) and related skills in northern New England. This latter grant will enable CNL to train hundreds of nonprofit organizations in RBA and work in-house with many of these Philanthropy News Henderson Animates Center for New Leadership organizations on how to weave a culture of accountability into their day-to-day operations. These grants build on others from Henderson over the years in support of nonprofit management programs at the Marlboro.

“Henderson Foundation has an interest in the ability of all nonprofit organizations in Vermont to run efficiently and effectively,” said Eddie Gale, program director at Henderson. “The Center for New Leadership is able to provide that support to Vermont’s nonprofit organizations in relation to management, governance, fundraising, and accountability, helping these organizations to steward the public resources that have been put in their trust to serve Vermont communities.”

“Henderson’s support has allowed us to undertake strategic planning, business planning, systems improvements, and staff development,” said Kate. “We now have a core staff working with a large network of trainers and consultants to provide transformational training and leadership development for the mission-driven sector.”

In addition to CNL’s popular cohort programs, such as the Certificate in Nonprofit Management, Women’s Leadership Circle, ALIGN, and the Board Leadership Institute, in October they launched the CNL Consultant Learning Community. This collaborative group of 16 educators, trainers, and facilitators (pictured, right) is dedicated to helping mission-driven organizations achieve greater impact.

“We know that for deep organizational change to happen, it is often really helpful to have a supportive outsider to serve as facilitator, organizer, technical expert, and cheerleader,” said Kate. “We now have the infrastructure and expertise in place to provide a vetted consultant to organizations seeking customized in-house support. In addition, the consultant group will be coming together on a regular basis to share ideas, build skills, and support each other’s practice.”

Learning Like a Jedi: Presence Through Sword Wielding

Center for New Leadership - January 25, 2016 - 11:59am

by Jodi Clark, Core Consultant at the Center for New Leadership at Marlboro College and Faculty at Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies. 


“The way I look at the Force is that people are so buried today in electronics, we live in a culture of distraction.  People can spend their whole days on the internet, Facebook, listening to music, Podcasts and all that and not actually be aware of what’s around them.  They live in this little bubble of distraction and don’t know what’s going on.  When you stop and hear the wind going through trees and paying attention to what’s around you, being present like mindfulness and awareness of what’s going on around you. . . to me, that’s the Force, coz when you’re truly there you actually see the world for what it is.”  –Luke Boyton, founder of The Sons of Obiwan Light Saber Academy


I have been a fan of Star Wars since I was four years old. It was the second movie I ever saw in my life.  Like most GenXers, I was awed by what I saw.  The dramatic duel with Obiwan and Darth Vader was breathtaking. I always wanted a lightsaber to wield for my own and was constantly constructing and prototyping swords with my brother out of paper towel tubes and masking tape.  It took me about 14 more years before I started to really learn how to wield a sword via historical rapier training that was offered at my tiny undergraduate school, Marlboro College.  Since then, I moved into learning stage combat with all manner of swords and other weapons forms.  I teach stage combat to all ages of performers.  And after many years of not fencing due to a knee injury, I find myself once again developing a new practice of sword both solo and with a couple of dear, daring friends.


What is it about wielding a sword that is so engaging?  


The sword is an extension of your arm, thus of your body.  You put energy into moving it, your force (The Force!), your will, your agency.  In order to not hurt yourself, you must be aware of your distance.  In order to not hit things you don’t want to hit, you must be completely aware of what is around you.  You are fully present.  You are in your body, you are with the sword.  If you are practicing with another person, you are that much more aware, as you are minding their distance, their sword, and in this practice, you are NOT trying to hurt them.  Just the opposite, you are holding their safety as primary as the two of you tell a physical story, a sort of a “conversation” using swords.  How you fully you show up in this conversation is going to determine everything from how good you are going to look engaging in it to whether or not either of you is going to get hurt.


Recently, I was practicing my solo form down in my basement after my other workout which includes vigorous elliptical training while listening to a podcast.  Sometimes, the podcasts don’t time out identically to the workout, so I was wanting to continue listening as I moved into my sword forms.  With my earphones in, my iPhone in my very attractive zipper pocket running belt, I began to go through my long sword form.  It was slow.  I had to slow it down further, as I was catching my earbud cord frequently.  Finally, I somehow forgot or misjudged my movements and “YOINK”, I perfectly caught the earbud cord and my phone went flying through the air.  That was the last time I tried multitasking while doing my sword practice.  The whole point of the sword form is to be fully present, to have a heightened awareness and focus.  And as the human I am, I did a marvelous job of outsmarting myself and defeated the purpose of my sword training.  Good thing my phone case is pretty darn robust.  


The remarkable thing I have found is that what I observe in my physical practice shows up in my day elsewhere.  I definitely have challenges with staying present in one task at a time elsewhere in my life.  Despite the temptation to spread my focus, I have to admit, I actually will complete a task, in good time, if I simply stick with it.  Breaks happen (sometimes they are even sword form breaks) and are totally necessary.  But to paraphrase a wise, green teacher: “Do or Do Not, There is No Multitasking.”


May the Force be with you, always.