Better Life for Native Americans
a Cherokee Native American, grew up in Oklahoma's Cherokee
Indian county where the eastern-based Five Civilized Tribes
had been moved in the mid-1800s. The only girl in a family
of ten children, she was a National Honor Society student
in high school and the first Native American Indian to become
valedictorian of her class.
less than two years at Northeastern State College, Galena
received a letter announcing that she had won the Henry
Morganthau Scholarship to Mount Holyoke or Oberlin College.
She promptly enrolled at Oberlin, and later established
a scholarship for minority students.
family was devoted to the cause of Indian rights, and Galena
followed their example. After completing an MA at the School
of Social Work at the University of Minnesota, she devoted
the rest of her working life--31 years--to the Bureau of
Indian Affairs. She helped Creek and Seminole tribe members
manage their budgets when they suddenly became wealthy from
their gas and oil leases and royalties, enrolled any number
of children in Indian boarding schools, and made regular
home visits to the poor, bringing shoes and groceries for
each household in her satchel.
in 1998, Galena lives with her brother, Howard Walkingstick,
as the last two members of the family, in Holdenville, Oklahoma.
at your fingertips
LICENSED CONNECTICUT ARCHITECT WHO HAS ALWAYS LOVED KIDS,
Eric Epstein '71
is not one to waste his creative spirit. He taught
art and English in Oberlin schools' lower grades and art
to third-graders in Montpelier. He designed a film-making
workshop for inner city teens in Philadelphia and traveling
exhibits and a teacher-oriented store for the Boston Children's
Museum. He was design director for Olympic Town, the athlete's
amusement park for the Special Olympics World Games. He's
been a soccer coach, an Odyssey of the Mind coach, an
after-school program coordinator, and has served on boards
for schools and museums with programs for young people.
And he keeps in touch with the way kids think today as
father of three lucky lads aged 10, 13, and 16.
what he does for fun.
the way he supports his family through his architectural
expertise and has distinguished himself as the winner
of a merit award for Mill River Apartments in New Haven,
a Design Excellence Award for his Helicopter Support
Offices, and an Affordable Housing Award for Baldwin
Court in Connecticut.
what's this FANDEX thing that has made Eric Epstein
a treasured author at Workman Publishing house?
1983 Eric had an idea to make a deck of cards cut to
the shapes of various leaves so he could identify trees
on his walks through the woods. It was a simple idea
that he dropped into his "futures file," not to be seen
again until 1995. One beautiful New England autumn morning,
Eric put his kids on the school bus, blew off all his
appointments, and headed into the city park across the
street with his camera. He quickly realized that it
wasn't just about leaves--in another week, and for the
next five months, there would be no leaves. But there
was the bark, and the fruit or nut, and the overall
shape of the tree to aid identification. So the leaf
card became a lollipop shape featuring the leaf at the
top and a photo of the bark below.
color photocopies and a cut-and-paste technique, he
mocked up the first FANDEX, which represented 35 trees
from his tiny neighborhood park. The prototype was
a beautiful thing, and he longed for it to have a
commercial life. "But it was ungainly," he said. "So
many wild cuts, so many photos. Expensive."
the idea work in black and white? He found a book containing
official engravings of the U.S. presidents and photocopied
and cut them onto parchment-like card paper. "It was
Mt. Rushmore to the max--hilarious."
knew of Workman Publishing through things his kids had--non-traditional
books with unusual bindings and products attached--and
he asked a bookstore client how to make contact with them.
"My client referred me to his buyer who referred me to
her sales rep who referred me to an editor whose office
I assaulted with my presentation," he said. Eric was whisked
upstairs to the CEO's office where he repeated the presentation,
and that, as they say, was that. Today, FANDEX fans can
read about mythology, dinosaurs, the Civil War, the 50
states, and more. Even the Kama Sutra, he says,
the moment I stopped thinking about the idea and started
making it to the time the CEO said yes, was eight
weeks," Eric mused. "A fairy tale, to be sure, and
one that has led me to think about how I do what I
fact, the experience has probably spoiled me forever
from working as an architect in a traditional setting.
After all, why wait for someone to present me with a
design problem when there are so many opportunities
in everyday life?"
Family Field Guides, Workman Publishing
bookstores and an on-line distributors, $7.00-$11.00
IS A PLEASURABLE FUTURE FOR SURVIVORS OF CHILDHOOD
SEXUAL ABUSE, AND STACI
HAINES '89 IS HELPING THEM TO FIND IT.
Staci is a sex educator in private practice in San
Francisco, where she guides her patients' healing
processes through somatics, an Eastern perspective
that treats one's body, mind, and emotions as a
whole. She is also the author of the well-reviewed
book, A Survivor's Guide to Sex: How to Have
an Empowered Sex Life After Child Sexual Abuse,
which offers a powerful, open-minded, and powerful
approach to recovery.
survivor of child abuse herself, Staci says that
much of her healing took place as a student at Oberlin,
where she organized a campus incest survivors' group
and won government support for funding recovery
resources. "It was a gift to find myself at the
center of such a politicized and socially aware
community," she writes. "I knew that I wasn't alone
in surviving abuse. When I couldn't heal for myself,
I healed to make a difference for the future."
through her own recovery, Staci managed Good Vibrations,
a retail store that has become a leader in the field
of sex education. Talking with other survivors and professionals
about abuse and sex-positive recovery led her to write
a series of articles and her book. Today she offers
sex education training and presentations throughout
the Bay Area and organizes legislative efforts to end
child sexual abuse. She discussed her book at Oberlin
last fall in a lecture sponsored by the Alumni Association
and Multicultural Resource Center.
is Sweet for Banker Turned Baker
the person "at the forefront of the crêpe renaissance,"
an architect of flat, 14-inch folded French pancakes
stuffed with wild mushrooms, spinach and feta, asparagus,
avocado, or chocolate and bananas, to name a few. Her
downtown Cleveland shop, Crêpes Plus, was a haven
for the lunchtime crowd who yearned for something more
fulfilling than a sandwich or burger.
name is Diana Dumitru, a 1990 Oberlin grad who
at age 12 immigrated with her family from Arad, Romania.
She was an excellent student who majored in economics,
then landed a comfortable job with the Federal Reserve
Bank in Cleveland. "I enjoyed my job and I learned a
lot, but I couldn't see myself doing economic research
forever," she says. As a child, Diana had picked up
the baking bug from her grandmother, and decided that
the time was right for a career change. She enrolled
at Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island, emerged with a
pastry arts degree, and won her way into the kitchen
as pastry cook, then pastry chef, at Cleveland's Ritz-Carlton
Hotel. In 1997, the Ritz sent Diana to a chocolate seminar
in France. "While there I discovered crêpes,"
she says. "There was no crêpery in Cleveland and
I had been toying with the idea of starting a business."
She opened the city's only crêpe shop that year,
supplementing her breakfast and lunch menu with speciality
and wedding cakes and other made-to-order desserts.
last fall, Diana's loyal customers found themselves
crêpe-less when the shop closed to make way for
renovations to the 109-year-old arcade that housed her
business. Diana has an enterprising spirit, however,
and it wasn't more than two weeks before she transformed
the business into Cakes Plus, a European-style pastry
shop one block away. Crêpes were replaced with
fine pastries and ornate wedding cakes that attract
customers from neighboring states. On this particular
day, she was shaping hundreds of blown sugar balls,
inspired by a Martha Stewart creation, to package and
send to a Michigan wedding cake baker. The tedious process,
not unlike blowing glass, involved pulling and heating
sugar over a flame, then manually pumping air, expanding
the ball of sugar into a delicate, fragile bubble.
creations have not gone unrecognized by her peers. Her
mother, an able assistant, boasts of Diana's Art Studio
awards in categories such as Best of Show, Most Artistic,
and Most Decadent. Warner Brothers, the Cleveland Public
Library, and the Federal Reserve Bank are among her
clients, whose banquet guests might be treated to a
chocolate Scooby Doo or an eight-foot cake.
Oberlin, says Diana, she learned to focus, mature, and
approach her life from a new perspective. "I loved Oberlin,
and the education I received there has been invaluable
to me. I still stay in touch by returning to campus for
plays, operas, and other musical events."