Meet Paul Wolansky
Wolansky joined the Alumni Association staff in July, filling a position
vacated last year by Dale Preston '83. A native Clevelander and former
director of campus activities at Northwestern University, Wolansky
heads up the association's regional alumni network and electronic
Q: You've just returned from a lengthy road trip, visiting
alumni clubs in Boston, New York, western Massachusetts, Connecticut,
Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Ohio. What are these groups up to, and what's
new with the regional network?
A: We've just moved to a more structured Oberlin Club format
for all of our regions, and so far it's working--event attendance
has been very high. Our vision is to build steering committees for
each region to increase activities that appeal to different alumni
populations. For the most part, FOOD is a big draw for alums--potlucks
are consistently our most highly attended events. Some groups, like
Colorado, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, are finding hikes to be
very popular. New York City alums just participated with New York
Cares in a day-long service project with the public schools.
Q: How can alums learn about Oberlin-related activities that
are happening in their areas?
A: Check out OBIEweb, our newly redesigned Alumni Association
While there, visit the Oberlin Clubs link or the Off-Campus Calendar.
One benefit of the calendar (www.oberlin.edu/offcampus)
is that alumni can submit information about their own upcoming performances,
lectures, concerts, etc.
Q: Part of your job involves working with OBIEweb's online
community. What's new at that site?
A: The online community page (www.alumniconnections.com/oberlin/)
has been redesigned, and it looks great; we almost doubled the number
of users last year. Alums can use the online community to find their
classmates via the alumni directory or to find (and list) their businesses
in the Obie Yellow Pages. It's a great service, and it's free! In
the past few months, we've experimented with online surveys, including
the possibility of an online book club featuring live chats with Obie
faculty members or authors. We also conducted the Alumni-Elected Trustee
election online this year; almost 2,000 Obies voted as of early November.
Q: After five months on the job, what are you finding noteworthy
about the campus and town?
A: There's nothing better than the late afternoon autumn light
shining through the trees on Tappan Square. Hearing the Oberlin Choir
practice each Wednesday afternoon can seem almost celestial at times.
My favorite coffeehouse is the cafe at Oberlin Music--its loft location
would be worth $8 million in a major metropolitan area--and, it's
owned by an alum!
Paul can be reached at (440) 775-8692 or at Paul.Wolansky@oberlin.edu