[Alumni News and Notes]

Alumni in Service to Oberlin College (ASOC)

by Midge Wood Brittingham '60

Marjorie Witt Johnson '35, now approaching her ninth decade, discovered the joys of dance as a student at Oberlin, and has made dance movement her career, teaching at schools in Cleveland, Atlanta, and North Carolina. Although social work and African dance may seem an unlikely combination, Marjorie has helped hundreds of students develop a sense of themselves and their African-American heritage through her lessons in creative movement. Her topic for students on campus was "Voicing Your Identity." Margaret recently received an award for her contributions on creating history through dance from Ohio Dance, a state professional dance association, and was honored at the annual meet-ing of the Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers. She is completing a book, Moving Images of Courage, about the meaning of creative movement in her life.

Rich Orloff '73, is a playwright whose work has been seen at American Stage Company in New Jersey, Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota, the Bathhouse Theatre in Seattle, Philadelphia Festi-val Theatre for New Plays, and the Key West Theatre Festival. His full-length plays include the prize-winning comedies "Damaged Goods," "Veronica's Position," "Water Boy," and "Someone's Knocking," and a recent one-act play, I Didn't Know You Could Cook, published in The Best American Short Plays 1996-97. He taught a Winter Term class in "The Craft of Playwriting" which resulted in four student-written one-act plays about the Oberlin Experience. All four plays were presented on three consecutive evenings at Oberlin College's Little Theater. Rich and his wife, Amy, live in New York City.

Tracy Alpert '88 came in from Boulder, Colorado, for a Winter Term project teaching aikido, a Japanese martial art that was traditionally the fighting technique of the samurai. Aikido Club president, senior Alex McCarthy, said, "You learn to use your opponent's strengths against them and you don't have to be terribly strong to do well. A wooden short, curved samurai sword and a four-foot walking staff were used in the training, and six of the twelve participants tested for and acquired sixth kyu (equivalent to a black belt rank). Tracy is a sensei whose interest in the art began as a student in Oberlin. She was on her way to Mexico to study Spanish, taking a break from the small business in Boulder where she has worked since her graduation.

Timothy Hacsi '88 joined students of the History Department to deliver a talk, "What Newt Gingrich Doesn't Want You To Know About The History of America," in early February. Following his PhD degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Timothy became especially interested in disadvantaged children who are placed in foster homes, and in their educa- tional opportunities. He has lectured and published extensively on the topic, including an editorial in the Chicago Tribune, "Are Orphanages the Answer?" and is a Spencer post-doctoral fellow at Harvard, working with the Harvard Project on Schooling and Children. In January the Harvard University Press pub-lished Tim's most recent book, Second Home: Orphan Asylums and Poor Families in America.

Carolyn Foulkes '75 returned to Oberlin for the first time since her graduation to present a workshop for all music education students in February. Along with her full-time job as music instructor at the Baltimore School for the Arts, Carolyn freelances on trumpet with the Baltimore Sym-phony Orchestra, and teaches at the Peabody Preparatory Institute.

Carolyn shared her experiences and offered suggestions to the Music Education Association of Oberlin, a student-run, pre-professional music education organization on campus.

Midge Wood Brittingham is executive director of the Oberlin College Alumni Association.