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Oberlin in the News - Fall 2003

December 2003
December 22--The New York Times Quotes President Nancy S. Dye
A recent New York Times article about "transitional adulthood" as a new social phenomenom quoted Oberlin College President Nancy S. Dye as saying: " most graduates used to go straight on to graduate school, having chosen at least a preliminary career path, (but) many now stick around, uncertain of their direction." The article went on to explore how, in recent years, college graduates have been moving in with their parents in order to save enough money to establish households or finish their education, and how it is taking longer for this generation of young adults to marry and start a family.

December 21--WOBC Earns Praise in Lorain's Morning Journal
The Lorain Morning Journal recently ran an article on college radio stations, lauding Oberlin's WOBC 91.5 FM as one of the oldest and most eclectic stations in the country. Fans of the station can tune in 24 hours a day to hear one of the station's 100 DJs play world music, classical, pop, metal, jazz, punk, blues, and folk. WOBC also is broadcast via the Internet and "has quite a following in Australia," says the station's program director Jenna Weiss-Berman, who is also a student at the College.

December 17--Giving Props Where Props Are Due: 'Sco Lands Article in Local Paper
A recent article in the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram recognized Oberlin College's 'Sco as the happening place to be for the next big band on the rise. Since 1978, the student-run club has brought in many up-and-coming bands, including Phish, Blink 182, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and (recently) Akron's Black Keys. Earlier this year, the 'Sco's reputation earned it Spin Magazine's first annual campus award for music programming.

December 17--Political Satirist Contributes Essay to Powells.com
An essay by political satirist David Rees '94 recently appeared online at Powells.com. In the essay, Reese (creator of Get Your War On) rehashes the history behind the photocopying and dissemination of his first book, My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable. Rees lives in New York City and is a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone Magazine.

December 15--Florida Paper Reports Unique Twist on Story of Flight Pioneers
Kathi Taylor, 61, grew up listening to stories about the Wright brothers and their sister Katherine, who became friends with Taylor's great-aunt and grandmother when the three women attended Oberlin College together in the 1890s. According to an article in Southwestern Florida's Herald-Tribune, Taylor possesses a unique collection of letters written by the Wright siblings to different members of her family.

December 11--Michael Dirda '70 Hosts Live Discussion for Readers
Washington Post Book World Senior Editor Michael Dirda '70 recently hosted a live discussion for his readers that was reprinted in the paper the next day.

December 10--NPR's All Things Considered Features Music by Josh Ritter '99
Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter '99 showed up in the news again last week when NPR's Meredith Ochs reviewed his latest CD, Hello Starling, on All Things Considered.

December 9--Alumna's Book Becomes "Luminous" Film
The film version of Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring is receiving rave reviews from media giants including The New York Times and Netflix.com. Girl opened in theaters across the nation Dec. 4.

December 7--Singer-Songwriter Josh Ritter '99 Mentioned in The Boston Globe
Sunday's Boston Globe payed tribute to the upcoming Simon and Garfunkle "reunion" tour with a lengthy article that waxed poetic on the current singer-songwriter movement sweeping across the nation's airwaves. Among the artists mentioned as ushering in the current movement was Josh Ritter '99, who is currently touring the U.K. in support of his third CD, Hello Starling.

December 4--Author Tracy Chevalier Appears on WCPN's Around Noon
Tracy Chevalier '84, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and the soon-to-be-published The Lady and the Unicorn, appeared on WCPN's Around Noon with Dee Perry. Chevalier's appearance was scheduled to promote the movie version of Girl, which opened in theaters across the nation Dec. 4.

NOVEMBER 2003
November 30--Conservatory Professor Quoted in The New York Times
In a recent New York Times article, Associate Professor of Piano Angela Cheng reminisces on her training with pianist and pedagogue Menahem Pressler, who has taught at the Indiana University School of Music since 1955.

November 29--Oberlin Students Join the Knit One, Study Too Craze
The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently reported that students at Oberlin College have joined the knitting craze that has swept across the nation's campuses. According to the article, students (as well as professors) are bringing their knitting into the classroom. "I've even been known to do it, too," said Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Composition Jan Cooper. "It helps me to listen better."

November 21--NPR Program Considers Up-and-Coming Folk Musician Josh Ritter '99
Episode 46 of NPR's All Songs Considered featured music by Josh Ritter '99. Bob Boilen, host of the multi-media, online music program called the Ritter's songs "stripped down and meticulously arranged," then played a selection from the singer/songwriter's newest CD, Hello Starling.

November 21--New Book by Obie Alumnus Receives Praise
Today's edition of The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram featured an article about Pulitzer-prize winning author Michael Dirda '70, whose memoirs have recently been published by W.W. Norton and Sons. Dirda, a longtime staff writer and senior editor for The Washington Post Book World, received the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism in 1993.

November 20--Plain Dealer Takes Note of College's Artist Recital Series
Plain Dealer
music critic Donald Rosenberg gave violinist Ida Haendel, who recently performed at Oberlin College as part of the 2003-04 Artist Recital Series, a glowing review. Calling Haendel "gloriously in her element," Rosenberg describes her playing with "irresistible, straightforward panache."

November 17--Hansel und Gretel Lauded by Local Music Critic
Members of the Oberlin Opera Theater Program received rave reviews for the recent production of Hansel und Gretel. Plain Dealer music critic Donald Rosenberg called the opera "a production in wh ich the young singers inhabited their roles, the staging and designs brimmed with whimsy and affection, and the orchestral playing honored the music's folksy Wagnerism."

November 17--Oberlin's Football Coach Receives Kudos from Plain Dealer Sports Writer
In a round-up of the weekend's college football news, The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Joe Maxse wrote, "It's not likely to happen, but Oberlin College's Jeff Ramsey deserves NCAC Coach of the Year recognition for his job with the Yeomen. After going through two 0-10 seasons, Oberlin went 2-8 and 3-7 beforer this year's 5-5 mark. It is the most wins for the often-ridiculed school since 1974."

November 15--Local Paper Commemorates John Mercer Langston
The Akron Beacon Journal commemorated the death of John Mercer Langston by posting a short piece about Ohio's first African American lawyer online. Langston, one of the first black men to graduate from Oberlin College, spoke publicly about social reform, the anti-slavery movement, and women's suffrage. The town of Langston, Oklahoma, home of Langston University, is named for him.

November 14--Chronicle of Higher Ed Touts Vin Lananna as Oberlin's "Tipping Point"
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ran an article on Oberlin College's changed attitude toward varsity athletics. Thought to be the result of renewed administrative support and the hiring of Vin Lannana as the College's director of athletics, the article quoted Lananna as he spoke about his decision to leave a winning program at Stanford and come to Oberlin. "There's a misconception that just because [Oberlin's] not known for athletics that they don't care about athletics," he says. "They do care about athletics. They just haven't been an good at it."

November 12--The New York Times Quotes Dye and Sandberg
The November 12th edition of The New York Times ran an article about the growing interest of African studies on campuses across the nation, quoting Oberlin College President Nancy S. Dye and Associate Professor of Political Science Eve Sandberg. The article, which focuses on how and why the subject has made its way into the curriculum, describes the hiring of experts in this field as "highly competitive."

November 11--Obies Reunite with Roommates at Kendal
The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram recently ran a feature on four Kendal residents who spent their college years at Oberlin, as roommates. In the article, the four women, Jane Eddy and Lois McCorkle '47, and Kathryn Schreiner and June Swartwout '48, recalled their college days and offered tips on remaining in contact with college friends throughout the years.

November 10--Professor Cautions Scientists to Review Coral Findings
A recent article in Nature.com claimed that scientists at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America have found evidence that global warming might boost tropical reefs. However, Associate Professor of Geology Dennis Hubbard countered that attack with a warning that included information on the coral's upper temperature limit and other human impacts such as pollution. "We have thrown a man-made wildcard into the system that the coral reefs haven't had to deal with before," says Hubbard.

November 10--Professor Speaks on Green Architecture at Cornell University
Professor of Environmental Studies David Orr recently gave a lecture at Cornell University that was covered by the Cornell Daily Sun. Orr's speech focused on his ecological work, including his part in the development of the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, and encouraged his audience to take an interest in the enviroment because "this is the time when we make or break the human condition."

OCTOBER 2003
October 30--The Houston Chronicle Applauds Recent Grad
Zach Moser '03 returned home to Houston's Third Ward last May to launch the Shade Tree Project, a community bike center for local residents. The Houston Chronicle recently featured a lengthy article about the center, which offers bike-education classes, safety seminars, and an after-school program for middle school student

October 30--Obie Alum Calls for Safety Training for Peace Corps Volunteers
In an article that ran in the Dayton Daily News, Oberlin College graduate and former Peace Corps volunteer Pam Parsa '97 reflected on the safety and security concerns that consumed her during her service. Parsa, like many volunteers, felt personally threatened and abandoned by local administrators. "Part of the problem that I had is that I think they could have been a little more realistic with us and said, 'Well, gosh, we really don't know how safe you are,'" the California resident was quoted as saying.

October 23--Josh Ritter'99 Makes the Scene
The Fairfield Weekly ran a feature article on Boston-based singer/songwriter Josh Ritter '99, who is currently touring in support of his third CD, Hello Starling. The article praised Ritter's authentic voice and lyrical songs, and gave the artist a platform to talk about his songwriting technique. "Leonard Cohen, the way he talks about songwriting, is really cool. He says when you read a poem, you should read it and get out of the way. There's only so much space in the room for a song. You want the person hearing it to think about themselves and not you."

October 2003--Conservatory Alum Receives Praise in Opera News
Mezzo soprano Liora Grodnikaite '03 has received praise for her work with the Opera Theater of St. Louis, as the toothsome Myrtale in Massenet's opera Thaïs. In the October issue of Opera News, F. Paul Driscoll writes that "one of the great pleasure of the OTSL season is spotting gold within the young-artist ranks." He called Grodnikaite "another standout in the class of 2003."

October 17--Director of Opera Theater Program Participates in Operatic American Idol
The Alameda (CA) Times Star reports that West Bay Opera is planning the operatic equivalent to the nationwide pop pageant American Idol, meant to bring the world of opera into the critical view of the public at large. The three selected judges for the competition include the Conservatory's Director of Opera Theater Jonathan Field.

October 15--The Washington Post Opens the Book on Michael Dirda '70
In a recent edition of The Washington Post, Michael Dirda's memoir An Open Book: Coming of Age in the Heartland received a favorable review. Dirda, who graduated from the College in 1970, is a writer and editor with The Washington Post Company. Dirda's memoir recalls his childhood in a working-class neighborhood in Lorain, Ohio, and the mentors at Oberlin College who encouraged him to be the writer he is today.

October 8--James McBride Reveals His Newest Venture
The Los Angeles Times recently featured an extensive article about musician and author James McBride '79. McBride, author of The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to his White Mother, is giving his pen a rest and getting back to his roots--preaching the power of music. The result has been a 30-city, self-booked and self-financed tour to promote the first of three CDs that will include McBride's friends and colleagues, all musicians, talking about the creative process.

October 7--Cleveland Free Times Puts the Spotlight on Josh Ritter '99
Singer/songwriter Josh Ritter '99 recently returned to Northeastern Ohio to promote his latest CD, Hello Starling. The Cleveland Free Times ran a full-length article to announce Ritter's performance and--a week later--ran a review of the show.

October 6--New York Times Reports on Legendary Jazz Star's Return to Oberlin, Along with Other National Publications
Fifty years after recording the album that made him a legend, Dave Brubeck returned to Oberlin's campus for a repeat of the now-legendary Jazz at Oberlin. The New York Times picked up the story, running an article that prominently touted his star power--at 82, the musician managed to sell out the 1,200-seat Finney Chapel in 17 minutes. The concert was covered extensively, in publications that include Chamber Music America, The Cleveland Free Times, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Down Beat Magazine, The Lorain Morning Journal, The Miami Herald, Northern Ohio Live, Scene Magazine, The Stamfort (CT) Advocate, and The Washington Post.

October 2--WCPN 90.3 Airs Jazz at Oberlin
On Thursday, October 2, WCPN "Jazz from the North Coast" host Dan Polletta played Dave Brubeck's CD, Jazz at Oberlin, in its entirety and read a radio-essay by Joe Mossbrook of the Northeast Ohio Jazz Society that detailed the history behind the famous concert.

SEPTEMBER 2003
September/October 2003--Oberlin Professor Lends Stanford University a Hand
The current issue of Solar Today includes an article on the building and maintenance of the Leslie Shao-ming Sun Field Station at Standford University's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Associate Professor of Physics John Scofield helped set up the building's sophisticated monitoring system to collect information on photovalic power production and building electrical use. "The main goal of this building is not to be a low-energy building, but is to support the teaching and research that it houses," Scofield says.

September 30--Milwaukee Paper Covers Professor as He Touts Green Building
Milwaukee's Daily Reporter recently covered a talk given by Professor of Environmental Studies David Orr. Orr presented insights into the future of green building and sustainable design at a conference attended by construction business and government leaders in Madison, Wisconson, to help offiscials establish sustainable design guidelines for citywide projects.

September 19--Professor Sees Silver Lining in August Blackout
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies John Petersen was quoted in an Associated Press article examining August's blackout and the need for energy reform. Petersen contends that public demand for more reliable electricity could increase support for the easiest way to reduce energy-related pollution: conserve and use less energy. "If you reduce energy use, you reduce negative effects on the environment," he said.

September 15--Sylvan and Breitman Receive Rave Reviews in Cleveland's Plain Dealer
Donald Rosenberg, a music critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, gave Sanford Sylvan and David Breitman rave reviews for their performance of Maurice Ravel's "Histoires naturelles" and Jorge Martin's "The Glass Hammer: A Southern Childhood." The duo performed at Finney Chapel, as part of Oberlin College's 2003-04 Artist Recital Series.

September 15--Founder of Cleveland's Green Building Coalition Leaves for Chicago
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported today that Sadhu Johnston '98, founder of the Greater Cleveland Green Building Coalition, will soon be leaving town for Chicago. Johnston, a leader in green building initiatives, has been recruited by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to serve as the mayor's advisor on green building and sustainability issues for the Windy City.

September 14--The New York Times Hails Josh Ritter '99 as One of This Generation's Newest Troubadours
In "Romantics of the Road: The Next Generation," New York Times writer Jon Pareles reviews two up-and-coming singer-songwriters, John Mayer and Josh Ritter '99. While both troubadours have released new CDs, Pareles appears to favor Ritter's Hello Starling, with the songs "Kathleen," "Bright Smile," "Man Burning," and "Bone of Song," writing that throughout the CD "...Mr. Ritter's kindly intelligence shines."

September 12--Conservatory Graduate Hits the Portland Music Scene
The Oregonian recently reported that pianist Ezra Weiss '01 will celebrate the release of his debut album, The Five A.M. Strut, with a show at Portland's Pearl District club. Billy Hart, assistant professor of jazz studies at the Oberlin Conservatory, will attend the show and perform with Weiss' band.

September 9--Richard Haass '73 Featured in The New York Times
Richard Haass '73, the new president of the Council on Foreign Relations, was the subject of a lengthy article in The New York Times. As a special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and senior director for Near East and South Asia Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council, Haass has spoken out against the current administration and demanded the building of a broad international coalition to fight the war in Iraq and rebuild the country. "Iraq was a war of choice," Haass was quoted as saying. "It behoves us to get it right. The danger we face is that it distorts and drains American foreign policy. This is why it is important to get others involved, to accelerate Iraqi involvement in governing and securing the country."

September 5--Oberlin College Featured in This Month's Ohio Magazine
As students returned to school this month, Ohio Magazine published a list of presidents' homes and other college-town treasures across the state to visit. Oberlin College featured prominently in the issue, with mentions of the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, Finney Chapel, the Allen Memorial Art Museum, and the president's house, as well as Oberlin Music, Weia Teia, and Uncommon Objects Gallery in town. The same edition of the magazine also features an article on Ohio's Underground Railroad, in which Oberlin (the town and College) played an important historic role.

September 4--Oberlin's Jazz Faculty Gets a Nod from Downbeat Magazine
In the September issue of Downbeat Magazine, pianist Uri Caine said that he would book Billy Hart, a member of Oberlin College's jazz faculty, if he were in charge of recruiting acts to perform at Carnegie Hall's new 644-seat venue.

September 4--Oberlin College Joins Other Schools to Fight Computer Viruses
As classes began last week, colleges and high schools across the nation struggled to protect campus computer networks from virus outbreaks. According to The Associated Press and Wired.com, Oberlin College is threatening to fine students $25 if they inadvertently spread a computer virus across the campus network and is requiring all student computers to be scanned for viruses before they are allowed to connect to the network. At the University of North Texas, technicians are charging a mandatory $30 fee to scan and remove viruses from student computers. Other schools, like Salisbury University in Maryland, shut down their network for anywhere from one day to two weeks to clean viruses from school computers.

September 3--Downbeat Magazine Interviews Dave Brubeck about His Oberlin Connection
The September issue of Downbeat magazine features a lengthy interview with jazz legend Dave Brubeck, who will perform at Oberlin this October to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jazz at Oberlin. During the interview, Brubeck is quoted as saying: "We're going back to Oberlin College for the 50th anniversary of Jazz at Oberlin. That was our first big college concert. That was just the kids in the school wanting to hire us, and the campus radio station recording us and putting a record out on Fantasy."

September 1--Oberlin College Library Receives Grant
Crain's Cleveland Business recently reported that the Oberlin College library, along with five other academic libraries, has received $500,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project to focus on recruiting librarians and increasing diversity among librarians.

September 1--Liz Phair '89 Opens Up
Liz Phair '89 opened up to The Onion AV Club staffers about her newest release, the self-titled Liz Phair, and revealed how she went from visual arts major to darling of the indie rock scene. Now, with mixed reviews pouring in, Phair talks about her music, her critics, and her greatest hits.

    
   
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