Oberlin in the News - Fall 2003
22--The New York Times Quotes President Nancy S. Dye
A recent New
article about "transitional adulthood" as a new social
phenomenom quoted Oberlin College President Nancy S. Dye as saying:
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.
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.
17--Giving Props Where Props Are Due: 'Sco Lands Article in Local
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.
17--Political Satirist Contributes Essay to Powells.com
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.
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.
11--Michael Dirda '70 Hosts Live Discussion
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.
All Things Considered Features Music by Josh Ritter '99
Ritter '99 showed up in the news again last week when NPR's Meredith
Ochs reviewed his latest CD, Hello Starling, on All
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
New York Times and Netflix.com. Girl opened
in theaters across the nation Dec. 4.
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
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.
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.
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."
21--NPR Program Considers Up-and-Coming Folk Musician Josh Ritter
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,
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.
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."
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."
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."
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
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
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."
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
30--Obie Alum Calls for Safety Training for Peace Corps Volunteers
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.
Makes the Scene
The Fairfield Weekly
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."
2003--Conservatory Alum Receives Praise in Opera News
soprano Liora Grodnikaite '03 has received praise for her work with
the Opera Theater of St. Louis, as the toothsome Myrtale in Massenet's
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."
17--Director of Opera Theater Program Participates in Operatic American
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
15--Sylvan and Breitman Receive Rave Reviews in Cleveland's Plain
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
15--Founder of Cleveland's Green Building Coalition Leaves for Chicago
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.
14--The New York
Times Hails Josh Ritter '99 as One of This Generation's Newest
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."
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.
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."
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
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
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.
3--Downbeat Magazine Interviews Dave Brubeck about
His Oberlin Connection
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."
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.
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.