Oberlin in the News - Fall 2006
December 13 —Reuters Names David Schlesinger '82 Editor-in-Chief
According to BusinessWeek.com, Reuters has announced that David
Schlesinger '82 will succeed Geert Linnebank as editor-in-chief
beginning in January 2007. Schlesinger, currently global managing
editor, joined Reuters in 1987 as a correspondent in Hong Kong and
subsequently headed its editorial operations in Taiwan, China, and
Greater China region in a series of posts between 1989 and 1995.
Reuters is the world's largest international news and financial
information source, reaching over 1 billion people a day.
December 8—Oberlin Among Top Ten Vegetarian Schools in U.S.
The Chronicle of Higher Education and a number of other national
publications report that Oberlin is sixth among the top 10 vegetarian-
friendly colleges in the United States, according to a poll conducted
by peta2—the youth-oriented division of People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals. One of 30 schools nominated for the competition,
Oberlin is the only four-year undergraduate institution on the top-10
list, which named southwestern paella as the College's “signature
December 8—Cleveland Arts Critic Gives Museum Exhibition High Praise
“It would be hard to praise the current exhibition on postwar American art at Oberlin
College's Allen Memorial
Art Museum highly enough,” says Cleveland Plain Dealer Arts Critic Steven Litt. “It surveys
expressionism, color field painting, pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art. Most important,
reflects a brimming enthusiasm for contemporary American art.” The exhibition, New
Frontiers: American Art
Since 1945 runs through Saturday, December 23.
December 8—James Kim's love for family, friends left lasting impression with many
Oberlin offers its condolences to the family of James Kim, Class of 1993.
November 28—Norman Bailey ‘53 To Oversee U.S. Intelligence on Cuba and Venezuela
Norman Bailey ’53 has been selected “to head a kind of one-stop shop for the intelligence community on Cuba and Venezuela,” according to the Miami Herald. An expert on Latin America and the links between economics and international politics, Bailey was appointed to the new post by John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence. As ''mission manager'' for the two countries, Bailey will pore over information from 16 U.S. government agencies to spot information gaps, help craft intelligence strategies and track the implementation of those strategies.
November 27—Alumnus Basil Twist Presents New Production of Hansel and Gretel
The Houston Grand Opera has hired alumnus Basil Twist for a new and innovative staging of Hansel and Gretel. Twist, “one of the most innovative puppeteers in an era of innovative puppetry,” according to the Houston Chronicle, will include marionettes and pole puppets, and Hansel and Gretel's parents will walk on stilts in the production. Twist collaborated with Jim Henson Co. — the company that gave birth to the Muppets — to design the witch.
November 19—Cleveland Plain Dealer Takes In-depth Look at Oberlin Admissions
Beginning in September 2005, Plain Dealer reporter Barb Galbincea was invited to observe firsthand how Oberlin’s “highly selective” admissions process works. Over nearly a year, she traveled on a recruiting trip to northern Virginia, sat in periodically on admissions committee meetings, and interviewed admissions staff as they went about shaping the Class of 2010. The two-part series provided a an in-depth look at the work that goes into selecting an incoming class. “This is a process of community building, “ said Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Debra Chermonte. “There’s a lot of nuance involved. We care about breadth and opinions and viewpoints.”
November 16—Director/Producer James Burrows ’62 Hailed as “Sitcom Luminary”
James Burrows ’62 has directed or executive produced “some of the greatest and funniest sitcoms in TV history,” according to The Jewish Week, a publication serving the Greater New York community. Burrows had his directing debut with “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and then went on to “Cheers,” “Frasier,” “Friends,” and “Will & Grace.” His newest series, “The Class,” premiered in September on CBS.
November 8—Adrian Fenty '92 Elected Mayor of Washington, D.C.
“Fenty Trounces Foes in Mayoral Race” read the headline in the Washington Post. After winning the hotly contested Democratic primary
in September, Adrian Fenty '92 was “overwhelmingly elected” as the next mayor of D.C., garnering 90 percent of the vote. Fenty vowed to “care for those without a voice who need us to give them a helping hand” and listed economic development, health care, and safety as priorities.
November 8—As Ohio's Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher '73 Will Focus on
Democrat Ted Strickland and his running mate Lee Fisher '73 “swept into
the Governor's office with 59 percent of the vote,” according to the
New Philadelphia Times Reporter. In his position as Lieutenant
Governor, Fisher will focus on the administration's efforts to improve
Ohio's economy. “I know what I want him to help me do,” Strickland
said. “We can't accomplish what we want to accomplish or need to
accomplish without a growing economy, an expanding economy.”
November 8—Alumna Yvette Clarke Heads to Congress
Democrat Yevette Clarke “cruised into Congress with 89 percent of the
vote in Brooklyn's 11th district,” according to The New York Sun. A
former member of the New York City Council, Clarke won a hard-fought
primary in September to land the Democratic nomination.
November 8—Actor Daniel London '95 Finds Hollywood, Indie Film Success
In an article featuring the upcoming Three Rivers Film Festival, the
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review profiled actor Daniel London '95, who stars
in Kelly Richart's film “Old Joy,” a film about old friends who take a camping trip in the Cascade Mountains. The article also mentioned London's other
acting credits, including “Rent,” Steven Spielberg's “Minority Report”
with Tom Cruise, and “Patch Adams” with Robin Williams. In comparison
with his big name credits, London said that “Old Joy” “was a very
personal and intimate experience.”
November 2 —New York Times Reviews Third Novel by David Maine '85
A New York Times review of “The Book of Samson” by David Maine '85 says
the author's “audacity is irresistible.” “Here is a beguiling, original
writer who is determined to reinterpret the Bible's humanity in ways
that make sense in the modern world,” says the Times. “Samson” is the
most recent installment in Maine's trilogy of novels derived from the
Old Testament. He is also the author of “The Preservationist” and “Fallen.”
November 2—Revival of Oberlin College Republicans Noted in Plain Dealer
An article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer discusses how students re-established the Oberlin College
Republicans last spring after the organization had been dormant for
about a decade. “The group is not interested in creating converts but
just wants to expose students to other viewpoints such as conservatism
and Republican ideals,” according to the Plain Dealer. The OC
Republicans brings well-known speakers to campus through the Ronald
Reagan Political Lectureship Series.
November 1—R.O. Blechman '82 Featured in Arts and Culture Magazine
Illustrator R.O. Blechman '52, whose work has appeared on 19 covers of
The New Yorker, as well as in Rolling Stone and The New York Times, was
profiled in the Chronogram, a monthly arts and culture magazine serving
New York's Hudson Valley area. Blechman has had one-man exhibits in New
York, Paris, and Munich and his work is in the collections of The
Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress, and Chase Manhattan Bank.
October 31—Plain Dealer Praises Florez's Artist Recital Series Concert
A music review in the Cleveland Plain Dealer lauded Oberlin College's
Artist Recital Series for featuring “brilliant Peruvian tenor” Juan
Diego Florez for one of his only recitals of the season. The article
highlights Florez as an up-and-coming talent, a potential heir to the “three tenors” throne.
October 30—Alumna Scientist Joins World Leader in Life Science
Named one of the 50 most powerful women in business by Fortune magazine
in 2005, Caroline Kovac '74 has joined Burrill & Company, a San
Francisco-based, global leader in life sciences with activities in
venture capital, merchant banking, and media, as manager director
according to NewsRx, a healthcare and medical newsletter. Kovac
previously served as general manager of IBM's health care and life
October 26—Massachusetts’ Worcester Telegram & Gazette Profiles Student Musician Sarah Politz
Sarah Politz ‘07, whose spiritual ensemble The Oberlin Gateway Band has just released the CD “Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying,” is the subject of an in-depth article in the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette. A senior in the Oberlin Conservatory of
Music, Politz plays trombone with the group at Cleveland’s Trinity
Episcopal Cathedral on Sundays. “At the cathedral, people look at
us and we all know there is a spirit going through it,” said Politz
about the five-member group, which is influenced by spirituals,
gospel music, progressive jazz and world music. “In my life, if you
look at the life I’ve had, it’s something I was meant to do. I
really do feel that.”
October 25—Cleveland Leadership Group Honors Oberlin Builders
The Civic Innovation Lab feted Josh Rosen ’01 at a Meet The Champions Breakfast in Cleveland for the East College Street Accelerator, a plan to integrate five to six early-stage businesses into the East College Street development project created by Rosen and partners Ben Ezinga ’01 and Naomi Sabel ’02. The trio received a $30,000 grant from the Lab to fund technology, marketing, and business-development assistance for the Accelerator. The Lab is supported by the Cleveland Foundation and offers mentorship, training, and funding of up to $30,000 for ideas that have measurable economic impact on the greater Cleveland community.
October 29—Oberlin Among “Hidden Gems” in College Searches
In one of a series of articles following the college quests of high school seniors, Newsday named Oberlin a “hidden gem” among America’s colleges, citing it as an “outstanding” alternative to brand-name schools that are glutted with applications each year.
October 20—David Orr essay in Chronicle of Higher Education
“A Meditation on Building,” an essay by David Orr, Paul Sears Professor of Environmental Studies, appears in the Chronicle of Higher Education in the issue dated October 20. Citing the nationwide “building frenzy,” Orr asks, what will it “look like to those living a century hence? What have we set in motion?” and gives his prescription for change, including the role higher education must play. His essay is adapted from Design on the Edge: The Making of High-Performance Building, to be published this month by the MIT Press.
October 18—Oberlin alums are “Young, Idealistic and Now Developers,” says New York Times
How alumni Ben Ezinga ’01, Joshua Rosen ’01 and Naomi Sabel ’02 have been “learning hard lessons in real estate” is the subject of a laudatory profile in The New York Times. “Against long odds, the once young, naive, and inexperienced team is nearing the groundbreaking on the first major commercial development in the historic downtown since 1958,” according to the Times. The article charts the path the three followed to build “not just a live/work space project, but a unique model for progressive urban redevelopment under financially difficult circumstances.”
October 16—Jan Ting ’70 Challenges for Seat in U.S. Senate
According to the Cape Gazette, Delaware’s race for the U.S. Senate is heating up. A professor of Law at Temple
University, Republican Jan Ting ’70 is attempting unseat Democratic incumbent Tom Carper, who has won a record 11 straight elections. The Cape Gazette provides insight into the candidates’ position on immigration, partisan politics, and homeland security. Ting, who has never held an elected seat, previously served as assistant commissioner at the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1990 until 1993.
October 15—Debut Book by Jason Sokol ’99 Receives Praise
Editorial Editor Ben Windham of the Tuscaloosa News reviews There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975 by Jason Sokol ’99. His book explores what life was like for white southerners who lived through the civil rights movement. “The depth and nuance of what Sokol does capture in his new book is nothing short of breathtaking,” says Windham. Sokol is visiting professor of history at Cornell University.
October 13—NSF recognizes Oberlin’s record in producing PhDs in the sciences says Inside Higher Ed.com
Inside Higher Ed.com cites Oberlin as among the 50 institutions that accounted for more than one third of the baccalaureate degrees earned by individuals who went on to earn doctorates between 1920 and 1999, according to a new report from the National Science Foundation. Although Oberlin is the only institution on the list that does not itself award doctorates, “the relatively small Oberlin College in Ohio provided the baccalaureate origins of more science and engineering doctorates over an 80-year period (nearly 2,800) than the University of Nebraska, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Virginia Tech and the University of Iowa”; it ranked 35th on the overall list.
October 13—Chicago Tribune interviews Guneli Gun, translator of 2006 Nobel Prize winnerNovelist and former Oberlin faculty member Guneli Gun recently discussed her work translating two novels by Orhan Pamuk, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature with the Chicago Tribune. Gun, who translated Pamuk’s The New Life and The Black Book, said, “the award couldn’t come at a better time because, in the West, there’s so much enmity to Muslim countries.” Gun is the author of Book of Trances (Esrimeler Kitabi/1979) and a picaresque novel – On the Road to Baghdad (Bagdat Yollarinda/1987). She taught creative writing and women’s studies at Oberlin and is the wife of Emeritus Professor David Hershizer.
October 5—Yvette Clarke goes to Washington
“Barring something revolutionary, Clarke is Congress bound,” says
Baltimore's Amsterdam News. New York City Councilwoman and Oberlin alum
Yvette D. Clarke emerged victorious in the October 4 race to represent
the predominately black central Brooklyn district in Congress. With 99
percent of precincts reporting, Clarke, the daughter of Caribbean
immigrants, received 31 percent of the vote to her closest opponent's
26 percent. “I am looking forward to going to Congress and representing
the community in my district and that across this nation,” she told the
October 5—Historic Home for Oberlin Community Music School
Crain's Cleveland Business has announced that the Amherst-based Nord
Family Foundation is donating $100,000 to Oberlin College to turn the
historic Burrell-King House, 315 E. College St., into the home of the
ty Music School, the Conservatory's pre-collegiate music instruction
September 29—Cleveland Plain Dealer cites David Orr on ending
“Optimism is growing for the first time about curtailing mountaintop
mining in Appalachia” is the view of David Orr, says the Plain Dealer.
That was the conclusion of an article reporting on a recent meeting in
Virginia between the Oberlin environmental studies professor and five
environmental groups funded by benefactor Adam Lewis. Lewis has given
nearly $450,000 to support the fight to end mountaintop mining and look
at what can be done to reclaim the devastated land.
September 29—Fenty's DC Citywide Win “A Historic Performance,” says Washington Post
When Adrian M. Fenty '92 won DC's recent Democratic primary, he did
more than put a lock on the race for the top office. He became the
first mayoral candidate to win every precinct in the decisively
historic Democratic primary since the advent of home rule in 1974,
racking up at least 52 percent of the vote in every ward-including about 55 percent in the affluent and largely white Ward 3
and about 56 percent in the largely black Ward 8. “The overwhelming
choice of voters everywhere -- black and white, rich and poor,” Fenty
also appears to be “just the person to unite a city long divided along
lines of peace and class,” says the Washington Post.
September 26—NPR’s Weekend Edition Features First Novel by Tom Mullen ‘96
On Sunday, September 24, National Public Radio aired an interview with author Tom Mullen ’96 on Weekend Edition. Host Liane Hansen discussed Mullen’s debut book, The Last Town on Earth, a historical novel depicting the height of the 1918 flu epidemic in the town of Commonwealth in Washington state. The interview and an excerpt from chapter one can be heard on the NPR website.
September 25—Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones Pays Tribute to
Oberlin's African American Alumni
In the Congressional Record for the 109th Congress, the Honorable
Stephanie Tubbs Jones-U.S. Representative from Ohio's 11th District-
paid tribute to the Oberlin College Alumni Association of African
Ancestry. “We commend Oberlin College for its remarkable role in
fostering higher education among African Americans and we encourage
Oberlin's African American alumni to keep engaged with their alma mater
to ensure that future generations will have educational access to
develop the skills needed to address the complex challenges that face
our people and our Nation in the days ahead.”
September 24—Op Eds by Dan Chaon in New York Times
The New York Times published Op Eds on Ohio's hotly contested U.S.
Senate race by faculty member Dan Chaon August 6 and September 24; a
third is scheduled to appear in late October. Chaon, who is Irvin E.
Houck Associate Professor of the Humanities, on October 2 also
discussed the race on "The Sound of Ideas," a morning call-in talk show
aired on NPR's Cleveland station, WCPN-FM.
September 22—NBC Cleveland TV Affiliate Announces Grant to Oberlin
WKYC-TV (Channel 3), Cleveland's NBC affiliate, recently reported that the Kulas Foundation has awarded Oberlin, a college that "caters to the artistically and musically inclined" a $750,000 construction grant toward a new $12 million home for its jazz studies program.
September 18—Former Vice President Al Gore Cites Oberlin in Speech at
In a policy address at New York University School of Law on Solving the
Climate Crisis, former Vice President Al Gore mentioned that buildings-
both commercial and residential-represent a larger source of global
warming pollution than cars and trucks. In his comments, Gore cited
Oberlin College as an example of how new building-design techniques can
be implemented to generate “huge savings in energy use and reduce
global warming pollution.”
September 15—Oberlin is “musical hotbed” says Chicago Sun-Times
A Chicago Sun-Times review of a new album by punk-rock
band French Kicks notes that the group's lead vocalist-drummer Nick
Stumpf '97, guitarist-vocalist Matthew Stinchcomb '97 and former
bassist Jamie Krents '97 first began playing together in their teens
and continued making music together through their time at Oberlin--"a
musical hotbed that also produced Liz Phair and John McEntire of
September 13—Adrian Fenty ’92 Wins DC Democratic Primary, Announces Washington Post
Adrian Fenty ’92 captured the Democratic nomination for D.C. mayor and is
likely to become
the next mayor of Washington, D.C., according to the Washington Post. “The winners in the
primary are virtually
guaranteed to sweep the general election in November in the majority-Democrat city,” the
Promising voters he would bring new energy and ideas to tackle long-standing problems,
Fenty, the Ward 4 D.
C. Council member, defeated his nearest opponent by about 57 percent to 31 percent.
September 11 —Dean Pinkert '78 to Serve on U.S. Trade Commission
The White House has announced that the President intends to
nominate Dean A. Pinkert '78, to be a commissioner of
the United States International Trade Commission for a nine year
term beginning December 17, 2006. Currently three Democrats and
three Republicans serve as commissioners; Pinkert has been
nominated to fill a Democratic seat on the Commission. He currently
serves as a senior attorney at the Department of Commerce.
September 6—Metropolitan Opera To Go Digital with Opera Adaptation by Julie Taymor ’74 Reports AP
The Associated Press says that on December 30 the Metropolitan Opera will transmit the English language adaptation of Mozart's "Magic Flute" by Julie Taymor ’74 to hundreds of movie theaters in North America and Europe. Taymor’s work will be the first of six live performances to be transmitted in a groundbreaking attempt to expand its audience. The productions will be broadcast later on PBS-TV via conventional and high definition formats.
September 5--Wall Street Journal Tracks Obie Success Story
The Wall Street Journal chronicles the story of Thomas Cooper ’78, co-manager of the first mutual fund focused on developing nation bonds, GMO Emerging Country Debt Fund. In launching their fund in 1992, Cooper and his co-manager provided one of the first vehicles for U.S. investors to tap into the area. “Their portfolio is the best performing bond fund over the past 10 years, returning an average 17.7% a year. It ranks 16th over the past decade out of 6,093 mutual funds of all stripes,” says the WSJ.
September 5 —Washington Post Endorses Adrian Fenty ’92 For DC Mayor
The Washington Post endorsed Adrian Fenty ’92 as the Democratic candidate for mayor of Washington, DC, in an editorial praising his vision and leadership. According to the Post, Fenty possesses the qualities needed to be the next DC mayor. “... there is more to Adrian Fenty than a youthful, energetic and politically ambitious grass-roots campaigner,” says the Post. “There is a can-do quality in him that suggests the government can be reformed, that schools can be rebuilt and that institutions in this city can come together to improve people's lives. He offers a vision of the city that challenges the best in people.”
August 31—1988 Filmmaking Grad’ Profiled in New York Times
The New York Times did an extensive interview with director and writer Laurie Collyer ’88, whose drama Sherrybaby debuted early this year at Sundance and in September in New York City. The film stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as a young woman recently released from prison who must learn to settle down and care for her daughter. Collyer is a Brooklyn native who graduated from Oberlin in 1988 and went on to New York University’s film school. She also directed Nuyorican Dream, a documentary about a troubled Puerto Rican family in New York that was released in 1999.
August 20--Alumnus’ book on civil rights “sound and perceptive” says Washington Post
There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights by Jason Sokol ’99 got rave reviews in a number of national publications, including the Washington Post. “It's difficult not to approach Sokol's book with sheer astonishment that it has been written by one so young…but in truth, just about any scholar in the field would be happy to claim There Goes My Everything as his or her own work. . . his account of what happened to [whites whose lives were changed by the movement] is sound and perceptive.”
Sokol recently received a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, working under the supervision of Leon Litwack, the distinguished and influential historian of slavery.