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Oberlin in the News - Spring 2007

June 2007
June 4 - Nicole Mans ’03 Receives Fulbright to Conduct Research in Peru

Nicole Mans ’03, has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to do research in Peru on dengue, a mosquito-borne disease found in tropical and subtropical regions. Mans is a doctoral student at UC Davis, where she is studying dengue in Thomas Scott's Mosquito Research Laboratory. According to the Daily Democrat in Woodland, California, she will leave this fall to study the ecology and epidemiology of dengue in the city of Iquitos for eight to 10 months. "I'm particularly interested in the intersection of ecology, epidemiology and public health," Mans said. "I'm going to investigate who is at great risk, with the goal that we may eventually be able to direct control efforts more efficiently."

May 2007
May 30 -- The Film Music Society Recognizes Fred Steiner ’43
The Film Music Society featured a profile of renowned composer Fred Steiner ’43, who received an honorary doctor of music from Oberlin at the College’s 2007 commencement ceremonies. Steiner received the honor for his prolific career as a composer for radio, television, and film. He wrote the familiar themes for Perry Mason and Rocky & Bullwinkle, and considerable music for the original Twilight Zone and Star Trek series. His feature-film scores include Run for the Sun, Time Limit, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre and (in collaboration with Quincy Jones and other writers) The Color Purple, for which he received a 1985 Oscar nomination. Steiner was one of the founding members of The Film Music Society.

May 19 – Reuters in New York Times quotes David Orr at Cannes Film Festival
A Reuters story in the New York Times quoted David Orr, who served as an advisor for Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary on global warming The 11th Hour. Orr and DiCaprio spoke with reporters at the film's premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. "Sooner or later, it is film, music or poetry that move people. It's a necessary step in forming political discussion," said Orr, referring to DiCaprio's crediting Al Gore's 2006 Oscar winning An Inconvenient Truth with raising popular culture's concern about the issue. Orr, who is best known for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education, is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin and chair of the College’s environmental studies program.

May 18 – Chamber Ensemble Wins National Competition
The Prima Trio, an Oberlin Conservatory of Music chamber ensemble, recently won the 2007 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition's grand prize ($7,500) and the gold medal ($3,000) in the senior string division at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the trio - Farhad Hudiyev ’08 (violin), Boris Allakhverdyan ’08 (clarinet) and Anastasia Dedik ’06 (piano) - emerged from a competitive field of 47 ensembles from around the world to capture the top prizes. The trio also will participate in a winner's tour of the Midwest in October and in the Emilia Romagna Festival in Italy in 2008.

May 18 – Incoming First-Year Wins Writing Contest
Allie Hirsch, a senior at Oakton High School in Vienna, Virginia, won the B’nai B’rith International’s “Diverse Minds Youth Writing Contest” for writing and illustrating Elephants and Empanadas, a children’s book describing diversity and sameness in children’s lives. According to the Fairfax Observer, B'nai B'rith International, a Jewish human rights advocacy organization, printed 2,000 copies of the book and donated them to local libraries and teachers. Hirsch plans to study creative writing when she enters Oberlin College in September 2007.

May 17 – Paul Dwyer ’07 Receives Javits Fellowship
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Paul Dwyer ’07, a cello performance major at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, has received a Jacob. K. Javits fellowship. The award provides more than $40,000 a year for up to four years, which will cover Dwyer’s tuition and fees and provide a stipend while he pursues a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Michigan.

May 15 – Marvin Krislov Named Oberlin’s 14th President
The Associated Press announcement of Marvin Krislov as Oberlin’s 14th president was distributed nationwide, appearing in such publications as the Chicago Tribune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Inside Higher Ed. Krislov, Vice President and General Counsel at the University of Michigan, will take office on July 1, 2007. He will make the transition to Oberlin during July and August and be on campus full time beginning August 6.

May 10 – College Reduces its Impact on the Environment
WKYC-TV, Cleveland’s NBC affiliate, aired a segment on how Oberlin College is reducing its environmental impact. Featured in the story were the Adam J. Lewis Center for Environmental Studies and its photovoltaic parking pavilion, the Campus Resource Monitoring System, and MyCityWheels— an on-campus car sharing program.

April 2007
April 22— New York Times Recognizes Oberlin for Socially Responsible Food Service Program
The New York Times cited Oberlin as one of a handful of trend-setting institutions providing socially responsible, environmentally friendly, and allergen-free foods in college dining halls. Oberlin was noted for offering milk free of recombinant bovine growth hormone and serving ground beef that comes from grass-fed, hormone-free cows. Also garnering recognition was Oberlin’s reliance on locally grown produce and food.

April 17 – Oberlin alumni on staff of the Oregonian help publication win Pulitzer.
Two alumni on the staff of the Oregonian took part in the “skillful and tenacious coverage” that won the newspaper its 7th Pulitzer Prize. The prize was awarded for the newspaper’s reporting of the December 2006 search for James Kim ’93, who died while stranded in the Siskiyou Mountains.  David Austin ’86 covered the story from the newsroom and wrote the daily accounts of the search, and Steve Suo ’90 was a major contributor to the story; "The truth is that many of you in the newsroom, and some people who are not here today, own a piece of this," said Editor Sandy Rowe. "This one truly belongs to the staff.”

April 16 – Akron Beacon Journal praises Sol LeWitt Exhibition at Allen Art Museum. 
Akron Beacon Journal art critic Dorothy Shinn says the current Sol LeWitt show at the Allen Art Museum is “meaty, satisfying on many levels.” Two bold new wall drawings created by Sol LeWitt specifically for the AMAM's Ellen Johnson Gallery are the highlights of the exhibition and one, Wall Drawing #1222, Scribbles: Curved horizontal bands (Ob), is a gift from LeWitt to the College. Several Oberlin students helped construct and realize the work in accordance with LeWitt's instructions to use assistants to do so.  Adds Shinn, “This show, perhaps the last to have been personally conceived by LeWitt, is certainly worth a trip to Oberlin to see.”

April 14 -- New York Times Profiles Composer Huang Ruo ’00
The New York Times featured a profile of composer Huang Ruo ’00, who recently premiered his new cello concerto, “People Mountain People Sea,” at the Miller Theater. Huang decided to write for the cello because, “it reminds me of one of my favorite Chinese instruments, the ma tou qin, or horsehead fiddle,” which he describes as having a “very organic” sound. When composing the piece he did not intentionally write about any particular period or even just about Chinese people.  “For me, the goal is for people in the audience to hear the music with whatever experience they bring to it,” said Huang. “No matter what country, people are people.”

April 14 -- The International Museum of Women Features Film by Rian Brown-Orso
In the Presence of Water, a film by Assistant Professor of New Media Rian Brown-Orso, is part of the exhibit “Motherhood” put together by the International Museum of Women. The film chronicles her transition into motherhood, and according to Brown-Orso, “was a way of staying connected to my former self, my dreams, and my own memories.” “The material was generated out of great loneliness, isolation, fear, and amazement,” In the Presence of Water is an autobiographical collection of moments that capture the “internal landscape” of pregnancy.

April 12 - Benjamin Jaffe ’93 creates relief fund for New Orleans musicians.
The Beacon News, which serves Aurora, Illinois, in the greater Chicago area, profiled Benjamin Jaffe ’93, who with his wife, Sarah, founded the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund (NOMHRF).  Dedicated to helping musicians affected by hurricane Katrina, NOMHRF has played a major role in reviving the city’s unique musical culture.  To date, the NOMHRF has distributed over half a million dollars in grants to musicians, musical institutions, and members of the local music community.

April 1 - Oberlin College Makes Kiplinger's Best Value List
In the April issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Oberlin College was 40th on the magazine's list of the “100 Best Values in Private Colleges.” According to the report, “these schools offer aid that slashes the cost of a private education.” The report measures academic excellence and financial flexibility among the leading colleges and universities in the United States.

March 2007
March 2007 - Oberlin's Hybrid Vehicles and Car Sharing Program Featured in University Business
Oberlin College was featured in the “Transportation Trends” section of University Business magazine's March issue. Oberlin purchased two hybrid vehicles for the Office of Safety and Security and a Tiger Star cargo van for mail delivery. The College has also entered into a partnership with CityWheels, a Cleveland-based, car-sharing organization, to make new hybrid vehicles available to students, faculty, and staff. “As at many schools, the move to environmentally friendly transportation was driven by students,” according to University Business. “Andrew Decoriolis '07, spearheaded the hybrid purchase and was also instrumental in establishing the innovative campus car-sharing program.”

March 19 - In the Search for Scholarships, Oberlin is a Good Choice According to Businessweek
BusinessWeek recognized Oberlin College as a “active scholarship dispenser” in the article, “Scholarships: Not Just For The Needy.” The article tackles the issue of rising tuition and how top schools are offering highly discounted tuition breaks for students and families from all economic backgrounds. The article mentions Oberlin College along with Washington University as alternatives to the Ivies.

March 13 - Campuses Across the Country Adding Gender-Neutral Housing Options
According to the Michigan Daily article “Around US, Co-Ed Dorms Catch On,” Oberlin College is mentioned along with Swarthmore, Sarah Lawrence, and the University of Pennsylvania for implementing gender- neutral housing options. Oberlin College students are provided of gender-neutral housing options ranging from traditional dorms to themed program houses to off-campus living arrangements.

March 13 - Oberlin Grad Jeffrey Seemann '77 Finalist for Temple Provost Position
According to Temple News, Jeffrey Seemann '77, current dean of the College of Environment and Life Sciences at University of Rhode Island, has been announced as a finalist for the Temple University Provost position. In a recent talk at Temple, Dr. Seemann stated, “Oberlin gave you great contacts with the faculty and I would try to create that small liberal arts environment here.” Seemann earned a B.A. in biology at Oberlin before completing a Ph.D. in biological sciences at Stanford University.

March 3 - Two Obies Make Granta Magazine's List of Best Young American

In the 2007 spring issue of Granta magazine, Oberlin College graduates John Wray '93 and Gary Shteyngart '95 made the publication's list of the twenty-one Best Young American Novelists. According to the Guarding Observer, the list will “set the literary agenda for a generation.”
Shteyngart is the author of Absurdistan, chosen one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times in 2006, and The Russian Debutante's Handbook. Wray's first novel, The Right Hand of Sleep, was published in 2001 and won a Whiting Writers' Award.

February 2007
February 28 –Strings Magazine Features Profile of Jennifer Koh ’97
In the Strings magazine article “Heart Full of Soul,” Jennifer Koh is hailed as “a remarkable adult musician, both thoughtful and vibrant.” A former child prodigy, Koh had soloed with the Chicago Symphony by age 11 and won the top violin prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at age 17.  She “nixed the idea of becoming an instant touring virtuoso” to earn a double-degree in both violin performance and English at Oberlin. She has also created the outreach project Music Messenger, which takes her into schools to spread the universal language of music to secondary school kids in America, Japan, and Germany.

February 25 – New York Critics React to Oberlin’s Lost Highway
Top New York classical music critics, including Bernard Holland of the New York Times, Pulitzer Prize-winner Justin Davidson of Newsday, and Alex Ross of the New Yorker, were among nearly 20 members of the media to attend Oberlin’s Miller Theatre performances of Lost Highway, Olga Neuwirth’s refashioning of the David Lynch film. Both nights were sold out, and lines of people hoping for stand-by tickets formed in the Miller lobby. Comments included this one from Alex Ross, responding to blogger David Salvage on Sequenza21.com: “For any number of ear-tingling passages — especially the Olga Neuwirth Techno Danceparty — it was worth seeing. The Oberlin players were fantastic.”

February 25 – San Francisco’s Oberlin Dance Collective a Creative Force
Brenda Way ’76, founder of the San Francisco-based Oberlin Dance Collective, uses dance to evoke political expression and consciousness. According to the San Francisco Chronicle article “The ‘Sensible’ Way,” she has been a creative force in the development of dance in the Bay area. "There's no major development regarding dance in [San Francisco] over the past 30 years that Brenda hasn't been a part of," says Stanford University dance Professor Janice Ross “  Now in its 36th year, the ODC has evolved into a successful and influential modern dance institution, with a school, a theater and a $9.5 million headquarters in the Mission District.

February 21 – Robert Alexander ’75 Sets the Stage for the Next Generation of Theater Artists
In the San Francisco Chronicle article “Setting the stage for social change,” African-American playwright Robert Alexander ’75 is recognized as a leading figure for the next generation of theater artists. The author of 23 plays, he is also the co-editor of three “influential” new-play anthologies–Colored Contradictions: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Plays, Plays From Woolly Mammoth, and The Fire This Time. Alexander has been the playwright in residence at Wooly Mammoth Theater in Washington, D.C., Atlanta’s Jomandi Productions, and San Francisco’s Lorraine Hansberry Theater.

February 21—Conservatory Fosters Contemporary Sounds
An article in the New York Times touts the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as “a hotbed for new music.”  The Conservatory “has produced some of the top names in contemporary music, including the innovative ensembles International Contemporary Ensemble and Eighth Blackbird and soloists, like the violinist Jennifer Koh, who champions new repertory.” Timothy Weiss, director of the Conservatory’s respected Contemporary Music Ensemble says, “new music requires extraordinary technical skills, the development of which are an important part of Oberlin’s training.”

February 21 – E Magazine Cites Oberlin College as Hotbed of Green Design
In the E Magazine article “Green Design on a Roll,” Oberlin College’s Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies is hailed as a “cutting-edge green building.” The Lewis Center was the result of a combined effort by “some of the premier thinkers in the field,” including David Orr, director of environmental studies at Oberlin. “We can build high-performance buildings at very near the cost of regular buildings, so the payback is very quick,” Orr says in the E Magazine article.

February 14 – Father Maintains Daughter’s Legacy Through Poems
According to KXLY AM 920 (Spokane, Washington), Oberlin alumna Emma Howell’s collection of poems were assembled into a recently published book, Slim Night of Recognition, by her father Christopher Howell, who published the book to continue his daughter’s legacy after her untimely death in 2001. A poet since the age of 12, Emma studied writing and foreign languages at Oberlin and traveled to Brazil to study Afro-Brazilian culture. Proceeds will go to the poetry prize in Emma’s name at Oberlin College.

February 14- Father to Daughter to Granddaughter: A Peace Corps Legacy Continues in the O’Donnell Family
The Peace Corps has announced that Allison O’Donnell ’06, granddaughter of former Peace Corps Director Kevin O’Donnell, will be the third generation of the O’Donnell family to serve when she heads to Honduras. Allison will work as a health volunteer as part of an HIV/AIDS and Child Survival Project. “My career aspiration is to earn a graduate degree in public health and pursue a career in the global health field,” she says. The Peace Corps recently announced that Oberlin College is 24th on its list of Top Producing Colleges and Universities.

February 13 –Oberlin Bike Co-op Inspiration for Virginia Program
The Blacksburg Bicycle Cooperative, which opened last fall, recently provided bicycles to a group of refugee boys at the Pilot Street Center in Roanoke, Virginia. According to the Roanoke Times, co-founder Yusef Messallam credits the Oberlin Bike Co-op for providing the impetus to get the Blacksburg Bicycle Cooperative off the ground. “It all began at Oberlin College,” says Messallam. “They were kind of the model that inspired others to open.”

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