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Oberlin in the News - Summer 2004

August 2004
August 31-- The New York Times Interviews Dr. C. Erec Stebbins '92
Today's edition of The New York Times included an article on Dr. C. Erec Stebbins '92, head of Rockefeller University's Laboratory of Structural Microbiology. Stebbins, who specializes in salmonella, and two of his colleagues from Rockefeller University moved molecular biology a big step forward last spring by publishing a rendering of the structure of C.D.T., a toxic component of salmonella and other bacteria.

August 30--Crain's Cleveland Business Lauds Oberlin Business Scholars Program
An article in Crain's Cleveland Business announced that the Oberlin Business Scholars program, which pairs Oberlin students with Oberlin alumni in the work force, will continue this year. At the end of last year's program, two seniors went to work at a prominent Wall Street investment bank, while the other 10 participants landed finance-focused summer internships.

August 29--Kaplan Ranks Oberlin America's Hottest School for Individualists
Kaplan's 2005 Guide to America's 25 Hottest Schools ranks Oberlin as the number one school for individualists in the nation. Citing the first-year seminar program and the Experimental College as potential draws, the article boasts that Oberlin's "eccentric" approach gets results, with graduates earning more PhDs than the alumni of other liberal-arts institutions.

August 29--You Remind Me of Me Continues to Receive Rave Reviews
The Tallahassee Democrat and the Sun-Sentinel recently reviewed Dan Chaon's novel You Remind Me of Me, warning readers that "nothing, absolutely nothing, will even slightly hint at the poignant, heartbreaking tale that Chaon masterfully tells." Chaon, a professor of creative writing at Oberlin College, is also the author of a collection of short stories titled Among the Missing.

August 26--Alumnus Clowns His Way to the Top
During a three-day artist residency at Miami University, Bill Irwin '73 sat down with reporters from the Cincinnati Enquirer for an interview. The long-time master clown, actor, and performance artist is responsible for elevating theatrical clowning to an art form, so much so that New York's Signature Theatre devoted its 2003-04 season to his work.

August 25--Thisbe Nissen '94 Delivers New Novel
Today's Akron Beacon Journal included a review of Thisbe Nissen's new book Osprey Island. Nissen, who graduated from Oberlin College in 1994, is the author of Out of the Girls Room and Into the Night, a collection of critically acclaimed short stories.

August 23--Andy Hunter '01 and His Quartet Draw Crowds in Shanghai
Eastday.com recently featured an article about Andrew (Andy) Hunter '01 and his band, the Andy Hunter Quartet. Hunter, who majored in both jazz trombone and East Asian studies, is currently performing at Shanghai's House of Blues and Jazz, where he is earning rave reviews for his performances and his ability to speak to club-goers in their native language.

August 21--Michael Morgan '79 Recognized for Community Service
An article in today's Oakland Tribune reports that Michael Morgan '79, music director for the Oakland East Bay Symphony, will be among those receiving awards for community service at a banquet sponsored by the Take Wings Foundation. Morgan, who has served as the director of the symphony for 14 years, is being recognized as a champion of the arts and music in Oakland schools, and for being a role model in a profession where few African Americans have excelled.

August 20--U.S. News and World Report Rankings Released for 2004
The Associated Press recently reported on this year's U.S. News and World Report Rankings of America's Best Colleges, in which Oberlin College ranked 23rd in the liberal arts category. Several other Ohio schools ranked in the top 105, including Kenyon College, the College of Wooster, and Dennison, Ohio Wesleyan, and Wittenberg Universities.

August 18--Conservatory Student Explores Aspen's History
Oberlin Conservatory student Jeffrey Young has spent his summer at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he has been taking private violin lessons and attending conferences. And, according to an article in the Aspen Times, reading the memoirs of his great-great-grandfather, a Cincinnati lawyer and businessman who invested in the local mines around Aspen in the late 1800s.

August 12--Alumus Participates in Olympic Relay
An article in today's Plain Dealer and Times-Picayune tells the story of John Tripoulas '78, who recently carried the Olympic torch 400 meters on its relay through the Greek countryside. Tripoulas is the grandson of Dimitrios Golemis, an ophthalmologist who won a bronze medal for the 800-meter race during the 1896 Olympics.

August 10--Cheryl Hudson '70, Founder of Just Us Books
The Herald News (East Orange, New Jersey) featured an article about Cheryl Hudson '70 and her husband Wade Hudson, who founded Just Us Books in 1988. The Hudson's publishing company produces books for young readers that offer a positive view of African Americans, and has received awards from the American Library Association Black Writers Conference and the Publishers Marketing Association.

August 8--Obies Bike for Democracy and Increase Voter Registration
The Sunday Oregonion reported today that five members of Bike for Democracy are leaving Portland this coming week for a three-month, cross-country voter registration and education campaign aimed at young people. Four of the five starting riders are graduates of Oberlin College, and the fifth is currently enrolled.

August 3--Local Paper Interviews Encyclopedia Brown's Creator
An article in today's Chronicle-Telegram featured an article on Donald Sobol '48, author of the long-running Encyclopedia Brown and Two-Minute Mysteries series. Sobol, who enrolled at Oberlin after a stint in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, credits former English professor Ralph Singleton with his writing success.

August 1--Oberlin's International Piano Competition and Festival Makes the News
Several local papers, including Lorain's Morning Journal and Cleveland's Plain Dealer, featured articles about the 10th annual Oberlin International Piano Competition and Festival. The festival, directed by Oberlin Professor of Pianoforte Robert Shannon, is for pianists between the ages of 13 and 18. Da Wang, a 17-year-old from Shenyand, China, took first place this year.

July 2004
July 29--Oberlin's Quartet in Residence to Perform
Today's Hartford Courant reported that the St. Petersburg String Quartet, Oberlin Conservatory's quartet-in-residence, will perform in Falls Village, Connecticut, as part of the Music Mountain's 75th anniversary season.

July 26--Alumna Performs Lead Role in "L'Elisir d'Amore"
Alyson Cambrige '01 recently performed the role of Adina in Donizetti's delightful opera "L'Elisir d'Amore" with the Wolf Trap Opera Company. Washington Post staffer Joan Reinthaler called the soprano's performance "radiant, vocally assured, dramatically subtle, and compelling and artistically imaginative." Although Cambridge performed in several principal roles as an undergraduate, this is her first lead role with a professional company.

July 25--Plain Dealer Reviews Dan Chaon's Latest Work
Professor of Creative Writing Dan Chaon's novel You Remind Me of Me has received praise from critics everywhere. Recently, the Plain Dealer's Book Editor, Karen Sandstrom, interviewed Chaon. The resulting article detailed Chaon's theories of writing, parenting, nature vs. nurture, and happiness.

July 25--Professor Revisits History of Underground Railroad
Professor of History Carol Lasser weighed in on the recent discoveries in Buckeye, Kentucky, where a team of archaeologists has uncovered evidence that more than 400 escaped slaves, all women and children, were expelled from Camp Nelson to freeze and starve in November 1863. An article in Sunday's Plain Dealer quotes Lasser as saying, "This is completely fascinating and new to me. To find out what happened down there is a great addition to our knowledge of that period. We often forget the life-and-death nature of the struggle, and this tells a powerful story."

July 25--Morning Journal Interviews Amber Fisher '88
Today's edition of the Morning Journal features an article on Amber Fisher '88, superintendent of the Lorain County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. Before becoming superintendent, Fisher spent 15 years at Lorain County's Murray Ridge Center. "I can't say that there's anywhere else where I'd rather work inside or outside of the MR/DD. It's possible that I'll retire from Murray Ridge," Fisher said.

July 21-- St. Petersburg Times Interviews the Payphone Project's Founder
The St. Petersburg Times recently ran an article about former Tampa resident Mark Thomas '90, founder of the one-of-a-kind payphone project, which charts almost a half-million payphone locations and numbers via the Internet. These days, Thomas is taking a break from payphones to concentrate more on photography and music. A concert pianist, he performs with members of the Astoria Music Society and as a soloist.

July 18--Local Reporter Discovers Oberlin's Field Magazine
An article in today's Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine documents the history of Oberlin College's Field magazine. What started in 1969 as a small, eclectic publication has grown into one of the most esteemed poetry publications around, with well-known poets and their less-established counterparts vying to have their works published within its pages. David Young, a retired English professor (as well as a poet and translator), explains the ongoing mission of the publication, "We wanted to identify real excellence in contemporary poetry and apply that with a lot of integrity."

July 15--Professor's Book Reveals the Myths Behind Sleeping Beauty
This week's issue of Time Out New York features a review of Sleeping Beauty: A Legend in Progress, authored by Associate Professor of Russian Tim Scholl. After participating in the Maryinsky Ballet's 1999 restoration of this long-running show, Scholl decided to trace its development, from the rocky Soviet years to its latest incarnation, providing readers with insight and witticisms along the way.

July 12--Sustainable Dining at Oberlin Makes the News
The current issue of emagazine.com explores the growing trend of sustainable dining on college campuses across the nation. In the article, Brad Masi '93, director of the George Jones Memorial Farm in Oberlin, Ohio, remembers how he worked with fellow students to redirect college dining money into northeastern Ohio. Because of these efforts, Oberlin College's dining service now spends $225,000 of a $2.84 million annual food budget locally.

July 11--Boston Globe Interviews Julie Taymor '74
Today's edition of the Boston Globe features a four-page article on Julie Taymor '74, the Tony award-winning director of Broadway's smash hit The Lion King. The article traces Taymor's development as an artist and examines the experiences that that have shaped her art.

July 11--Local Paper Features Article on New Conservatory Dean
Today's Morning Journal features a profile on David Stull '89, newly appointed dean of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Stull, an accomplished tubist who spent the past four years at Oberlin as associate dean, has also served as associate director of admissions at the Julliard School, and director of admissions and assistant dean at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconson.

July 10--Robert Fuller '56 Investigates "Rankism"
Former Oberlin College President and alumnus Robert Fuller '56 is the subject of a recent article in the New York Times. Fuller, author of Somebodies and Nobodies, has sounded the alarm against "rankism," the bullying behavior of people who think they are superior. To date, Fuller's book has sold 33,000 copies and his web site totals 2,000 to 3,000 visitors a week.

July 6--Alumnus Unveils New Musical Comedy
Gregg Coffin '86 is the subject of a recent interview in The Empty Closet, New York State's oldest continuously-published GLBT newspaper. Coffin, an actor, director, and playwright, will unveil his new musical comedy, Five Course Love, later this summer.

July 4--Alumnus Takes Acting Career Off-Off-Broadway, to Washington, D.C.
An article in today's Washington Post lauds the city as the perfect launching pad for an acting career. Or at least this holds true for Carlos Bustamante '98, who was cast in a production on his second day in the city. Bustamante now performs regularly with Washington's smaller companies and works backstage as a carpenter with the Woolly Mammoth.

July 1--USA Today Praises Chaon's Newest Novel
Dan Chaon's recently-published novel, You Remind Me of Me, received high praise in a USA Today book review. Chaon, an associate professor of creative writing, is also the author of Among the Missing, a collection of short stories that was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award.

July 1--Christopher LaFleur '72 Appointed Ambassador to Malaysia
In a press release issued from the White House, President George W. Bush nominated Christopher J. LaFleur '72 to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to Malaysia. LaFleur, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, currently serves as the Cyrus Vance Fellow in Diplomatic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

June 2004
June 28--Expert on West Nile Virus Reassures Canadians
The Windsor Star recently quoted Assistant Professor of Biology Mary Garvin as saying that the threat of West Nile Virus has been "greatly exaggerated." Garvin, who spoke at the 2004 Lake Erie Update on Pelee Island, reassured people that the mosquito carrying the virus is most likely to breed in urban areas and gave advice on keeping the bugs at bay.

June 27--Local Weaver Tackles the Challenge of Aging through Art Therapy
An article in today's Plain Dealer, about art therapy and aging, focused on Mary Louise VanDyke, a library associate at Oberlin College. VanDyke, who has been weaving for 55 years, recently was asked to create a tapestry that would express the idea of aging. The finished project is on display in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. "I'm not a patient person, but I have all the patience in the world for this," VanDyke says. "It's a powerful therapy."

June 23--Mukilteo Beacon Features Hometown Hero Eden Trenor '04
Today's edition of the Mukilteo Beacon featured a story on Eden Trenor '04, who returned home to Mukilteo to launch the town's first farmer's market. Trenor, who received $40,000 from the Compton Foundation to fund the market, hopes it will bring the local community together and provide Mukilteo's downtown business district with a steady stream of foot traffic.

June 22--Oberlin Joins with Other Campuses to Offer Gender-Neutral Housing
A recent article in USA Today reports that gender-neutral housing is becoming more and more common at colleges and universities nationwide. Campuses that offer gender-neutral housing options or other gender-neutral facilities include Oberlin College, Sarah Lawrence College, Beloit College, the University of Chicago, and the University of Southern Maine. Revised housing policies on college campuses are part of a national movement aimed at serving the nation's transgender population.

June 17--Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies Makes the Grade
A new book released by San Diego State University offers colleges and universities nationwide a look at how other institutions practice environmental sustainability and incorporate the concept into class curricula. Among the case studies mentioned in Sustainability on Campus: Stories and Strategies for Change, is Oberlin College's Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, which is listed as the book's sole example of sustainability through agriculture.

June 15--Singer-Songwriter Josh Ritter '99 Continues Successful Summer Tour
As Josh Ritter '99 launches in to the second leg of his summer tour, the glowing reviews are rolling in. Sue Wilson, a writer for thescotsman.com, raved about Ritter's performance at King Tut's, in Glasgow, Scotland, comparing the singer-songwriter to a young Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen "who mixes in energetic strains of country, rock, and ebullient punk attitude...with a potent vein of visionary and biblical imagery."

June 14--Professor of Politics Ronald Kahn Ranks Reagan, Other U.S. Presidents
Professor of Politics Ronald Kahn was one of 78 professors of law, political science, and economics surveyed for the newly-released book, Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and Worst in the White House. In an article in the Indianapolis Star, Kahn agreed with the majority of his colleagues, ranking Reagan 8th among 39 U.S. presidents with records substantial enough to evaluate, by saying, "The result of the overspending back then is that our long-term spending on the military could go down. We no longer need to be geared up to fight two major wars at a given time."

June 14--Oberlin College Announces Plans for Innovative Charter Program
The Ohio Department of Education is currently reviewing proposals for the state's first charter colleges, which will train teachers for high-demand areas such as math, science, and special education. Oberlin College is among a handful of private colleges submitting proposals for funding. Diana Roose, assistant to the College's president, described the proposal to reporters for the Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon Journal as a specialized master's degree program that would include a partnership with the Oberlin School district.

June 13--Dan Chaon's Latest Book Hits Store Shelves Today
Today's edition of the Lorain Morning Journal featured an article about Oberlin College Professor of Creative Writing Dan Chaon. Chaon's first novel, You Remind Me of Me, recently was published by Ballantine Books. Chaon is also the author of Among the Missing, a collection of short stories, and is currently at work on his second novel.

June 13--Lorain Morning Journal Reports that Two All-Star Athletes will Attend Oberlin College in the Fall
If all goes well, recent Oberlin High School graduate Jordan Beard will continue playing football with fellow graduate Chris Schubert. According to the Lorain Morning Journal, both Beard and Schubert, who participated in Lorain County's all-star football game, will attend Oberlin College in the fall. Beard also plans to try out for Oberlin's basketball team. Earlier this year, Beard was named Lorain County's "Mr. Basketball," and was the leading scorer in the county's all-star basketball game.

June 10--Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist an Oberlin Alumnus
An article in Investor's Business Daily, Inc. highlights Robert Millikan (OC 1891) and his contributions to science. Millikan, a Nobel Prize-winner whose passion for physics led to a method for measuring the electron's charge, also became a key government adviser and the builder of the California Institute of Technology.

June 6--Obie Grad Becomes Youngest Member of Sierra Club's Board
Today's edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer ran an article on David Karpf '01, who recently became the youngest member of the board of the 700,000-member Sierra Club. Karpf, a former member of the Sierra Student Coalition as well as the coalition's national director, was one of eight candidates named by the club's official nominating committee for the five available spots on the Sierra Club's board.

June 1--Oberlin Graduate Receives Knight of the Legion of Honor Medal
Oberlin graduate Roy Bair '49 returned to the beaches of Normandy with 99 other World War II veterans, where they received the Knight of the Legion of Honor medal from the French government. The medal, which is the government's highest military honor, was issued to Americans who served in the liberation of France during the war.

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