OCDC Member Reflections

The Oberlin Colleges Dialogue Center has trained more than 150 students, staff, and faculty members since 2001. Read the reflections of members past and present as they share the impact the OCDC has had on their professional and personal lives.

Cassie Ahrens
"I am constantly amazed by how passionate everyone is in OCDC, and it has been great to feed off of everyone’s energy." Read More
Lena Amick
"Along with valuable mediation and facilitation skills, OCDC has given me a model to look at social justice that I use in all my relationships." Read More
Kal Anderson
"The skills I have learned while mediating, facilitating, and otherwise being involved in the Dialogue Center have forever changed the way I understand the world around me." Read More
Henry Barnor
"Being part of that first class of OCDC mediators was nothing short of a transformational experience for me." Read More
Rusty Bartels
"OCDC was a wonderful experience and the tools that I learned as a facilitator have helped me in envisioning my role as an instructor in the classroom." Read More
Sarah Bishop
"While I no longer do mediation directly, I use the tools I learned in OCDC to encourage dialogue and social justice analysis in my work on a daily basis." Read More
Rachel Bouer
"Being a mediator and facilitator with OCDC has been a significant, fulfilling, and unique part of my Oberlin experience." Read More
Marsha Lynn Bragg
"Perhaps what I enjoy most about being involved in OCDC is being able to meet and work with talented, insightful, caring students, who are genuinely concerned about important social, interfaith, gender, and simply human issues; issues that impact the heart and soul." Read More
Margaret Byerly
"My mediation training gave me a sense of how prevalent questions of social justice are—so much so that I find myself fixating on the social justice elements within all these fields." Read More
Kara Carmosino
"Participating in OCDC has given me a lasting commitment to social justice and multiple perspectives, as well as a strong belief in the transformative power of mediation." Read More
Sarah Chatfield
"I think the biggest way OCDC shaped my outlook on life after college is the idea of being “multi-partial” rather than “non-partial.” This approach has been particularly important in unofficially mediating conflicts as a teaching assistant." Read More
Joya Colon-Berezin
"The opportunity to practice the skill of listen -ing particularly within the context of mediating conflicts is a skill that has come to my rescue in difficult situations in more ways than I can count; in my personal and professional life." Read More
Mary Conger
"I continue to be grateful for and humbled by my OCDC experience, which I truly feel I (try to!) put to use almost every day of my life." Read More
Talia Cooper
"The Oberlin College Dialogue Center was a formative time in my Oberlin experience, helping me to further my skills as a facilitator for social justice." Read More
Kimberly Jackson Davidson
"In 10 years OCDC has become a lifestyle. What impresses me most is to see the way that the campus has come to expect OCDC to assist in facilitating civil conversation about controversial topics." Read More
Maryalice Davis
"I love working with the students of OCDC, and I am impressed daily with their dedication, love, and respect for the social justice mediation process." Read More
Assiatou Diallo
"I grew a lot as a person and an activist though this group. I have learned that conflict is sometimes a necessary stop on the road to growth and understanding." Read More
Ty Diringer
"He found the ability to actively listen and foster cooperation helped when he worked as a camp counselor at summer camp and aided in resolving conflicts on political campaigns." Read More
Melissa Elie
"Working with OCDC since 2010 has been one of the most valuable experiences she has had at Oberlin." Read More
Eric Estes
"OCDC is a unique and invaluable resource for stu-dents, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members." Read More
Gaby Garcia
"I hope that one day I can bring these great ideas and skills to help build and strengthen communities abroad." Read More
Carl Gardner
"I find my daily interactions with OCDC members very pleasant, as I believe they are truly caring and kind individuals who want to better our community through positivity and openness." Read More

Tristan Gordon

"Tristan has immensely enjoyed being involved in many OCDC-facilitated discussions within college and town communities and looks forward to becoming more actively involved in his last year as a student at Oberlin College." Read More
Aki Gormezano
"Being involved with OCDC has given me the chance to get together with other people on campus who are interested in the way we communicate!" Read More
Alexander Heald
"I have learned a lot about the importance of both sharing and listening, while before OCDC I thought it was only about listening." Read More
Rachel Hess
"OCDC has inspired her to work for social justice and change in all that she does." Read More
Diana Grossman Kahn
"I particularly enjoy being able to share ideas and associate with the kind of students who work with OCDC—those who are sincerely and creatively committed to being a part of solutions." Read More
Kailey Kawolics
"I loved the moments of seeing people in a mediation start to empathize with each other, OCDC meetings where a supportive community was fostered, and frequent visits to YB’s office to share stories." Read More
Emily Kennedy
"The opportunity to be connected with a community of people interested in building bridges between or-ganizations and people has been a really remarkable experience." Read More
Sean Lehlbach
"I really enjoyed watching how the students interacted and role-played the challenges before them." Read More
Rashne Limki
"My love for OCDC and my conviction in its mission stems so much from my experiences with YB’s unflinching resolve in ensuring the wellbeing of students." Read More
Joelle Eliza Lingat
"Every topic, skit, and conversation led to more and more realizations about society as a whole, the people around me, and myself." Read More
Nicholas Loh
"I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have the opportunity to work with YB and everyone else here at OCDC, and I can’t wait for everything that is to come!" Read More
Jill Medina
"As part of the first class of trained mediators, it was a wonderful experience to see OCDC and the Ombuds Office in it’s early stages." Read More
Amanda Medress
"I’m grateful to OCDC for teaching me critical communication skills, including how to listen (both to what is and what is not being said), how to repeat back, and how to seek out and balance multiple voices." Read More
Ann Mickel
"I realized that in order for me to truly be an effective member of this wonderful organization, I must remember that knowing how to deal with my own life circumstances will only help me in trying to assist others." Read More
Daniella Mostow
"I love running into OCDC members around campus and I am always so proud to be part of this community." Read More
Sohaib Naim
"...Working with OCDC made me a better person." Read More
Nancy Dung Nguyen
"OCDC showed me how to build bridges over ones that have been burned, nurture conversations where there was only distrust, and most critically—through a social justice lens." Read More
Anita Ofori-Addo
"OCDC equipped her with the skills necessary to talk about and address social justice issues." Read More
Asishana Avo Osho
"Mediation and the Dialogue Center were a humongous part of my college experience, and I can hardly imagine Oberlin without them." Read More
Suzanne Overstreet
"The people involved were serious about trying to resolve their differences, and it was very gratifying that we (OCDC) were available to help in the process." Read More
Reginald Patterson
"I am pleased that since my departure from Oberlin, OCDC has evolved into a fully fledged center, allowing more students to gain access to the same invaluable training I received there." Read More
Noah Pollaczek
"Since leaving Oberlin in 2003, I’ve been delighted to find that OCDC has expanded upon its original mission and evolved into the force it is today." Read More
Domenico Ruggerio
"I was thoroughly impressed by how, though the process of dialogue, students were able to engage in a challenging, personal, and politically charged conversation in a productive and respectful manner." Read More
Donna Russell
"The mediation skills Donna learned have been instrumental in her work with Bonner Scholars and daily interactions with students." Read More
Fajer Saeed
"OCDC has completely has changed my life! The social justice model is priceless and should be applied to all work done in all contexts." Read More
Hannah Santisi
"The training helped her understand the value of listening, and she uses the skills she learned from her mediation training every day." Read More
Danielle Schrimmer
"I feel lucky to have been a member of OCDC. I have gained incredible skills, increased my self-awareness, and enhanced my relationships with others." Read More
Sarah Schuster
"This training has helped me bridge the gap between the insular and important work of making painting, and the building of community, that is so much a part of my life here in the college and town." Read More
Julia Sheppard
"The community, staff, and student bonds through OCDC will stick with her forever and continue to impact her education and experience at Oberlin College." Read More
Melissa Hines Shungu
"My understanding of power and privilege and how those dynamics are a part of every situation are a direct result of my training with OCDC." Read More
Anne Siegler
"The mediation skills I learned at OCDC, although I have never gone on to mediate, have come in handy in multiple situations, across multiple types of work." Read More
Kantara Souffrant
"OCDC was one of my first lessons in self-accountability, and it is a lesson that I have tried to carry with me into my personal and academic life." Read More
AC Stokes
"The things I learned from OCDC about myself, about social issues, about human interaction, and communication, have been the most lasting lessons of my time at Oberlin." Read More
Alex Toutant
"I will be forever grateful to YB and the rest of the OCDC community for their incredible insight, profound empathy, and immense passion for social justice." Read More
Inyang Udo-Inyang
"For me OCDC is more than just an extracurricular activity. It has become a way of life." Read More
Pam Wang
"Experience of working with OCDC so far has gradually opened my horizon on different issues concerning social justice, enabled me to adjust my own perceptions of encounterings in life, and more importantly introduced me to all kinds of people, from whom I am learning to become a more well-rounded person." Read More
Hannah Wolfman-Arent
"When I facilitate, I have to shut up about my own stuff. I have to seriously listen to and consider other voices in the room rather than focusing on what I need to say next, and that’s been a wonderful learning experience for me." Read More
Yewhorkha Belachew
"To the members, for giving it all—your heart and souls. It has been a privilege working with all of you." Read More
Matan Zeimer
"OCDC offers opportunities that don’t exist on other college campuses and pushes for a higher standard of accountability within the college, which is necessary for a healthy campus community." Read More