teaching at Oberlin, faculty members have chosen to work with
undergraduates, and they commit themselves to excellent teaching
and close work with students. But outstanding teaching is only
half of Oberlin's education equation. Every faculty member also
pursues active and continuing research. This work keeps professors
current in their field, which then informs what takes place
in Oberlin's classrooms and instructional laboratories.
We have professional faculty members who make real contributions
to their fields, not just people who interpret their fields
to their students, says David Benzing, Robert S. Danforth
Professor of Biology. (Information about faculty members'
research interests and publications can be found in each department's
This dual commitment to teaching and research requires extraordinary
amounts of energy and time. Teaching and research do compete
for time, says Biology Professor Yolanda Cruz. But
I like teaching, and I would never give it up for a purely research
job. Doing significant research at a teaching institution is
hard, even with good students to help. But I think you canand
I want to be engaged in teaching and research, and both
in a serious way. There aren't too many places where you can
do that, agrees Geology Professor Bruce Simonson, several
of whose former students are now professional colleagues. Understanding
how the earth works drives me intellectually. Working with students
and getting them excited gives me new insights.
Students gain clear benefits from Oberlin's faculty of
teacher-researchers. They are taught by working scientists who
bring their own sense of discovery and love of learning into
Students also play an importanteven essentialrole
in faculty research. Because there are no graduate students
at Oberlin, many faculty members involve student assistants
in their own research. A good number of these collaborations
result in jointly authored articles for professional journals.
In the 10 years I've been here, I've worked with about
30 students in a close, one-on-one way. That is what allows
me to keep my research alive, says Associate Professor
of Physics Dan Stinebring.
Such collaborations can have lasting effects. One of the
most satisfying aspects of my career has been maintaining contacts
with former students who have gone on to do great thingssome
are working at major universities, some have made major discoveries,