Sidelines:

Science Students in the Spotlight | An Evening with a Culture Hero | Oberlin Reads | The Conservatory's New Dean | Celebrating Women's History


Peace Corps Training Ground

Last year 19 Oberlin graduates were serving in the Peace Corps, earning the College sixth place on the 1998 List of Smaller Colleges and Universities with Graduates Currently Serving as Peace Corps Volunteers.

Oberlin ranks third among the same group for the number of alumni who have served in the Peace Corps since its inception 37 years ago. Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago top that list for small colleges and universities. Last fall, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton sent a congratulatory letter to Oberlin's President Nancy S. Dye. Peace Corps volunteers from Oberlin "are among our nation's best and brightest," wrote Clinton, "and their decision to join the Peace Corps reflects not only the quality of their education but also the spirit of service that is fostered on the campus of Oberlin College."


Science Students in the Spotlight

Two senior biology majors - Katy Roberts and Angie Burkeen - get the chance this semester to rub elbows with professional scientists when they present their research at scientific conferences.

Roberts presented an abstract, "Troponin I Diversity in Slow, Fast, and Superfast Muscles of the Toadfish Opsanus Tau," at the 43rd Annual Bio-physical Society meeting held February 16 in Baltimore. She has researched the proteins created for muscular movement on the toadfish.

After studying the C. elegans worm, Burkeen will discuss her abstract, "The Role In Vivo of a Putative Heptad Repeat in Troponin T of Caenorhabditis elegans," at the 12th International C. elegans meeting, which will be held June 2-6 in Madison, Wisconsin.

The honors students are lead authors on their research abstracts. Although Oberlin students receive coauthor credit on papers to which they've contributed, it is uncommon for students to be the lead author, says Assistant Professor of Biology Taylor Allen, who works with Burkeen and Roberts.

Both women will publish scientific papers on their findings.


An Evening with a Culture Hero

The New York Times has described Eric Bogosian '76 as having "crossed the line that separates an exciting artist from a culture hero." The Obie-award winning playwright and performer brought his newest one-man show, An Evening with Eric Bogosian, to Finney Chapel in February. In An Evening, a sequel to his Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll and Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead, Bogosian explores contemporary urban male thought and impulse through a series of monologues. His characters - tirading junkies, businessmen, hipsters, panhandlers, and A-type personalities - present Bogosian's bittersweet and intense fixations on fear, speed, power, fantasy, mental illness, and normalcy. During his stay on campus, Bogosian discussed the development of his career with students and Professor of Theater Roger Copeland.


Oberlin Reads

The Center for Service and Learning expanded its role in the Oberlin community last semester by accepting the U.S. Department of Education's America Reads challenge, which aims to ensure that every student can read well and independently by the end of the third grade. The College used a portion of its federal work-study award to hire 26 students to tutor students at Oberlin's two elementary schools. Many of the tutors are interested in pursuing careers in education. Besides the experience they gain, tutors can expand their skills by participating in the workshops offered by the Center for Service and Learning. "I find the enthusiasm of the elementary students wonderful," says Oberlin senior Amy Keith. "Reading with them and being in the environment of a first- and second-grade classroom has been an incredible experience."


The Conservatory's New Dean

Professor of Organ and Harpsichord David Boe has been named acting dean of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.

Boe served as dean of the conservatory from 1976 to 1990 before stepping down to devote himself to teaching full time. During his tenure as dean, he developed a summer program that grew to include 11 different workshops, as well as the internationally known American Soviet Youth Orchestra. He also spearheaded three major capital projects - the renovation of Warner Concert Hall, the conservatory library addition, and the development of the electronic and computer music complex.

"Professor Boe is the consummate professional," said Nancy S. Dye, president of Oberlin College. "He helped elevate the conservatory to its current status, which is surpassed by none."

"I am honored that President Dye has asked me to resume an administrative role with the conservatory's gifted faculty and students as a national search is conducted for a permanent replacement," said Boe.

Boe replaces Karen Wolff, who resigned, effective February 1, 1999.


Celebrating Women's History

Oberlin, the first college in the U.S. to grant women B.A. degrees, kicked off its celebration of Women's History Month (March) in late February with a three-day residency by leading feminist philosopher Linda Martin Alcoff. A professor of philosophy at Syracuse University, Alcoff's scholarship focuses on continental philosophy, epistemology, feminist theory, and philosophy of race. During her residency, she gave a lecture, "Is Identity a Problem? The Pathologizing of Identity in Contemporary Political Discourses"; took part in a brown-bag-lunch discussion of her work in progress, "Towards a Phenomenology of Racial Embodiment"; and presented a workshop that explored the question of experience in feminist theory.