Commission Cochairs

  • Meredith M. Gadsby

    Meredith Gadsby.
    Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

    Meredith M. Gadsby (she, her, hers) is associate professor of Africana studies and comparative American studies at Oberlin College, where she teaches African Diasporic Literatures, Black Women‘s Writing, and Black Gender and Sexuality Studies, and is a proud mentor for Oberlin’s 10th group of Posse Scholars.

    She is the author of Sucking Salt: Caribbean Women Writers, Migration, and Survival (University of Missouri, 2006) and a coedited volume, Decolonizing the Academy (Africa World Press, 2003). Gadsby has published in the journals Interventions, Modern Fiction Studies, Small Axe, and MaComère. Her most recent publications include ‘‘Selective Compassion: The US Approach to Haitians Hasn’t Changed in Hundreds of Years,’’  and expert contribution to ‘‘Here’s Why Juneteenth Matters,’’  a feature article for Essence magazine’s special online issue written by Kara Stevens ‘01.

    A forthcoming chapter, ‘‘Still Eating Salt: Teaching Toni Cade Bambara for the Sake of Black Women’s Wellness and Political Transformation,’’ will appear in Rethinking Gender, Culture, and Health in Africa and the Diaspora (January 2021), edited by Obioma Nnaemeka and Jennifer Thorington Springer.

    Gadsby sits on the International Advisory Board of the Journal of African Gender Studies. She is the former faculty liaison to the Toni Morrison Society and serves on the Toni Morrison Society Board of Trustees. Gadsby is also immediate past president of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars.

    Her civic engagement in Lorain and Cuyahoga County includes memberships on the Oberlin Public Library Board of Trustees, Oberlin Community Services Board, and the Fund for Our Economic Future. She enjoys the love of wonderful family and friends, including road trips with her husband and dancing on Friday nights in the kitchen with her children Caleb (16), Solomon (13), and Senait Rose.

  • William “Bill” Quillen

    Bill Quillen.
    Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

    A musicologist and former tubist, William Quillen specializes in Russian music, 20th- and 21st-century music, and the sociology of music. As a research fellow of the University of Cambridge’s Clare College (2010-13), he supervised a variety of courses in the university’s Faculty of Music and Department of Slavonic Studies.

    He also served on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley as a visiting lecturer from 2013-14, and has delivered a variety of invited talks at universities throughout the United States and U.K.

    His work has been published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society and Music & Letters, among other forums. He serves on the editorial board of Academic Studies Press‘ Studies in the History and Sociology of Music series. He has appeared as a lecturer for organizations such as Cal Performances and helped organize concerts, conferences, and other events in the United States, U.K., and Russia.

    Quillen joined the Oberlin Conservatory as associate dean for academic affairs in August 2017, having previously served in the administrations of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Berkeley Symphony, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and the San Francisco Symphony. In late fall 2018, he became acting dean of the conservatory.

    During his time at Oberlin, he co-led the institution’s decennial reaccreditation through the Higher Learning Commission and served as vice chair of the Academic and Administrative Program Review. He is currently leading implementation of a suite of curricular and programmatic changes in the conservatory as part of the One Oberlin initiative.

    He was named dean of the conservatory in January 2020.

Commission Members

  • Corey Barnes ’98

    Corey Barnes.
    Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

    Corey Barnes ’98 is Robert S. Danforth Associate Professor and Chair of Religion. He has taught a range of historical and thematic courses on religion in the medieval mediterranean world at Oberlin since 2006 and has participated in a variety of institutional initiatives, including the Academic and Administrative Program Review.

  • Manuel Carballo

    Manuel Carballo.
    Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

    Manuel Carballo joined Oberlin College as the vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid in 2017. A strong advocate for the value of liberal arts education with significant experience in multicultural and international recruitment, Carballo worked for 12 years at Middlebury College, culminating as director of admissions. He also served in the Swarthmore College Admissions Office and as head of Upper School for independent schools in Texas and Costa Rica.

    Carballo earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Swarthmore College, where he began his admissions career, and a master’s degree in international education policy from Harvard University.

  • André Douglas

    André Douglas
    Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

    André Douglas is Area Coordinator for Multicultural and Identity-Based Communities at Oberlin College. He is half-Filipino, half-Jamaican, and a first-generation American, hailing from Newark, New Jersey. While completing undergraduate work at Franklin and Marshall College, Douglas worked with multiple nonprofits that focused on college access and success and assisted in developing community programs at his local YMCA. After graduating in 2015, Douglas joined the College Advising Corps (CAC), where he worked with underrepresented communities both virtually and in person to provide support to students and families across the nation.

    At CAC, he partnered with various higher education initiatives and organizations, including the Obamas’ Better Make Room and Reach Higher Campaigns, Google for Education, and IDEO. Most recently Douglas worked at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a MSEd while completing a certificate program related to diversifying higher education systems. He additionally helped to create and lead dialogue training workshops on inclusion and belonging for staff and faculty members.  

  • Justin Emeka ’95

    Justin Emeka.
    Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

    Justin Emeka ‘95 is associate professor of Africana studies and theater at Oberlin and a professional theater artist recognized for his ability to integrate traditions of the African Diaspora within classical and contemporary theater. His work has been seen at Pittsburgh Public Theater, Yale Rep, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Seattle Rep, Juilliard, Syracuse Stage, NYU, the Classical Theatre of Harlem, Seattle Theatre Group, and Karamu House.

    Emeka is a recipient of the Drama League’s National Fellowship in Classical Directing, as well as a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and Actors Equity Association. His published works include ‘‘Seeing Shakespeare Through Brown Eyes’’ in the book Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches and ‘‘Playing with Race in the New Millennium’’ in the book Casting a Movement. His work can be seen at: www.justinemeka.com .

  • Jenny Garcia

    Jenny Garcia.
    Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

    Jenny Garcia is an assistant professor of politics and comparative American studies at Oberlin. Her research interests focus on the intersection of American politics and race and ethnic politics. More particularly, her work looks at the legislative behavior and political representation of racial and ethnic minorities in American political institutions and how racial attitudes shape legislative action. Her current book project, From Protest to Policymaking: Black Legislative Strategies in the Post-War Era, looks at the legislative tactics used by Black members of Congress to advocate for Black policy priorities.

    Her research received an award from the Western Political Science Association and has been published in Political Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, American Politics Research, Social Science Quarterly, andElection Law Journal. She teaches courses on the American Presidency, U.S. Congress, and Race and Ethnic Politics.

  • Dana Hamdan

    Dana Hamdan.
    Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

    Dana Hamdan is associate dean and executive director of the Career Development Center. In that role, she develops and manages a number of major cocurricular and developmental initiatives. Hamdan has prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in her work, most recently in Oberlin’s new Junior Practicum program. DEI sessions throughout the program focus on preparing students of color to navigate and thrive in predominantly white workplaces and on helping white students to become better allies. 

    Hamdan’s approach to promoting interactional diversity can be seen in other initiatives that she oversees, including the Peer Advising Leaders (PAL) and Sophomore Opportunities and Academic Resources (SOAR) programs. Hamdan has also served as a panelist discussing diversity and inclusion initiatives at a number of conferences, including the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ annual meeting and the Consortium on High Achievement and Success symposium, where she discussed using a DEI lens to integrate curricular and cocurricular initiatives.

  • Henry Hicks ‘21

    Henry Hicks.
    Photo credit: Courtesy of Henry Hicks

    Henry Hicks (he/him/his) is a fourth-year student from Nashville, Tennessee, studying comparative American studies and creative writing at Oberlin with a concentration in identity and diversity. On campus, Hicks serves as chair of Student Senate, coeditor-in-chief of the Plum Creek Review,  a peer advising leader, and currently sits on the college’s Equity and Diversity Committee. 

    Over the course of his college career, he has held internships and staff positions in the United States House of Representatives and Senate and spent the fall 2019 semester in Waterloo, Iowa, as a field organizer for the Kamala Harris for the People campaign. Hicks is excited to get to work in fighting for racial justice through the Presidential Initiative on Racial Equity and Diversity.

  • Chris Jenkins

    Chris Jenkins.

    Chris Jenkins, associate dean for academic support at the Oberlin Conservatory, is an educator, administrator, and performing violist. At Oberlin, he is a deputy Title IX coordinator and conservatory liaison to the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

    Through a Curriculum Diversification Grant awarded by the American Society for Aesthetics, in 2017 Jenkins published an annotated bibliography of works pertaining to the aesthetics of African American classical music.

    In 2020, the American Society for Aesthetics awarded him the Irene H. Chayes ‘‘New Voices’’ prize for new scholarship, and the Journal of the American Viola Society awarded his article on African American violists second prize in the David Dalton Research Competition.

    Jenkins is currently earning a DMA in viola performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music and a PhD in historical musicology at Case Western Reserve University, where his work focuses on the music of African American composers.

  • David Kamitsuka

    David Kamitsuka.
    Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

    David Kamitsuka is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oberlin College.

    An award-winning teacher, accomplished scholar, and visionary administrator, Kamitsuka has served Oberlin for 26 years. He chaired the steering committee for Oberlin’s Academic and Administrative Program Review, which produced the landmark One Oberlin Report that recommends a range of programmatic and operational initiatives that will ensure Oberlin’s excellence, relevance, and financial sustainability for generations to come.

    Prior to his appointment as dean, Kamitsuka served as senior associate dean, and associate dean of the curriculum in the College of Arts and Sciences. He led the development of the Academic Advising Resource Center and the Peer Advising Leaders program for first-year students, and was the founding director of the Oberlin Center for Convergence (StudiOC).

    A scholar of religious studies, Kamitsuka joined the college in 1993. He has served as chair of the Jewish Studies Program, the Middle East North African Studies Program, and the Department of Religion.

  • Gunnar Kwakye

    Gunnar Kwakye
    Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

    Gunnar Kwakye is associate professor of neuroscience at Oberlin and serves as the college’s diversity and inclusion faculty consultant. He teaches classes in the areas of neuroscience and toxicology, including neurotoxicology, neurodegeneration, environmental toxicology, and global health. His research with students employs neuronal and glial cultures, cellular/molecular, analytical, and biochemical techniques to understand the basis of neurotoxicity and selective loss of cells in neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington, Parkinson, and Multiple System Atrophy.

    His research program encompasses three principal projects: 1) investigation of the nature-nurture interaction between Huntington’s disease and neurotoxicants, 2) characterization of the role of alpha-synuclein in heavy metal-induced neurotoxicity, and 3) determination of the role of small molecules and neurotoxicants in alpha-synuclein mediated Multiple System Atrophy.

  • Kristina Mani

    Kristina Mani.
    Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

    Kristina Mani (PhD in political science from Columbia University) is associate professor of politics and chair of the Latin American Studies Program at Oberlin College.  She studies Latin American regional security issues, civil-military relations and the political economy of the military. Research and teaching interests include the impact of democratization on the historical memory of conflict and cooperation, which her book, Democratization and Military Transformation in Argentina and Chile: Rethinking Rivalry, explored in terms of changes to military thinking and behavior that reshaped security relations in the Southern Cone.  Her recent research centers on how Latin American militaries have been influential actors in their national economies in times of crisis.

    Mani’s scholarly articles have been published in journals including Armed Forces and SocietyBulletin of Latin American Research, and Latin American Politics and Society.  She has consulted and produced papers for organizations including Transparency International, the United Nations Development Programme, Providing for Peacekeeping, RESDAL, and the Christian Michelsen Institute.

  • Jasmine Mitchell ‘21

    Jasmine Mitchell.
    Photo credit: Courtesy of Jasmine Mitchell

    Jasmine Mitchell is a fourth-year student studying East Asian studies and politics at Oberlin. On campus, she is a peer advisor in the Career Development Center, a peer advising leader for first-year students, and is the assistant treasurer for the Office of Student Treasurer. Mitchell is an active member of the Black community on campus, having lived in the Afrikan Heritage House for four years and having organized several events that celebrate the beauty of the African Diaspora on campus.

    She has a passion for expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus and also serves as a member of the Student Senate’s Racial Justice Task Force. Mitchell is thrilled to be part of the Presidential Initiative on Racial Equity and Diversity Committee and looks forward to making meaningful strides toward an Oberlin community that fully embraces antiracism in their everyday lives.

  • Jan Miyake ’96

    Jan Miyake.
    Photo credit: Courtesy of Jan Miyake

    Jan Miyake ’96 is associate professor and chair of music theory at the Oberlin Conservatory. Her research interests include form in late 18th- and early 19th-century works and issues of access in pedagogy. She has presented at numerous regional, national, and international conferences and is published in Essays from the Fourth International Schenker SymposiumTheory and Practice, Brahms and the Shaping of Time, and the Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy, among others.

    Miyake blogged her aural skills project of teaching outside-her-canon music at teaching-matters.net, a writing project she stopped when she became the mentor of Oberlin’s ninth group of Posse Scholars. Miyake is a double-degree graduate of Oberlin, where she earned degrees in viola performance and mathematics. She earned a PhD in music theory from City University of New York.

  • Rebecca Mosely

    Rebecca Mosely.
    Photo credit: Bryan Rubin ’18

    Rebecca Mosely is the director of equity, diversity, and inclusion at Oberlin and serves as the college’s Title IX/ADA Section 504 coordinator. She has worked in higher education for more than 20 years with a career focus on helping students grow and thrive on campus. Mosley completed a PhD in higher education with a focus on access to education for those who have historically had less access. She has served in her current role at Oberlin for four years.

  • Katelyn Poetker ‘23

    Katelyn Poetker.
    Photo credit: Courtesy of Katelyn Poetker

    Katelyn Poetker is pursuing her undergraduate degree at the Oberlin Conservatory, where she studies clarinet performance with Richard Hawkins. Poetker is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied with Emil Khudyev, associate principal clarinet of the Seattle Symphony. Prior to Interlochen, Poetker attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.

    She has participated in numerous music festivals across the nation such as the Buffet Summer Clarinet Academy, the Hidden Valley Music Seminar, and California Clarinet Clinic. Aside from her love for playing the clarinet, she also is an advocate for racial justice. She is currently on the board of the Oberlin College Black Musicians Guild.

  • Meredith Raimondo

    Meredith Raimondo.
    Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

    As vice president and dean of students, Meredith Raimondo leads Oberlin’s Division of Student Life, which supports students by creating more seamless connections between curricular and cocurricular experiences, advising and mentoring focused on the development of life skills and interpersonal and personal growth, and building and bridging intellectual and personal communities.

    Raimondo joined the Oberlin community in 2003 as a professor of comparative American studies. She has taught courses spanning the themes of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity studies, social justice, and HIV/AIDS. In 2014, she was recognized with an Excellence in Teaching Award, and later that year, was appointed special assistant to the president for diversity, equity, and inclusion and Title IX coordinator, a position in which she oversaw institutional policy to ensure all students’ needs are being met under Title IX guidelines.

  • Alexa Still

    Alexa Still.
    Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

    Alexa Still, associate professor of flute, is from New Zealand. After studying in New York, Still played principal flute in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for 11 years. During this time, she was awarded a Cultural Fulbright grant and began recording for Koch International Classics (E1). She left the orchestra to focus on teaching and her solo career and now has 20-plus commercial recordings on multiple labels (all featuring lesser-known composers).

    She has performed in 16 countries, often presenting premiere performances and additional masterclass appearances. Regular summer engagements include Orford Musique (Quebec), Aria Academy (MA), and Round Top Music Festival (TX). Still has been elected president of the National Flute Association. Her service at Oberlin has included Conservatory Faculty Council, the Academic and Administrative Program Review Steering Committee, and the One Oberlin Oversight and Advisory committee.

    She shares her daughter, two senior dogs, and a love of motorcycles with her husband, William Adair ’80.

  • Natalie Winkelfoos

    Natalie Winkelfoos.
    Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

    The first woman to hold the position at Oberlin College, Natalie Winkelfoos was named the Delta Lodge Director of Athletics and Physical Education in 2012. Named the Division III Under Armour AD of the Year in 2018 and the Division III Administrator of the Year by Women Leaders in College Sports in 2015, she has a proven track record of generating philanthropic support for the department and is an advocate for inclusion, mental health, and leadership development.

    Winkelfoos served on the North Coast Athletic Conference Diversity Committee with conference presidents to create a conference-wide program to mentor women and underrepresented groups. Additionally, she was part of a working group that produced Oberlin’s first-ever varsity student-athlete transgender inclusion policy. 

    Notably, she has presented at a number of conventions and conferences regarding social justice and student-athletes, athletics fundraising, embedding inclusion into an athletics department, and balancing family and a career in athletics. Winkelfoos has been recognized as an industry influencer by the Women in Sports and Events organization.