Oberlin Blogs

Marsha Lynn Bragg

My name is Marsha Lynn Bragg. I am a [former*] member of the webteam in the college's Office of Communications. I have a degree in journalism, and have worked as a beat reporter, assignment editor, assistant editor, magazine writer and editor, and a plenty of other titles to describe my various writing, editing, and project management responsibilities.

I have lived and attended schools in Ohio most of my life. In between I have traveled around the country and even spent time abroad. Yet, it seems I am wedded to the Midwest and my family's roots in Ohio.

Oberlin is a welcome change from the city and the hectic work environment that I had a few short months ago. I worked in University Marketing and Communications (or UMC) at Case Western Reserve University, a research university in the University Circle neighborhood, and a cultural hub in Cleveland. I now make a daily commute from Cleveland's east side; something I never thought I would do and for many years grateful my jobs were 15-20 minutes from my home. My drive is 45 minutes no matter which direction I travel. Most days, it's a straight shot from my door to the office, taking winding backstreets through three Cleveland neighborhoods to get on I-90 and westward to Oberlin.

With coffee in hand and perhaps a bowl of cheesy grits and eggs, I venture onto the highway that will lead me to my office on West Lorain Street, a space our office shares with the college's investment office and student health services.

Most days on the highway are thankfully uneventful. I may spy the occasional road kill, the CVS Good Samaritan van, the MD-80 overhead coming in for a landing at Hopkins International Airport, or the police officer standing near his cruiser parked in the all too conspicuous spot along I-480, armed with a radar detector hoping to deter drivers in excess of the 60-mile speed limit.

When I applied to write a blog as part of the blogs.oberlin.edu project, I did so because I wanted to contribute commentary from a unique perspective: as an outsider. I don't live in Oberlin nor was I raised here. I didn't go to school here nor have I received a degree from Oberlin. Nor am I a current student, an admissions officer, a faculty member, or an administrator. I am, however, married with teenagers, a staff member, and someone who's worked in higher ed communications for almost 12 years now.

Away from work, I enjoy attending varsity soccer games, going to concerts and plays, watching old black and movies, journaling, walking, reading (mostly teen novels these days), teaching third- to fifth-graders in Sunday School, and listening to gospel, jazz, and inspirational music.

Each day in Oberlin offers a fresh experience that is not colored by memories of time or place. I hope to be able to share some of those fresh experiences.

* edited for clarity

Entries from this blogger

Be Mesmerized

October 4, 2012

She conducts extensive interviews with people across the country and uses their words verbatim to develop and tell their stories that address the larger commentary such as the race relations, discrimination, poverty, injustice.


Making Music Matter

January 24, 2012

I don't know how long the institute was in the making, but Rubin could have supported other established music programs, had a wing or a studio built at a music school with his name embossed on a silver plate, or even set up a scholarship in music criticism.


My Winter Term

December 20, 2011

I'm kinda envious, especially since many students pursue their winter-term project in another country, perhaps some city with a warmer clime than northeast Ohio in January.


Be More Than Social

August 17, 2011

Uncertainty built in us varying degrees of anxiety, excitement, and anticipation about this tremendous life change we were about to undergo. The playing field was fairly level; none of us knew anything.


Diversity Matters

April 12, 2011

I wanted to work at a place that just didn't just give lip service to my understanding of diversity. The culture had to be one that breathed "you are welcome here" with no caveats attached.


A Good Place to Be

January 26, 2011

Oberlin seems to be positioning itself as a destination city--a place people come to for dining, entertainment, and recreation.


Resolutions for Life

January 7, 2011

Don't be afraid to fail. I don't mean slack off until you get an "F." I mean do something out of your comfort zone and risk not succeeding as brilliantly as you would like.



November 23, 2010

It's the same at Oberlin: you'll want to try, visit, attend, be a part of, witness as many different programs and events as possible. But some events are one-shot deals.


Rock on

December 3, 2009

Oberlin has a tradition that is not daring but endearing. It's probably not among the oldest but it is recurring. And I had a chance to experience this innocuous tradition first hand.


The Next Best Thing

October 19, 2009

One of the benefits of working at a college or university is having access to some of the best writers, scientists, academicians, researchers, musicians, artists, social reformers, environmentalists, and politicians of the day.


Fresh Experiences

October 11, 2009

Each day in Oberlin offers a fresh experience that is not colored by memories of time or place. I hope to be able to share some of these fresh experiences.