We have collected hundreds of personal narratives from students, alumni, faculty, and staff that explain the merits and strengths of Oberlin through the eyes of those who have experienced it firsthand.
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Contributed by Prof. Laurie McMillin

Jabali Sawicki ’00
“Jabali left Oberlin in 2000 with a degree in Biology and no set plans. But he knew he wanted to teach... At the age of 27, he became the principal of Excellence Charter School in Bedford Stuyvesant...

On language as a gateway

Brendan Nuse ’17
“I am still a little surprised that a job as a translator of standardized test instructions ended up teaching me about Ohio history, but, then again, my experiences with Chinese at Oberlin have...

On Oberlin students singing Sondheim songs... for Sondheim

Steven Roth ’77
“The students sang some of the more difficult songs in the Sondheim canon and nailed each one - fully knowing that he was backstage listening to them.”

On making connections while dancing in Warner Main

Natalia Shevin ’17
“Contact improvisation about learning to work with anything. Through listening and through movement, we learn to be responsive. ”

On her path from Oberlin

Jill Herman ’77
“I began thinking I wanted to be a teacher and a poet and left knowing I wanted to be a lawyer...What I probably didn’t appreciate fully while I was at Oberlin are the intangibles that make it so...

On being an international student at Oberlin

Chetan Poudel ’14
“The international student orientation days always come to mind as serving as the springboard that launched me headfirst into the charms of Oberlin’s diverse and global connections.”

On embracing public speaking

Ty Diringer ’14
“My tenure on the Student Union Board helped me to know with certainty that I wanted to enter a world of pivotal dialogue with a firm, clear voice, and gave me confidence that I could.”

On using social media for social justice

Patrick Yaeger ’95
“I wanted to bridge the gap between the fledgling post Prop 8 equality activists and the educational empowering quality media that I knew was out there.”

On living on SciFi Hall

Julie Lopresto ’12
“...when I step out my door, there will be a friendly face around the corner. I’ve made some of the best friends I’ve ever had there, and have found what I’m proud to call my home at Oberlin.”

On embracing independence

Dagmawi Gebreselasse ’14
“Since coming to Oberlin, I have been fully responsible for my life and making important life decisions...I have started listening to myself and following my own path.”

On ObieGame

Aaron Mucciolo ’02
“Five years ago two Obies created a game. Showing great wit, they named it ObieGame. Beyond this, facts are amorphous at best.”

On civic engagement

Rachel Benson ’08
“Fast forward four years, many hours of community service, a lot of growing up, and one Oberlin degree later, and I found myself back in a place where I sought solace and found empowerment - through...

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