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 Oberlin’s terrific teachers

Jacob Lamoureux ’12
“When I graduated from high school, I thought the days of personal relationships with teachers who cared about me were over. Well, I’ve only been wrong once in the past 20 years, and that was it.”

On the level of teaching at Oberlin

Jessica Levine ’95
“Great teachers make a difference in our lives because they knew how to support us and how to push us. Educators at Oberlin do so in the most masterful way. They are both craftsman and scholars. They...

On the integration of classics in her life

Lauren Clark ’11
“I’ve found beauty and strength in recognizing temporality, which has brought me to understand translation across language and temporal boundaries as a positive and connective process.”

On teaching Spanish

Leah Goldman ’13
“Teaching in SITES taught me to be patient, creative, and willing to make mistakes. But I became more confident as a teacher every day I saw my students become more confident in their learning.”

On identifying with her students

Melissa Ballard
“I know many of the students and some of their struggles, in part because their struggles were once my own... But I also know that as these graduates walked off that stage, they felt exultant.”

On an interdisciplinary education

Miranda Fisher ’12
“Learning isn’t just about memorizing static content for a specific class; it’s about shattering the boundaries of a subject and seeing how you can apply its content in different contexts.”

On Oberlin’s SITES program

Prof. Kim Faber
“What began as one mom’s hope to have a language program for her 5-year old son is now providing the opportunity for every elementary-school child in Oberlin to experience another language.”

On an Oberlin education

Prof. Sebastiaan Faber
“One of the most important things you will learn here is to express yourself, to engage in dialogue, to respect others’ ideas, and to allow them to change your own. ”

On learning to be a writing tutor

Sean Nagamatsu ’07
“It was not simply a course in how one tutors. It was an exploration of writing as a catalytic form of expression and interaction. It was the complete taking apart of how I put together words and...

On organizing Dr. Seuss Day at the local public library

Sophie Schacht ’10
“I am one of six people on the varsity softball team who tutors in the Oberlin public schools -- my first order of business was to recruit the entire team.”

On learning to teach literacy

Susan Cowan Knebel ’60
“I had answered a call for volunteer tutors in a night school created by a gentleman who was born a slave. Literate, he wanted to help folks from the South who had come north for jobs in Ohio and...

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