2018-2019 Excellence in Teaching Award Winners
Six faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music received Excellence in Teaching Awards for the 2018-2019 academic year. The recipients are La Tanya Hall, teacher of jazz voice; Catharina Meints, associate professor of viola da gamba and cello; Albert Matlin, professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Cindy Chapman, Adelia A.F. Johnston and Harry Thomas Frank Professor and chair of Jewish Studies; Alexa Still, associate professor of flute; and Cindy Frantz, professor of psychology and environmental studies.
Alexa Still, Associate Professor of Flute
Alexa Still is known internationally for her many recordings on the Koch International Classics label. A New Zealander, she took up graduate studies in New York (SUNY Stony Brook), where she also won competitions including the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition and the East and West Artists Competition. Still returned home to be principal flute of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Increasing solo engagements eventually led her to the more flexible schedule of a teaching position at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She moved to Sydney in 2006, where she became professor of flute and director of performance research at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In June 2011, Still was appointed associate professor of flute at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Albert Matlin, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Albert Matlin's research interests include mechanistic and synthetic organic photochemistry; metalloenzyme mimics. Matlin’s research has been published in several scientific journals, including the Journal of Organic Chemistry, the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and the international Journal of Organic Chemistry. Articles have included “Weak Acidity of Vinyl CH Bonds Enhanced by Halogen Substitution” and “Hydroxylamine catalyzed Nazarov cyclizations of divinyl ketones.”
Cindy Chapman, Adelia A.F. Johnston and Harry Thomas Frank Professor and Chair of Jewish Studies
Cynthia “Cindy” Chapman was awarded Best Book Relating to the Hebrew Bible for 2017 by the Biblical Archaeology Society for her recently published book, The House of the Mother: The Social Roles of Maternal Kin in Biblical Hebrew Narrative and Poetry (Yale University Press, 2016). This year, Chapman also presented a paper entitled, ‘‘The Hebrew Mother of Seven: An Ingathering of Antecedents,’’ on October 13, 2017, for the Biblical Studies Seminar at New College, University of Edinburgh, and she coauthored with Michael Coogan the fourth edition of The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures (Oxford University Press, 2017).
Cathy Meints, Associate Professor of Viola da Gamba and Cello
During her distinguished career as a performer, Catharina “Cathy” Meints has played and recorded on five instruments, including bass and treble viols, modern and baroque cello, and pardessus de viole. Meints’ career on early instruments has included playing bass viol in the Oberlin Baroque Ensemble and with the Cleveland Baroque Soloists. Meints joined the Cleveland Orchestra in 1971, and later that year established the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute to build a new generation of players with her husband James Caldwell, then professor of oboe at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. That program still thrives today. Meints retired from a 35-year career with the Cleveland Orchestra in 2006. She plays frequently with Apollo’s Fire, as well as in solo and chamber music concerts.
La Tanya Hall, Teacher of Jazz Voice
Multifaceted vocalist La Tanya Hall has collaborated with a long list of celebrated performers across a variety of genres. She has appeared as a soloist with the American Composer’s Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony, and the St. Louis Symphony, among other ensembles. Hall has taught at the New School and at Five Towns College in Long Island, New York. She has sung at festivals around the world and teaches master classes with the National YoungArts Foundation.
Cindy Frantz, Professor of Psychology and Environmental Studies
Cynthia “Cindy” Frantz’s research focuses broadly on humans’ relationship with the natural world, with an emphasis on promoting sustainable behavior. Past research in collaboration with Steve Mayer suggests that both individuals and the environment benefit when people feel connected to the natural world. With professors John Petersen, Rumi Shammin, and Deborah Roose, Frantz studies the potential for feedback technology (www.oberlindashboard.org ) to encourage conservation behavior, connect humans back to the natural world, and promote systems thinking. Frantz also directs the Community-Based Social Marketing Research Project, a collaborative research program among faculty, students, and staff to develop, test, and promote behavior change programs that reduce Oberlin College’s carbon emissions.