Carmen Twillie Ambar Hosts New Podcast

Running to the Noise shines a light on influential thinkers from Oberlin and beyond; premiere episode drops Sep. 28.

September 27, 2023

Communications Staff

Running to the Noise podcast logo.
Photo credit: Office of Communications

For 190 years and counting, Oberlin students and graduates have earned their reputation as engaged citizens dedicated to leading positive change throughout the world.

That legacy of commitment serves as the launch pad behind Running to the Noise, a new monthly podcast hosted by Oberlin President Carmen Twillie Ambar.

Running to the Noise will feature an expansive cross section of Oberlin influencers and others who bring innovative thinking to complex challenges spanning the worlds of entertainment, politics, arts, society, and more.

Ed Helms.
Ed Helms is the featured guest on the first episode of “Running to the Noise.” (photo by Ron Knerem)

The debut episode, “Using Your Platform for Good,” features actor-comedian Ed Helms, a 1996 Oberlin grad and member of Oberlin’s Board of Trustees. It drops Thursday, September 28.

Running to the Noise takes its name from First Lady Michelle Obama’s commencement address to Oberlin’s class of 2015, whom she implored to follow Oberlin’s history and “run to the noise”—those challenging, often contentious situations that call for clear-headed and impassioned thinkers.

“As the first college in America to officially embrace the admission of Black students and the first co-ed school to grant bachelor’s degrees to women, Oberlin has been a leader in shaping necessary change since our founding days,” says Ambar. “We’ve been running to the noise for years, and so I thought that was an apt title for the podcast—and that’s exactly what we’ll do in each episode. Our goal is to learn together as we tackle the tough topics, sprinkling in some laughter for good measure.”

Helms is the star of the hit series The Office, the Hangover trilogy, and co-creator and star of the Peacock original series Rutherford Falls, among numerous other projects. In the podcast’s first episode, Helms and Ambar discuss his role in championing diversity in Hollywood; Helms’ new podcast, SNAFU, through which the history nerd explores history’s biggest blunders; and how others can use their platform—however big or small—to promote change in their own ways.

A new episode of Running to the Noise will premiere on the final Thursday of each month. Future episodes will feature U.S. diplomat and former longtime president of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass ’73, famed operatic mezzo-soprano and educator Denyce Graves ’85, and others.

Running to the Noise is available on

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