Campus News

Congratulations Brian Alegant, Professor of the Year!

November 19, 2015

Marvin Krislov

Marvin Krislov, President's Desk column, 11/19/2015
Photo credit: John Seyfried

Congratulations to Brian Alegant, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music’s Barker Professor of Music Theory, on being named U.S. Professor of the Year for 2015 by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

I’m thrilled that Brian is one of four U.S. Professors of the Year selected for 2015. He is the first music professor to be so honored in the 35-year history of the award.

Brian’s honor follows a 2011 Professor of the Year award won by Oberlin College Professor of History Steven Volk, making Oberlin one of only a select few institutions in America to claim two U.S. Professor of the Year winners.

These awards are a tremendous public affirmation of Oberlin’s devotion to outstanding undergraduate teaching. That tradition extends back to the earliest days of this institution and is being carried forward by today’s faculty members. I am honored to work with such remarkable and dedicated teacher-scholars.

Brian is a brilliantly creative teacher and pedagogue who consistently inspires his students and colleagues. He tirelessly seeks new and better ways to help his students learn and excel in their studies and in life. I doubt he’s ever taught the same course twice since he is constantly adding ideas and renovating his methods. Brian is also an accomplished pianist, an outstanding thinker, scholar and mentor, as well as an engaged citizen of Oberlin College and Conservatory. He has strengthened this institution in so many ways through his generous and selfless service, as exemplified recently by his work on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

Great teaching is Oberlin’s greatest strength. I know from conversations with Obies of all ages how important working directly with an Oberlin professor or professors was in shaping our students’ careers and lives. That’s a tremendous tribute to the teaching not only of Brian Alegant and Steve Volk, but to all our faculty members, as well as to the teaching and mentoring done by our staff and alumni.

Career Advice Offer

Over the past several years, I’ve enjoyed talking with scores of seniors who accepted my offer to confer about their plans for life and work after Oberlin.

That offer remains in effect. Here’s how it works. If you are a graduating senior, go speak with the staff at the Career Center. They will help you fine tune your résumé and prepare a brief description of your career goals. Then set up a time to meet with me by contacting my assistant Jennifer Bradfield at We’ll get together and brainstorm about job opportunities. Keep in mind, I can’t promise anyone a job. But I will do all I can to help seniors think about life after college and connect them with people who can offer career and job-specific advice, counsel, and, in some cases, opportunities.

Kudos to Cross Country

Our varsity student-athletes produced many outstanding individual and team performances this fall. But pride of place goes to Geno Arthur ’16. Geno, a biology major from Camarillo, California, became the first male Oberlin harrier to win the All-Ohio championship and the North Coast Athletic Conference championship, and the first regional individual champion in program history as he dominated the field at the 2015 NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships.

He led the Yeomen to a sixth-place finish at the regional meet, the team’s highest finish in program history. The Yeowomen were led by first-year standout Linnea Halsten, who ran to a 20th place finish in her first regional appearance. The Yeowomen finished sixth in the regional team standings. Congratulations to Ray Appenheimer, head cross country and track coach, and to his assistant coaches. I wish Geno Arthur great success this coming Saturday, November 21, when he runs in the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Winneconne, Wisconsin.

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