Director of Internal Communications Cindy Nickoloff '88, 1958-2014
Cindy Nickoloff, Oberlin’s director of internal communications, died July 6, 2014, at her home in Elyria after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 55. A memorial service will be planned at a later date.
A native of Lorain, Ohio, Nickoloff earned her bachelor’s in Russian history from Oberlin in 1988. She worked for the Office of Communications for nearly 25 years, beginning as assistant editor of the Oberlin Alumni Magazine in 1990, then as editor from 1995 through 1998. She went on to hold a variety of writing and editing positions, including editor of the Source, and mentored many students along the way. In addition to writing articles and overseeing Oberlin’s news sites, she was the unofficial office den mother and the official arbiter of grammar and language styles. Her editing prowess can’t be matched.
Her husband, Kirk Warren, is a 2000 Oberlin College graduate and a laboratory technician for Oberlin’s chemistry department.
Nickoloff left her mark on the Office of Communications in many ways. Her quick wit, gentle demeanor, enviable writing and editing skills, and ability to handle difficult situations with decorum are traits that will remain indelible. She was a willing and patient mentor to student assistants, young staff members, and the office’s editorial fellows.
"My colleagues and I loved Cindy more than words can capture, and the hole she leaves can never be filled,” says Ben Jones, vice president for communications. “She raised the bar on everything she touched, and gently demanded the same of her colleagues. She was an unwavering mentor to each of us, from the greenest intern to the most experienced communications staffer. Her mastery of language and talent for storytelling were unparalleled, and touched every generation of Obie whether they knew it or not. But what I will miss the most is her friendship, perspective, and wry sense of humor, which got us through the darkest of days. Until the very end, she was still cracking grammar jokes with me. She'll always be with us; without exception, you'll recognize her in every word we write.”
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her teenage daughter, Sophia; her mother, Carol Nickoloff of Lorain; a sister, two brothers, and nieces and nephews. Read the full obituary here.