“Q&A with…” is a series dedicated to introducing staff members to the Oberlin community. Is there someone you’d like to nominate? Please get in touch.
Recent graduate Cora Hasegawa, admissions counselor, works for the College of Arts and Sciences Admissions Office. She describes her role as helping students find the right college. “Hopefully that college is Oberlin, but I also know that Oberlin isn't for everyone,” says Hasegawa. “My goal is to give students and their parents all the information they need to make the right decision for them.” Prior to this position, Hasegawa worked in admissions while she was a student, first as a tour guide and then as a senior fellow.
Get to know more about Hasegawa in this Q&A.
Describe your role in six words.
Talk Oberlin, email Oberlin, travel Oberlin.
Favorite spot on campus?
My favorite place is near the First United Methodist Church and the conservatory, where OCTaiko practices at least three times a week. Being a part of OCT was one of the most meaningful parts of my time at Oberlin, and it is one of the most fulfilling things I have done with my life. I loved being a part of a group that combined my love for music and movement with my need to connect to a part of Japanese-American culture. As a group, we spent many late night practices in the church, bonding and growing as people. I have so many memories of the church and the people that I've met there that I can't help but feel a little more complete in that space.
What's your passion?
I've always loved all forms of visual art. When I was a kid I was crazy for ballet and desperately wanted to be a dancer; a large part of me still loves dance. My parents also encouraged me to explore my interests in art by taking me to museums and encouraging me to create my own artwork. When I was a sophomore in high school, I decided I wanted to be a filmmaker; I still do to this day. I was a cinema studies major at Oberlin, and I love watching movies—not just for the visuals but also for the stories. I love to analyze films and talk about them. To me, the ability to build a connection between people is the true power and beauty of art.
What’s the best advice someone has given you?
My mom has told me since I was a kid, “If you don't ask, the answer is already ‘no.’” That advice has really shaped who I am. It has given me the courage to strive for things that may seem out of reach and to believe that I am worthy.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Divine Intervention by Elia Suleiman. I remember the first time I saw it was for my film class "Documenting the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." Both the movie and the class blew my mind. The film is sort of like a Palestinian version of Wes Anderson, except with less plot and more explosions.
What's the most memorable concert you've seen?
My first concert ever was Johnny Hallyday. He's a French rock legend and the only non-politician to have his funeral procession go down the Champs-Élysées. I didn't know any of his music, but my French family took me to see him. I still can't believe I got to see him live.
What’s your favorite item of clothing?
My 1980's green French army jacket. I found in the Keep Cottage free box, and it has been my favorite thing ever since. I am always cold, so it's nice to have a light layer to throw on. I also have an enamel pin of a cat sumo wrestler and a pin of a blue chu-daiko (taiko drum) on the collar—they make me smile.
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