The Oberlin Review

Ferd Protzman, OC ’75, Retiring Chief of Staff, Reflects on Oberlin Career

Ferd Protzman, OC ’75, Retiring Chief of Staff, Reflects on Oberlin Career

December 13, 2019

After serving for three years as chief of staff in the Office of the President, Ferd Protzman, OC ’75, will retire at the end of the calendar year. Protzman will be replaced on an interim basis by David Hertz, managing director at Cleveland-based crisis communications firm Dix & Eaton, while a national search is launched to find a full-time replacement. Protzman returned to Oberlin in 2006 while working as an author and journalist for publications including The Washington Post and The New...

In Bittersweet Move, House of the Lord Fellowship Finds New Space

In Bittersweet Move, House of the Lord Fellowship Finds New Space

December 13, 2019

When College fourth-years Miyah Byers, Jaris Owens, and Griffin Woodard were asked why they attend weekly services at the House of the Lord Fellowship despite not being regular churchgoers before starting at Oberlin, they just turned to each other and laughed. There was too much to say. “We could talk about this for days,” Byers said. For Byers, the House of the Lord is a space in which she can make meaningful connections with the congregation. “I get to see my elders being vulnerable...

Student Voting Participation Higher Than Previously Reported, Says Professor

Student Voting Participation Higher Than Previously Reported, Says Professor

December 6, 2019

Since 2012, reports generated by the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement have calculated voter participation at Oberlin College as below national averages for college students across the country. Now, independent research undertaken by Associate Professor and Chair of Geology F. Zeb Page reveals that the NSLVE numbers may be inaccurate. Page was initially motivated to examine the NSLVE numbers because of a hunch. “When we look at [low turnout numbers], we imagine our student bod...

Book Nook Reviews: Lasser and Kornblith’s “Elusive Utopia”

Book Nook Reviews: Lasser and Kornblith’s “Elusive Utopia”

December 6, 2019

In the third grade I, like every other elementary-school student in Oberlin’s public schools, received a copy of an Oberlin history textbook. The book portrayed Oberlin as a utopian community that had transcended issues of gender and race from its inception. Yet my lived experiences and the stories I heard growing up as an Oberlin resident often contradicted this idealistic narrative. I was introduced to the monograph Elusive Utopia: The Struggle for Racial Equality in Oberlin, Ohio last semest...

OTC: Tom Rosenstiel, OC ’78, Journalist and Fiction Writer

OTC: Tom Rosenstiel, OC ’78, Journalist and Fiction Writer

December 6, 2019

Tom Rosenstiel held a convocation speech titled “Objectivity, Facts, Fiction, and the Future of Journalism” at Oberlin this past Thursday. Rosenstiel is nationally recognized for his work as an author, journalist, researcher, and media critic. He founded the Project for Excellence in Journalism at the Pew Research Center and directed the program for 16 years. He has written seven books on journalism, politics, and ethics, including The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the P...

New Research Journal Challenges Convention

New Research Journal Challenges Convention

November 22, 2019

Under the leadership of Assistant Professor of History and Comparative American Studies Tamika Nunley, a four-student editorial board is launching On Second Thought, a research journal designed to publish “unorthodox” historical research by Oberlin students. The journal’s origins lie with Nunley, who envisioned On Second Thought as an opportunity for students to explore and expand the conventions of historical writing in a less demanding setting than undertaking an honors thesis. She hopes it ...

Outward-Facing Philosophy Deeply Rooted in Oberlin’s History

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

November 22, 2019

 Editor’s note: This column is part of a series that will focus on Oberlin’s history as a town and an institution. The series will be published regularly throughout the fall semester. When then-First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at Oberlin’s commencement ceremonies in 2015, she had the institution’s social justice reputation in mind. “If you truly wish to carry on the Oberlin legacy of service and social justice, then you need to run to, and not away from, the noise,” Obama said. “Today, I want to urge you to actively seek out the most contentious, polarized, gridlocked places you can find. Because so often, throughout our history, those have been the places where progress really happens — the pl...

College Seeks to Address Course Registration Challenges

Nathan Carpenter and Ella Moxley

November 22, 2019

The course registration period for the upcoming spring semester concluded today following concerns that class offerings across several departments had been restricted this past fall due to a number of factors, including faculty leaves. Some students and faculty members feel that students — particularly first-year students — had more difficulty registering for classes than in previous semesters. Others, including Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences David Kamitsuka, argue that the data don’t support this conclusion. According to Professor and Chair of Economics Ron Cheung, who sat on the steering committee of last year’s Academic and Administrative Program Review, the Economics department has experi...

Reflecting On 50 Years of Africana Studies

Reflecting On 50 Years of Africana Studies

November 15, 2019

Africana Studies Program Created Against Backdrop of National Activism Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief In the fall of 1969, Oberlin College launched an Afro-American Studies program, following significant student activism inspired in part by students at San Francisco State University; the University of California, Berkeley; and elsewhere. In creating the program, Oberlin joined a wave of more than 500 colleges and universities across the country that instituted similar academic departments or...

Oberlin College No Stranger to Mascot Changes

Nathan Carpenter and Jane Agler

November 15, 2019

In the spring of 1947, it appears that The Oberlin Review’s editors — specifically the sports editors — got bored. For reasons lost to history, they decided that Oberlin’s mascot, the Yeoman, was no longer suitable to represent the school in its athletic endeavors. So, they decided to sponsor a vote to christen a nickname for the Yeoman that would have a little more pizazz. After a brief selection process, which involved a committee constituted of the Review’s sports editors and some faculty representatives, the nickname Crimson Knights was selected. Immediately, the Review put it into use, insisting that while the name was new, it would eventually be embraced. “The main trouble in givi...

Oberlin in Late ’60s, Early ’70s Leaves Lessons for Today

Oberlin in Late ’60s, Early ’70s Leaves Lessons for Today

November 8, 2019

 Editor’s note: This column is part of a series that will focus on Oberlin’s history as a town and an institution. The series will be published regularly throughout the fall semester. Over the course of just a couple weeks in the spring of 1970, Oberlin students heralded the first Earth Day with a series of campus speakers and workshops, held an anti-war protest following a national address by President Richard Nixon, and mourned the traumatic deaths of four Kent State University students at ...

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