The Oberlin Review

Off The Cuff: Karen G. Fleming, Professor

Off The Cuff: Karen G. Fleming, Professor

October 12, 2018

Karen G. Fleming is a Biophysics Professor at Johns Hopkins University. She frequently speaks at universities across the nation about fostering a more supportive environment for women and people of color in the STEM fields. In recognition of her work, Fleming received an award from Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council in 2015. Fleming visited Oberlin last Wednesday to present her talk, “#WeCanBeBetter: Bystander Intervention as a Tool for Achieving Equity in STEM,” which details ...



October 5, 2018

Chemistry Students Showcase Research at Meeting-In-Miniature Symposium

Chemistry Students Showcase Research at Meeting-In-Miniature Symposium

March 30, 2018

Oberlin Chemistry students presented their research findings for the annual Meeting-In-Miniature Wednesday. This event, both a presentation symposium and networking opportunity, was sponsored by Oberlin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Cleveland branch of the American Chemical Society. Oberlin, the host of this year’s event, gave seven students the opportunity to feature their work alongside graduate and undergraduate students from local institutions. College juniors Alys...

Feature Photo: Community Showcases Student Research

Feature Photo: Community Showcases Student Research

November 3, 2017

College sophomore Alyssa Altheimer speaks to students about her project titled “The Effect of HMB on C2C12 Cells” at the Celebration of Undergraduate Research. The celebration — which included two sets of poster presentations from 6–7:30 p.m. last Friday — highlighted student research projects from summer 2017 and was open to all College and community members. Altheimer presented her research in the Science Center with about 90 other students who conducted their work at the College and...

Off the Cuff: Rebecca Whelan, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Elizabeth Dobbins, Staff Writer

September 20, 2013

Filed under NEWS, Off the Cuff

How did you get into your field? When I was in high school I thought that I wanted to be a doctor because I thought, like a lot of young people, I wanted to help people. I had some experiences going to the pediatrician and not having a very fun experience because the doctor [was] not a lot of fun so I thought, I want to become the kind of pediatrician that kids want to go to see. In preparation for that medical career I started taking as many science classes as I could and in my sophomore year of high school I took my first chemistry class. The teacher was an absolutely brilliant explainer who clearly loved chemistry. And I remember one day he passed around a ball and stick model of sodium chloride, just a really...

New Quantitative Center Makes Sciences Accessible

Kristopher Fraser

September 13, 2013

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

For the past several years, campus has been home to the Writing Center, an outlet for students to convene and work on their essays alongside trained writing assistants. Given Oberlin’s plethora of writing-intensive courses, this center has proved useful to students of all departments. However, what the College has in terms of writing assistance it severely lacks when it comes to assistance in quantitative proficiency — an issue that, until now, has gone unaddressed. This year will be the first that students will be able to get support specifically focused on sciences and mathematics. College junior and computer science  major Eli Rose, who is a tutor in the Quantitative Skills Center, says that the center is...

Op-Ed: Intro Science Courses Require Revision

Chip Williams

May 13, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Imagine that a group of people have taken it upon themselves to design the curriculum of a new liberal arts college. These people are totally ignorant of the course offerings and distribution requirements in effect at existing liberal arts colleges, but they have access to what such schools say about their missions and purposes. They would see that these institutions claim that all of their graduates, regardless of major, are broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences, and instilled with the skills of “critical thinking.” When the curriculum-designers turned to the problem of designing first-year course offerings in the sciences, it would become clear to them that there would be two general classes of students...

Inaugural Lab Crawl Showcases Science Center Labs

Victor Zheng

May 3, 2013

Filed under NEWS

The inaugural Lab Crawl took place today in the Science Center, intending to showcase the best of the science departments. Lab Crawl was instituted as a means to show the science building to anyone unfamiliar with it. Emily Gazda, OC ’11, the administrative assistant of the Center for Learning, Education and Research in the Sciences, was one of the primary organizers of the event. “It’s a way to increase [the] visibility of science research that’s going on around campus,” said Gazda.  “The idea is to increase exposure for people who are interested in doing research but don’t really know how to go about it.” Marcelo Vinces, the director of CLEAR, agreed that Lab Crawl is a way to show the Science...

Off the Cuff with Amy Parish, Darwinian Feminist

Elizabeth Dobbins, Staff Writer

April 26, 2013

Filed under NEWS, Off the Cuff

What is Darwinian feminism? Traditionally there’s been some antagonism between academics who call themselves feminists and those working on an evolutionary perspective as it applies to human behavior, because there’s an assumption that if something is natural that you’re saying … that somehow it’s cemented in stone. And I think feminists often have a problem with what they perceive in biology to be essentialism, so saying that all males are a particular way, … that’s actually a misunderstanding. Actually, what biology does is it looks at variation: Why do you see extreme patriarchy in one environment? Why do you see more female power under a different set of environmental or ecological circumstances? U...

Science Majors Take Issue with New Credit System

Duncan Standish, Staff Writer

April 12, 2013

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

Beginning next semester, Oberlin will institute a new credit system which aims to streamline credit values by designating courses either “full” or “half” credit. Though administrators say the changes will benefit College students, some students —particularly those within the natural sciences — are apprehensive about the changes. Under the current system, everyone must register for 12 credits to be considered a full-time student. If someone registers for more than 16 credits — or 17 for double-degree students — they must pay extra. In order to obtain the 112 credits necessary for graduation, students must take on average 14 credits each semester. Classes are given credit according to their relative...

Off the Cuff: Dr. Lisa Randall, Physicist

William Passannante, Staff Writer

April 5, 2013

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Off the Cuff

In your presentation, you said that you wrote a “physics opera.” Can you talk a little more about that? I actually wrote the libretto and sort of helped design the story. I worked pretty closely with the composer [Héctor Parra] and also actually with the set designer, Matthew Ritchie. Héctor and I communicated. We had a concept of what we’d like it to be. I wrote some stuff; he said, “You have to make it this way for my music, use shorter phrases.” [He] said, “It’s an opera, they should talk to each other more.” I did more expository writing, so it was a nice back-and- forth process. In the end I think it had more physics than I would have done, but that was in part because he really wanted it for hi...

Off the Cuff: Dr. Varmus, Nobel Prize winner and Director of the National Cancer Institute

William Passannante, Staff Writer

March 8, 2013

Filed under NEWS, Off the Cuff

Do you have any suggestions as to actions undergraduate and graduate institutions can take to strengthen STEM education? I’m not an expert in this field ... but I have been involved in lots of discussions about this and reports. I think the problem is most acute in K–12 education. I would like to see our educational system much more geared to teaching almost everything in the context of evidence-based thinking — teaching kids how to read and to write by thinking about problems that are essentially scientific problems. Maybe natural sciences, maybe social sciences — getting kids to think based on what they observe, what they read, what they’ve experienced and to teach science not as a memory exercise, which ...

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