About Around the Square January 19, 2010

Student and Faculty Awards, Achievements, Accolades

Student Accomplishments


track winThe women’s cross country team won the North Coast Athletic Conference championship in October. Led by Junior Joanna Johnson, Oberlin finished with a team total of 33 points, good enough to defeat second-place Wittenberg by 43 points. Read more.

Oberlin College senior Skyler Dum was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) All-Great Lakes Region First-Team. Read more.


Sunshine ScoutsThe Sunshine Scouts beat out 12 other teams for first place at the recent Chicago Improv Festival’s College Improv Tournament Midwest Regionals. The first-place finish secures the group a spot in the national championships next year. Read more.

The Cleveland Orchestra has selected cellists Avery Waite and Mikala Schmitz, both seniors in the conservatory, as two of three artist in residence fellows for the 2009-10 season. Read more.

Seniors Connie Chin, Elizabeth Sanders, and Jamie Wagner attended the 24th annual meeting of the Ohio Physiological Society (OPS) in October at Ohio State University. All three are research students of biology professor Maureen Peters. Wagner, whose second major is neuroscience, was one of eight researchers the OPS selected to give oral presentations. Her project, “Calcineurin homologous protein is required for a proton-activated muscle contraction that occurs during defecation in C. elegans,” is part of her biology honors project. Wagner won the society's Peter K. Lauf American Physiological Society Travel Award for her talk. The $1,000 travel grant will allow her to attend the American Physiological Society Experimental Biology Conference in April 2010 in Anaheim, California. Liz and Connie presented a poster, “Assaying physical interactions between sodium proton exchangers and calcineurin homologous protein in C. elegans.”

Senior double-degree student Andrew Flachs has won the 2009 National Association for the Practice of Anthropology Student Achievement Award. His winning manuscript, “The Capabilities Approach: Navigating Cultural Politics in Human Rights Discourse,” is part of his honors project. In it, he applies philosophical approaches to human rights pioneered by Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen to an anthropological examination of the controversies surrounding veiling and other issues in an Islamic context. Flachs spent fall semester studying in the Czech Republic.

Junior Anna Frackman and sophomore Lindsay Boven, members of neuroscience faculty member Kara Kile’sNeuroscience lab, attended the 39th Annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting in October in Chicago. Their poster, “Fast Ripple Activity in a Scn2a Mutation Model of Epilepsy,” presented the results of last year’s research, in which they uncovered distinct patterns of high frequency fast ripple activity in EEG recordings associated with the start of seizure activity in their epilepsy model. Their results suggest that patterns of high frequency fast ripple activity might serve as a target marker for the prediction of seizures, which could then be applied to an automated, closed-loop therapeutic device. Read more about the conference on the neuroscience webpage.

Frequent Oberlin's website, the conservatory website, and the athletics webpage for more stories related to student accomplishments


Faculty Awards


MKThe National Endowment for the Humanities has announced the appointment of President Marvin Krislov to the National Council on the Humanities. Read more.



Grammy Nominations

Recordings by conservatory faculty members Yolanda Kondonassis, David Lang, and Robert Spano are up for awards in the Recording Academy’s 52nd annual Grammy Awards ceremony. Read more about their nominations on the conservatory’s website.


Jazz trumpet professor Marcus Belgrave was honored in October with the KresgeMarcus Belgrave Foundation’s 2009 Kresge Eminent Artist Prize. The $50,000 award acknowledges Marcus' lifelong dual careers as performer and teacher, and his profound influence on the musical life of Detroit, his adopted hometown. Read more.

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has awarded chemistry professor Manish Mehta the Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for his outstanding leadership in conducting original scholarly research with undergraduates. Read more.

The Guest Professor

In October, jazz studies and double bass professor Peter Dominguez traveled to Santiago, Chile, where he was a guest of University of Chile professor Alejandra Peter D.Santa Cruz Bolívar. Bolívar, the granddaughter of noted Chilean composer Domingo Santa Cruz, has a studio of 16 bassists for whom Dominguez conducted a workshop and master class. During his stay, Dominguez was interviewed for a Q&A article that appears on the university’s website. In the article, Dominguez talks about the approach he used in the workshop—after warming up with scales and introducing several harmonic exercises, he gave the students arrangements that included improvisation. He notes that some of the students were apprehensive about playing without music—a not uncommon reaction—but many more were open to the experimentation and often surprised themselves. In the Q&A, Dominguez discussed the importance of learning aurally and literally, and the advantage the double bass has in adapting to many styles of music.


Noted in Other Publications

The December issue of DownBeat magazine, now on newsstands (and in the con library), features results of the magazine’s 74th annual readers’ poll—including jazz trombone professor Robin Eubanks’ win in the trombone category. Eubanks beat out such musicians as Slide Hampton, Wycliffe Gordon, and Delfeayo Marsalis.

A feature in the November 2009 issue of The Strad praises viola professor Peter Slowik for his work with Credo, a program held each summer on the Oberlin campus. Writer Heather Kurzbauer describes Slowik as a “man of limitless enthusiasm and purpose,” who personifies Credo’s dual aim of musical excellence and faith-based community service. “While many an esteemed pedagogue spends the summer months jetting off to master classes around the globe, Slowik gets down to the nitty-gritty of teaching in his own backyard,” writes Kurzbauer.


Two former Oberlin faculty members, Emeritus Longman Professor of English David Young and Emeritus William H. Danforth Professor of Religion Grover Zinn, have been awarded Emeritus Fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue their scholarly research beyond retirement. Read more.

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