Students Land More National Honors

Oberlin students again earned several renowned national scholarships and fellowships this spring. Three Fulbrights were awarded to May graduates Daniel Jackson, who will travel to Mongolia to study the corsac fox and snow leopard; Rosalie Knecht, who will work as a teaching assistant and translator in Argentina; and Ella Ornstein, who will work in northwestern Germany as a teaching assistant while also investigating the intersection of languages, cultures, and translation among native Germans and the region’s immigrants.

Three juniors were awarded Barry M. Goldwater scholarships: Andrew Bartholomew for modeling the behavior of a protein that facilitates cell division; Tymoteusz Kajistura for his study of a protein that prevents cell death in the heart muscle and for his study of the mechanism of root emergence in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana; and Daniel Hemberger, whose project goal was to develop a procedure correcting the interstellar scattering of pulsar beams at low radio frequencies.

Kevin McHugh ’07 was honored with a Thomas J. Watson Foundation fellowship to travel to Brazil, Egypt, India, and Japan next year to examine the development of musical cultures.

Ultimate Frisbee Whizzes into the Classroom

Ultimate frisbee is now part of the middle school curriculum, a move initiated by OC students.
Photo by Polk Photography

“I want you all to pay attention to these guys,” instructs Ivra Jackson, the physical education teacher at Oberlin’s Langston Middle School, before turning her class over to members of the College’s Preying Manti and Flying Horsecows ultimate frisbee teams.

Her class is learning the game for the first time, and Jackson expects full respect for the new instructors. It doesn’t take long. As Jackson slides into the background, the Obies deliver brief instructions on throwing and catching; soon the entire gym is a blur of wobbling, whizzing discs.

It was last fall when Oberlin’s frisbee teams first approached the local schools with a proposal to teach the basics of ultimate. They devised a curriculum that tested so successfully in four high school physical education classes that they expanded into the middle school as well. “The response we received at Langston was incredible,” says program coordinator Wilson Skinner ’06. “At first we received unsure glances and nervous questions, but their timidness soon melted away. In the end, six of us had taught the game to half the students in the middle school.”

Jackson persuaded the principal to incorporate ultimate into the yearly physical education curriculum, which in turn inspired the Manti and Horsecows to raise funds for 25 frisbees and cones.

“Working with the Langston students was a great opportunity to step outside the Oberlin College bubble and become part of the community,” says Manti Captain Carmen Welton ’06.

“My hope is that this will act as a catalyst, not only for the sport of ultimate, but also as a positive model for the productive involvement of Oberlin students in our adopted community,” adds Wilson.

1835 Fund Honors Both Past and Present

Sprinavasa Bell and Donnell Kelly
Photo by John Seyfried

May 2006 graduates Sprinavasa Bell and Donnell Kelly know just what they’d like to do with their lives—plans helped along by stipends from a new fund commemorating the admission of African American students to Oberlin.

Bell, who majored in African American studies and biology, plans to work as a financial advisor in nearby Westlake, Ohio, before eventually opening a bed and breakfast in the Washington, DC, area. With $400 awarded from Oberlin’s new 1835 Fund, she was able to spend winter term in Washington, DC, reviewing her business plan with entrepreneur Kennedy Wright ’86, owner of Kennedy Sound.

Kelly, a religion and French studies major, will begin graduate work in community development this fall at Case Western Reserve University, where he earned a full scholarship. With a growing desire to work for a nonprofit, he used his $600 award to work with the “Take Back Our Schools” campaign sponsored by Californians for Justice in Oakland.

“Bell and Kelly represent the caliber of students Oberlin produces,” says a beaming Jackie Bradley Hughes ’76, co-chair of the Oberlin Alumni Association of African Ancestry. Hughes was among three alumni who conceptualized and gifted The 1835 Fund in 1999 as a way to support African ancestry activities and scholarship.

After a campaign of steady fundrais-ing, the fund reached its endowment goal of $25,000 in 2004. Besides providing stipends for internships, the fund supports all African ancestry constituents in areas such as student scholarships, retention, and an alumni lecture series. Organizers hope that continued giving from alumni and friends will allow them to reach their ultimate goal: an endowed chair in the Department of African American Studies.

“Not only are we educating through the name of the fund, but it impacts the whole community,” says 1835 Fund Co-chair Dawn Alexander ’82. “I hope its users will continue the legacy by giving back to it, so it can continue to give to others.”

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