{ Hello }

My name is Marsha Lynn Bragg. I am a member of the Web Team in the college's Office of Communications. I have a degree in journalism, and have worked as a beat reporter, assignment editor, assistant editor, magazine writer and editor, and a plenty of other titles to describe my various writing, editing, and project management responsibilities.

I have lived and attended schools in Ohio most of my life. In between I have traveled around the country and even spent time abroad. Yet, it seems I am wedded to the Midwest and my family's roots in Ohio.

Oberlin is a welcome change from the city and the hectic work environment that I had a few short months ago. I worked in University Marketing and Communications (or UMC) at Case Western Reserve University, a research university in the University Circle neighborhood, and a cultural hub in Cleveland. I now make a daily commute from Cleveland's east side; something I never thought I would do and for many years grateful my jobs were 15-20 minutes from my home. My drive is 45 minutes no matter which direction I travel. Most days, it's a straight shot from my door to the office, taking winding backstreets through three Cleveland neighborhoods to get on I-90 and westward to Oberlin.

With coffee in hand and perhaps a bowl of cheesy grits and eggs, I venture onto the highway that will lead me to my office on West Lorain Street, a space our office shares with the college's investment office and student health services.

Most days on the highway are thankfully uneventful. I may spy the occasional road kill, the CVS Good Samaritan van, the MD-80 overhead coming in for a landing at Hopkins International Airport, or the police officer standing near his cruiser parked in the all too conspicuous spot along I-480, armed with a radar detector hoping to deter drivers in excess of the 60-mile speed limit.

When I applied to write a blog as part of the blogs.oberlin.edu project, I did so because I wanted to contribute commentary from a unique perspective: as an outsider. I don't live in Oberlin nor was I raised here. I didn't go to school here nor have I received a degree from Oberlin. Nor am I a current student, an admissions officer, a faculty member, or an administrator. I am, however, married with teenagers, a staff member, and someone who's worked in higher ed communications for almost 12 years now.

Away from work, I enjoy attending varsity soccer games, going to concerts and plays, watching old black and movies, journaling, walking, reading (mostly teen novels these days), teaching third- to fifth-graders in Sunday School, and listening to gospel, jazz, and inspirational music.

Each day in Oberlin offers a fresh experience that is not colored by memories of time or place. I hope to be able to share some of those fresh experiences.

{ Entries }


All Roads Lead to Difficult Decision

It is a terrific opportunity for admissions and the campus at large to showcase all that the college and community has to offer aspiring Oberlin students. It's a red carpet-like treatment for families ...

How Not to be the Other

It helps to arm yourself with information that both supports what you already know and also challenges what you believe.

Be Mesmerized

She conducts extensive interviews with people across the country and uses their words verbatim to develop and tell their stories that address the larger commentary such as the race relations, discrimination, poverty, injustice.

You Get What You Put In

Don't try to be good at everything. Try something totally un-you.

Making Music Matter

I don't know how long the institute was in the making, but Rubin could have supported other established music programs, had a wing or a studio built at a music school with his name embossed on a silver plate, or even set up a scholarship in music criticism.

My Winter Term

I'm kinda envious, especially since many students pursue their winter-term project in another country, perhaps some city with a warmer clime than northeast Ohio in January.

Are You In?

SJI sessions stimulate, inspire, and cause students to examine why they are involved in the issues and causes they are involved in.

Be More Than Social

Uncertainty built in us varying degrees of anxiety, excitement, and anticipation about this tremendous life change we were about to undergo. The playing field was fairly level; none of us knew anything.

Learning with a Purpose

Of course there is plenty of learning with a purpose happening at Oberlin and the recent Senior Symposium serves as testament.

Diversity Matters

I wanted to work at a place that just didn't just give lip service to my understanding of diversity. The culture had to be one that breathed "you are welcome here" with no caveats attached.

It's Good to Have a Posse

I felt privileged that they were willing to share their stories with me and allow me to observe and participate in their quest of discovery and definition.

A Good Place to Be

Oberlin seems to be positioning itself as a destination city--a place people come to for dining, entertainment, and recreation.

Resolutions for Life

Don't be afraid to fail. I don't mean slack off until you get an "F." I mean do something out of your comfort zone and risk not succeeding as brilliantly as you would like.


It's the same at Oberlin: you'll want to try, visit, attend, be a part of, witness as many different programs and events as possible. But some events are one-shot deals.

To be or not to be Oberlin

When we finally parted ways, it struck me almost immediately that Oberlin is not just a town where I drive to work five days a week.

More than a Room

A healthful living environment contributes to the idea of community, and creates a type of neighborhood...

50 Things and Counting that Make Oberlin the Best

I can't get with that mentality and it has nothing to do with the fact that I am not a sports fanatic... er, fan.

Bright Lights, Bright Futures

This is my second summer in Oberlin. It's quiet. Calm. Let's say, the campus wears a different face in the summer.

After the Pomp and Circumstance

...far more memorable are the friendships and relationships built and established during high school and college.

Show and Tell

Doing something for the first time always has its risks.


Is it overload, or are Oberlin students just that driven?

Not the Exception

Seems to me that our collective role should be to make everyone feel welcome and respected.

Talk to Me

This experience taught me that new and improved doesn't mean it's better. Faster is not always efficient. Cool is not always pertinent. Flashy can simply be annoying.

Uniquely Oberlin

For 2010, resolve to learn more about Oberlin, try things that are uniquely Oberlin, experience things that you can only do in Oberlin.

Music Matters

With winter shutdown (aka winter break) soon upon us, the sounds of music have come to a standstill.

How Do You Know If It's the One?

I have concluded that there is no easy way to manage the college-search process. You just have to go through it.

Rock on

Oberlin has a tradition that is not daring but endearing. It's probably not among the oldest but it is recurring. And I had a chance to experience this innocuous tradition first hand.

Steal Away

At Oberlin, I believe the library is synonymous with academic rigor, intellectual stimulation, computers, socializing, networking, and to some degree relaxing.

Ten Things to do in the fall in Oberlin

Fall is my favorite time of year for all the obvious reasons: the abundance of dynamic colors, variations in outside temperature--not too hot and not so cold. I consider fall the in-between season.

The Next Best Thing

One of the benefits of working at a college or university is having access to some of the best writers, scientists, academicians, researchers, musicians, artists, social reformers, environmentalists, and politicians of the day.

Going to the Chapel

Upon entering the chapel in the old stone building, I was struck by the intimacy of the space and the acoustics. Although I had been to Bosworth several times, this was my first time inside the chapel.

Fresh Experiences

Each day in Oberlin offers a fresh experience that is not colored by memories of time or place. I hope to be able to share some of these fresh experiences.

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