Community Voices Articles

The Community Voices component of Environmental Dashboard is designed to celebrate and promote thought and action that build stronger, more sustainable and more resilient communities. Community members representing the diversity of this community are being interviewed to share their perspectives. Click below to view recent interviews or search by subject name, interviewer or any keyword or topic to view associated stories. Many of the quotes used for Community Voices slides are taken from these interviews.


Sean Hayes

Sean Hayes Interview by: Rick Yu Yue   Sean Hayes is Executive Director of The Oberlin Project, a joint effort of the City of Oberlin, Oberlin College, and individual and institutional partners, to improve the resilience, prosperity, and sustainability of the Oberlin community through development of a robust, vibrant, and local post-carbon economy. Prior to joining The Oberlin Project, Hayes was the […]

Barbara Pierce

Barbara Pierce Barbara Pierce, an Oberlin resident and the first post-war blind student to attend Oberlin College, has worked for the last 40 years for the National Federation of the Blind, advocating for the civil rights of blind people. She is a leader nationwide as well as in the Oberlin community. Q: What words or images would you use to […]

Samantha Beetler

Sam Beetler Interview by: Becky Kalish Sam Beetler, graduate of Lorain County Community College, is the lead gardener for The People’s Garden at Oberlin Community Services (OCS). Sam’s main work is running the garden but she is also involved in many of the other projects that OCS facilitates. Beetler’s favorite outdoor spot in Oberlin is the arboretum. Q:  My first question […]

Jennifer Smillie

Jennifer Smilie has been an Oberlin High School mathematics teacher for 12 years. She lives in Bay Village, which is about half an hour away from Oberlin. She has always felt passionate about sustainability and tries to incorporate sustainability in her math classes with the Dashboard.

Jennifer Shults

Jennifer Shults is an Oberlin native and has a lot of family history and roots in Oberlin. She is a chiropractor but is interested in many different methods of natural healing. She sees a deep connection between individual, human health and the health of the environment.

Beth Blissman

Beth Blissman is the director of Oberlin College’s Bonner Center for Service and Learning. She works with students, faculty, and community members to connect the college’s work with specific community needs. She brings a sustainability focus to her work and enjoys exploring creative solutions to meet Oberlin’s goals. She enjoys organic gardening and she serves on several local and national nonprofit boards and committees. She feels closest to nature when she is gardening outside her house.

Randall Roberts

Randall Roberts is the Oberlin City Engineer. He was involved in the Complete Streets Project, which focuses on making sure Oberlin’s roads are truly shared with pedestrains and bikers.

Ali Yedes

Ali Yedes is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Literature and Comparative Muslim Cultures and Civilizations. He also serves as Muslim Religious Life affiliate for the Oberlin College Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. Professor Yedes enjoys teaching, meditation, prayer and supplications, Sufi chanting, ballroom dance and martial arts.

Sharon Bittner

Sharon Bittner Interview by: Shane Clark Q: What are some words or images that come to mind when you think of Oberlin? A: Well certainly its historical significance. To me, it’s scenic- Tappan Square, that kind of thing, overall pretty friendly- probably one of the nicest places I’ve ever lived. Q: You say it’s scenic- what’s your favorite view of Oberlin? […]

Suzy Owda

Suzy Owda is the new General Manager of Aladdin’s Eatery in Downtown Oberlin.