Thursday, February 7, 2008

Push Me, Pull Me: Collaboration and Competition in Art, Sports and Life

Musicians and athletes certainly confront the necessity of collaboration, striving to work together to produce a result that is greater than the sum of its parts. These same performers face competition, as well, as they endeavor to perform at their own highest level. A similar tension can be found in classroom situations, in the work force, in interpersonal relationships and on a biological and evolutionary level.

In order to explore this concept, the Oberlin Heisman Club will host its second annual spring symposium - Push Me, Pull Me: Collaboration and Competition in Art, Sports and Life on Saturday, March 1 from 11a.m. to 3 p.m., in Craig Lecture Hall.

The lead speaker is Timothy Weiss, the Ruth Strickland Gardner professor of music and an associate professor of conducting in the Conservatory. He will speak about challenges facing performers of all types when it comes to collaboration and competition.

A panel discussion will follow. Participants on the panel will include:
Blake New (Head Men’s Soccer Coach),
Nusha Martynuk (Professor of Dance),
Peter Slowik (Professor of Viola, Oberlin Conservatory)
Cameron Leverett, ‘06 (Life Insurance Underwriter and Corporal and COC Watch Chief, US Marine Corps Reserve).

George Smith '87, a bureau reporter for ESPN news, will moderate the discussion, as he did last year. The panel will explore the concepts of collaboration and competition as they apply to their individual areas of expertise and experience.

The symposium is one of the ways the Heisman Club is expanding its efforts beyond athletics, into the broader Oberlin community. Historically an athletic booster club of sorts, the Heisman Club was founded in 1978 with the objective of strengthening Oberlin’s athletic program. Through the years, the club has funded major capital improvements, sponsored awards programs for athletes, and provided general financial support to the athletics department and coaches.

Along with Athletic Director, Joe Karlgaard, the Club now believes the Athletic Department should promote wellness, general fitness, active lifestyles, and lifetime sports, as well as varsity and intramural sports. Furthermore, the Oberlin community is teaming with performers in many arenas: on the playing fields, in the labs and classrooms, in the Conservatory, in Warner and Hales gyms, and so on. The efforts of the Heisman Club now include helping those performers discover and appreciate their common goals.

Lunch will be served. The program will conclude at 3 pm.

For more information or to register, contact Carla Freyvogel at

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