Staff Profiles


Barbara Sawhillmaru-jumps

Director of the CILC


Barbara is the Director and chief bird-wrangling and fish-feeder of the center. When not clambering up the support beams of the CILC to retrieve wayward cockatiels (or in previous years, a remote-controlled dirigible) she is working with Faculty to think of helpful ways to incorporate technology into the teaching of language, literature and culture at Oberlin. She is also a member of the Hispanic Studies Department and teaches HISP 303 “Conversation and Communication in Spanish.” Barbara also runs the Virtual Language Table Project. A proud (some would say misguided) member of the Red Sox Nation and a native of New England, she blogs about language learning and technology and also for the college.


Rosalind Soltow

Administrative Assistant 440-775-6216 An Oberlin graduate, Rosalind completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in viola performance. Before coming to the CILC, she worked in the conservatory for four years. She also performs with two regional orchestras and manages the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestras in addition to her work for the college. Rosalind spends what little free time she has practicing yoga, learning Spanish, baking pies, and watching foreign films.


Bob Peters

Language Technologist Specialist 440-775-5287   Bob serves as a technician for the CILC and the language staff and faculty.  Before he came to Oberlin College he studied and taught Korean language at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center  and worked as an electrical engineer designing and building advanced flight simulators.  Bob is particularly skilled in connecting systems; his goal is to make the machines work for us, rather than allow the opposite.



Ellie Flessner

Student Assistant - Graduates Spring 2016   Ellie is just a young explorer trying to make it in this crazy world of ours. She spends most of her time in the language lab, partly because the birds are her only friends and partly because she has yet to actually find the exit. Her hobbies include cliff diving and rocking back and forth in the fetal position as Nickleback plays in the background. Her skills include proficiency in smart classroom technology, fluency in spanish, safe cracking, and elementary Karate.


Mengchen (Sue) Xu215282_564978226880157_552537743_n

Student Assistant - Graduates Spring 2016

Sue is a third-year Art History major from Beijing. She sometimes forces(encourages) her tutees to speak in Beijing accent just because it sounds more homey. She is obsessed with Asian cuisine but all she really does is stir-fry. She spends her free time reading Chinese war fictions, listening to cheesy Arabic songs, and watching Korean drama. She pictures herself travelling around the world in the future and studying miniature paintings in Shiraz if she has to settle down.

Hannah Gilfixhannah

Student Assistant - Graduates Spring 2015 Hannah is a fourth year student from Massachusetts majoring in neuroscience. A dual citizen with France and the US, Hannah is fascinated by different cultures, places, and languages.She is currently studying Spanish and just came back from studying abroad in Peru during the Spring Semester. To read more about her experience, check out:


Camilla Sentercamilla

Student Assistant - Graduates Spring 2015   Camilla is a fourth year Neuroscience major from Seattle. Last semester she spent five months studying Spanish in Spain and six weeks doing an internship in Sweden. In addition to learning languages, she enjoys making bread and visiting the cats at Ginkos. She hopes to one day be a passionate baker, florist, or linguist but until then, is thoroughly enjoying the element of surprise.


Austin CopeAustin

Student Assistant - Graduates Spring 2015   Austin grew up in the wild mountains of Colorado, in a little town you’ve probably never heard of. After graduating from the school there, he decided to spend a year in the flat little country of Belgium, and then three and a half years in the flat state of Ohio. When not thinking about landscapes, Austin enjoys learning to speak Bird at the CILC and working toward his politics major at Oberlin.



Isabella Zelichenko

Student Assistant - Graduates Spring 2017   Isabella is a second-year, prospective Computer-Science major, from Queens, New York. She enjoys talking to herself in Japanese, but is only capable of speaking to small animals in Russian. In her free time, Isabella enjoys dancing Hip-Hop and DJing House music. She has adventured in 10 different countries (including the U.S.) and 15 U.S. states. She can confirm that Sue’s stir-fry is top notch (see above).



Christopher Nguyen                                                            

Student Assistant - Graduates Spring 2015 Chris was born and raised in the windy city of Chicago, yet still feels at home in the wonderful town of Oberlin. Chris studies Economics and East Asian Studies, enjoys lengthy conversations in Japanese, and wishes desperately that his relatives would stop making fun of his Vietnamese. Chris loves a good superhero show and will talk incessantly about his love for Marvel and the Avengers, although DC isn’t that bad, he supposes. Eventually Chris wants to find a happy balance between his business aspirations, Japanese language, and hopefully learning how to cook.


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Casey Murphy

Student Assistant – Graduates Spring 2015   Casey is a fourth-year linguistics major from St. Louis. When not working on learning languages herself, she enjoys lurking behind the CILC desk while other people practice theirs. She hopes one day to be a translator. Or maybe a language teacher. Or maybe an editor. Or maybe something else.  She’s in Oberlin for one more semester to write her capstone on language ideology in education policy.




Some of our staff are abroad traveling the world…



Anders Villalta

Student Assistant Graduates Spring 2016   Anders is a second year studio art major who spends his free time cooking, swimming, and learning too many languages to keep track of. He enjoys telling people secrets in words they don’t understand, drawing hands, and marveling at the ability of ginger to improve pretty much any dish. With plans to study painting in Amsterdam, and eventually to become an architect, Anders knows where he hopes this [train] will take him, but he doesn’t know for sure. But it doesn’t matter, ’cause cats are forever.