"I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to get Michï¿½ï¿½le to take over the position of director of special programs," said Associate Provost for the Arts Alan Brody, who announced the appointment.
"Since I first got to know her, I've been astonished at how much she knows and understands about the culture of MIT, the students and faculty, and the place of a vibrant arts program on this campus," Brody said.
Oshima won a Dean's Community Builder Award in fall 2001, recognizing her as an "an effective teacher, mentor and coach - building morale and motivating others, promoting diversity by creating cross cultural sensitivity and a better sense of community."
At the Office of the Arts, she will divide her efforts between student initiatives and artist-in-residence programs. Oshima will be overseeing student programs such as the Freshman Arts Seminar Program, the Council Scholars in the Arts and the List Foundation Fellowship Program for Students of Color. She will work with dormitory and living group art representatives.
She will also be responsible for the continuing development and management of MIT's Artist-in-Residence Program, established in 1990 to enable professional artists in all disciplines to become directly involved with MIT students and faculty in both curricular and co-curricular activities.
As a liaison between MIT and outside artists, Oshima will work with faculty and staff to assess artistic and curricular needs and goals, suggest local and international artists and cultural collaborators whose work can advance those goals, and assist in the development of collaborative programs.
"I believe that the MIT undergrads need to be encouraged to be whole," said Oshima.
A trumpet player whose classical training began at age 10, Oshima plays locally with various big bands. She organized the Boston Dragon Boat Festival, an annual community event on the Charles River; she supports theater and has been instrumental in linking playwrights, actors, directors and theaters.
Oshima has also served as a trustee on numerous nonprofit boards, including MIT LBGT (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgendered) Issues Group; Cambridge Center for Adult Education; New Words: A Women's Bookstore; Asian Sisters in Action; the Asian American Unity Dinner; Sojourner: the Women's Forum, and The Theater Offensive (Boston's premier showcase of queer culture). She has also volunteered for Wellesley College.
A graduate of Wellesley College, Oshima worked for 10 years in international business before joining the MIT Program in Women's Studies in 1995.
She will continue to work with the Program in Women's Studies until Sept. 16.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 14, 2002.