Sara Ohly

Sara Ohly

My family sang around the piano; I studied piano through college but took up recorder when I went to Turkey to teach English for two years in the Peace Corps right after college. After two semesters in Edinburgh studying English literature and piano, I returned to Connecticut, became certified as a high school English teacher, married, and moved to New Haven in 1968 to teach. In 1981, I went back to school for a Masters in International Relations studying Refugees and Immigrants, then worked in a Refugee Resettlement program in Bridgeport for a year, before returning to Yale for a PhD in anthropology. My husband and two sons spent a transformative year with me in The Hague, the Netherlands, while I did fieldwork on Turkish labor migration, spending my days with Turkish families. Following five years teaching anthropology at Connecticut College and at Wesleyan, I became active in my community of Wooster Square, both in local politics, and community issues. I joined the Boards of the New Haven Land Trust and Urban Resources Initiative at the Forestry School. Throughout our years in New Haven, the Neighborhood Music School has been vital to our whole family. Both sons took pre-school classes, and studied guitar and cello. Before his death in 2007, my husband studied guitar with Alex Vlasnikoff. Now I spend three days a week at NMS, playing recorder in an ensemble with Grace Feldman and in lessons with Sarah Chelminski, singing and dancing with friends in Vintage Voices inspired by Ingeborg Schimmer and Tracey Albert, and doing yoga with Marian Wittink. As a retired anthropologist, I volunteer at IRIS (Integrated Refugee Immigration Services), teaching English again and am still on the Board of Urban Resources Initiative. B.A Vassar College Certification as a High School English teacher, University of Connecticut M.A. International Relations, Yale University PhD. Social Cultural Anthropology, Yale University