Physics major Jaelyn Roth is one of only eight students chosen as a President’s Medalist, Denison’s highest award for students, for the Class of 2023. Roth, who also minored in music, says that “what surprised me most about my time at Denison is how much more confident I became in my academic abilities.”

She adds, “I struggled a lot with imposter syndrome in my early courses, as I think a lot of us do when we arrive at Denison due to our varying high school curricula but also how we compare ourselves to our peers and whether or not we feel represented within our disciplines. I think I felt that I would feel that way forever, but it subsided as I worked my way through the physics major and slowly proved to myself how capable I really was.”

Roth’s citation reads, in part:

“One of your nominators stated, ‘without a doubt, Jaelyn is the best undergraduate research student I’ve worked with over the last 25 years.”

“…your decision to come to Denison was based in part on the promise that you could grow into the scientist you wanted to become without sacrificing your love of the arts. This, of course, would mean bringing your artistic flair to the physics classroom… where you built a robotic cat that chases a spot of light moving around on the floor.

“…you re-founded and served as president of the Denison Ballet Club, helping to reintroduce ballet when you discovered that Denison no longer offered it. You’ve also partnered with the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra to compose music, and your scores have brought music to the floors of the Newark and Granville libraries.

“…As co-president of the Society of Physics Students, you were one of six students in the country to receive their national SPS Leadership Scholarship in 2022, presenting a senior thesis at the American Astronomical Society national conference.

April 24, 2023