2016 President's Medalists
In addition, candidates must embody some combination of the following: service to the community, contribution to the arts, enlargement of the community’s global perspective, athletic fitness and achievement, leadership ability and contribution to community discourse.
Recipients for 2016
Ashley, leadership, maturity and professionalism are the words that surfaced again and again in the comments of your nominators. You have fully embraced Denison’s liberal arts mission by your engagement with course content, co-curricular activities and the broader community.
You have been able to make connections repeatedly between what you study as a top student in your chosen major of Economics, and your activities on campus and beyond. As a team leader for a grant writing and community service project in your economics class, you helped to identify a financially sustainable project for SPARK, a local daytime habilitation center for adults with developmental disabilities, which they are still using today. As a volunteer for the Licking County Coalition for Housing’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, you studied the training manuals and obtained the IRS certification on your own, and you helped low-income families save money on their tax returns. Staff and volunteers alike commented on your exceptional communication skills with clients.
Your communication skills also served you well in your work with our Office of Admission as a tour guide. Your passion for your service with Big Brother/Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Listening for a Change, the DCGA senate and Finance Committees, and as a representative on University Council, among other commitments, all came through as you conducted campus tours. Campus visitors regularly reported back to the Office of Admission that you clearly conveyed your love of Denison as you talked about your student experiences. Office of Admission staff members agree that you are “personally responsible for convincing dozens of high school students to enroll at Denison!”
Ashley, we applaud your commitment to service and civic engagement, and we in the Denison community have been very lucky to have you among us.
Cheyanne, a faculty member commented that you “stood out as the student who got me excited to teach and kept me on my toes in my classes.” Phi Beta Kappa, an English major and Psychology minor, recipient of the McCann Scholarship and Harriet King Shepardson Prize, and a Laura Harris Summer Scholar, you graduate with a formidable academic record. You embraced your time at Denison with energy, focus, deep intelligence and as a model of intellectual integrity.
You have channeled your skill and passion for writing in numerous ways across campus and beyond, from serving on the editorial board of “Articulate,” writing for “The Den,” serving as a research assistant for the women’s literary non-profit VIDA, and through your summer research project on Virginia Woolf’s art and life. Your writing has been described as “giving voice to the richness and opportunity afforded by a liberal arts education and understanding the variety of human experience.”.
Your desire to comprehend the variety of human experience has extended into your involvement with the local community. The Licking County Center for the Visually Impaired and Big Brothers/Big Sisters both have benefited greatly from your on-going relationships with their organizations and countless volunteer hours.
On campus, your leadership, your commitment to service, and your role as an advocate for the liberal arts are evidenced by your involvement with Leadershape, Anchor Splash, Relay for Life and your work for the Office of Admission as a panel member for First Gen College Students and as the creative director of a video for prospective students.
Cheyanne, we thank you for your quiet leadership and for raising the intellectual bar both in and outside of class. We know that you will excel in your position as the 2016 Writing Intern at the national office of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
Taylor, among many outstanding attributes, your nominators highlight your academic prowess and the persistence and tenacity with which you pursue solutions to problems, while maintaining an incredibly positive attitude.
As a computer science major and a math and music double-minor, department fellow and tutor, you have demonstrated a passion for your disciplines that has inspired professors and peers alike.
One professor tells of your joint summer research on a problem to do with query optimization in databases, which resulted in publication in one of the top-tier international conferences in databases – an impressive feat, as only one in five papers written by PhD students and faculty at research institutions is accepted. Your research experiences honed your interests in the areas of science and technology and contributed to your recent receipt of a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for your continuing studies in the areas of artificial intelligence and robotics.
Your competition on the University programming team reflects your dedication to and joy in problem solving at the highest level. Being on the winning team in 2013 at the Ohio Wesleyan University contest and placing sixth (out of 50) at the recent ACM regional contest help to distinguish Denison among a large group of institutions in the region. Your excellence as a computer scientist and mathematician has made you an ideal mentor for other women in the department and a leader in the Women in Math and Computer Science Group.
Beyond your significant scholarly accomplishments in math and computer science, your artistic achievements as a musician have earned you the respect of faculty and your bandmates. You have been described as a “terrific fiddler with a gift for both technique and expression, adding just the right nuance to your rhythm to make listeners dance or just the right wail to your tone to make them cry!” And you can sing too!
Taylor, with this medal, we honor your commitment to the arts and sciences and know that you will excel in your studies of artificial intelligence and robotics.
Patrick, you have been described as a true scholar-athlete, garnering the respect of faculty and fellow students both in the classroom and on the basketball court.
A Biochemistry major and Spanish minor, secretary of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre Med Society, tutor in both the Chemistry and Biochemistry departments, recipient of an Anderson Summer Research Assistantship and Outreach Chair for the Denison Chemical Society, your academic success has been shaped by your diligent work habits and selflessness.
As an athlete, you have been described as “the ultimate teammate, known for being hardworking, reliable, quiet, but not afraid to speak up and challenge another player to do better.” You have been a four-year letter winner, a three-time recipient of the Top 50 Scholar Athlete awards, a recipient of the NCAC Scholar Athlete Award, and this year, both a team starter and captain.
Your generosity of spirit and strong sense of service have extended off campus as a volunteer for Hospice of Central Ohio and to Bogota, Columbia, where you spent eight weeks as a volunteer teacher with Emerging Voices, creating lesson plans and working with local teachers and university students to assist young people in learning the English language.
Patrick, you have been called a regular guy who outworks and out cares all others. With this medal, we thank you for your dedication to Denison, and showing us what it truly means to be a team player.
Emily, you have astonished many with all that you have done during your time here. You have shown an exemplary work ethic and dedication to your numerous academic, athletic, and community activities and have been described as a “true symbol of competitive excellence.”
As a Biology major, member of Phi Beta Kappa, tutor for both the Biology and Chemistry departments, and a teaching assistant, your ability to read, interpret, analyze and synthesize information has been impressive. In the classroom you are known for not only asking some of the most thoughtful questions, but also answering some of the toughest.
Outside of the classroom, you took full advantage of your summer research opportunities by working in the Department of Structural Biology and the Center for Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh, and you shared your love of science by serving as a mentor for local families participating in the annual science fair at The Works.
Your commitment to excellence extended to your time on the track as well. Your awards are numerous – four-time all NCAC, two-time U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All Great Lakes Region in Cross Country, and four-time USTFCCCA All Academic Honoree, four-time Denison Top 50 Student Athlete Honoree, and two-time Ted Barclay Top 5 Student Athlete award recipient.
Emily, your transformation over your time here at Denison has been remarkable and, as one faculty member put it, “a true testament to the power of a liberal arts education.” You entered Denison focused on a career in medicine, and after taking courses across a variety of disciplines, you decided that your analytical skills would be best applied to a career in law.
Emily, we are proud to award you this President’s Medal as a reflection of all that you have achieved.
Mac, you have been described as a true intellectual and as a student from whom a professor can learn. Your deliberate sharing of scholarship, always with a gracious spirit, enables such give and take to be consequential and natural.
As a religion major, you are known in the classroom for asking important questions and for your commitment to fostering meaningful dialogue among people from all corners of campus life. Through your music and campus activities, you make connections easily, and your campus network stretches far and wide. It seems that everyone on campus knows you!
Leadership seems to come naturally to you, and your capabilities in this area have been repeatedly demonstrated through your involvement with TEDx Talks, as an August-O leader, and co-founder of Story Slam. Your ability to listen, pose questions and promote dialogue have made you an exceptional asset within any group. A fellow student remarked that while not having a formal position with the Denison Christian Community Group, the group’s leaders often have you attend their meetings and the meetings are better for your thoughtful contributions.
Mac, we are proud to award this medal to you with sincere gratitude for your substantial contributions to life on this campus.
Anika, your time at Denison has been one of passionate and deliberate engagement. You have been selective in your choices, both academic and co-curricular, and continually have made connections between theory and practice.
Chosen as a Fellow in your major of Communications, you have been praised by department faculty for your initiative, research abilities, leadership, and group communication skills. Whether writing reflectively in a journaling assignment, delving into pieces on “post humanism” or working with a group to synthesize Ghandi’s Philosophy of Hope, your work in the classroom has been thoughtful and a testament to your intellectual curiosity. Your research skills have not gone unnoticed either. H, having your research paper accepted as a competitive reviewed paper for the Central States Communication Association Annual Undergraduate Students Conference demonstrated your proficiency in that area.
Your choices of commitments outside of the classroom have been thoughtfully made. You are known as a student who, once involved in a project, commits 110 percent. The Black Student Union, African Student Association, Paving the Way, Agape Christian Fellowship, Resident Hall staff, and the Slayter Information Desk have all benefitted greatly from your enthusiasm and leadership. Anika, we thank you for having made Denison a better place by your significant contributions to life on this campus, and we are proud to call you one of our own.
Anna, you came to Denison from Ghana knowing that you wanted to major in Women’s Studies and make a difference in the world around you. During your four years at Denison, you have accomplished both of these things and so much more.
As a Women’s and Gender Studies major and fellow, and as a fellow in the International Studies Department, faculty members have valued your independent thinking, intellectual curiosity and resourcefulness. Your willingness to take on new projects and work around the clock to meet the demands of your responsibilities have been impressive. You designed your academic studies and research around your interests in human rights, democratization and social change. Your research projects on “The Impact of War and Conflict on Women in Africa” and on “Women’s Microfinance Projects in Ghana” provided you with opportunities to hone your analytical research skills and draw on your knowledge base from your classes in Anthropology/Sociology, International Studies and Women and Gender Studies.
Your creativity, professionalism, organizational and mobilization skills extended beyond the classroom. Serving as president of the African Student Association, Secretary of Tehillah, and a member of the June- O staff, you took advantage of all opportunities to link theory with practice.
Anna, your combination of leadership skills, intellectual aptitude and community involvement make you most deserving of this President’s Medal.
Sarah, your four years at Denison have been marked by unparalleled ability, ambition for learning and a record of accomplishment that is staggering.
Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, named a Fellow in your double majors of Biology and History, and chosen as an Anderson Scholar and member of the Phi Alpha Theta honor society, you have a long list of academic accolades, including an impressive 4.0 grade point average.
Your hard work and endless energy have made my faculty colleagues in the History Department wonder if, like the 6th Century Byzantine Emperor Justinian, you never sleep!
You came to Denison with the long-term goal of attaining a PhD and studying bird ecology and conservation. Your love of Ornithology has been shown not only by your curation and care of Denison’s collection of bird skins and eggs, but by your research both on campus and off. Your work in a REU program at Ohio State’s Stone Lab resulted in three presentations at national and regional professional meetings. Continuing your subsequent summer research of Grasshopper Sparrows while carrying a full course load has made you one of Denison’s most qualified candidates for graduate schools. The National Science Foundation must agree, as you have been honored with a Graduate Research Fellowship for Life Sciences – Ecology.
Your history professors tell similar stories about your admirable work ethic driven by an intense curiosity to understand more about the past, to recover lost voices — especially those of women — and to engage in the joy of intellectual discovery. Your professors have called you “a keen observer who brings a scientist’s methodical, systematic approach to the comparative study of historical texts.”
Your notable accomplishments also have extended to your co-curricular activities, as an accomplished member of the wind ensemble, a tutor, president of the Quidditch Club, and a volunteer at a local historical society. Your involvement as a committed member and secretary of Denison Hillel, despite not being Jewish, exemplifies your commitment to inter-religious understanding and to building bridges across faiths on campus.
Sarah, we will miss your keen mind and eagerness to learn, and know that you will excel in your studies of Biology at Kansas State University.