2017 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 2017
Brian, you have approached your four years at Denison with an authenticity and passion that are reflected in your engagement in the classroom, on the swimming and diving team, and all across campus. You have been described as an individual who “enacts on highest ideals as a Denisonian and as a global citizen.”
As an anthropology/sociology major with a concentration in queer studies, your professors have remarked that they are appreciative of not only your limitless energy but also for your “seemingly fearless engagement both with ideas and with other individuals in the class.” Not satisfied with giving just an acceptable effort, your high degree of preparation for classroom discussions has allowed you to confront complex ideas with a rare blend of strength and humility.
And your strong work ethic has extended to your commitments beyond your coursework. As a captain of the swimming and diving team, your consistent and dedicated training has led to remarkable results over your collegiate diving career. You have been an NCAA national finalist in both one- and three-meter diving events, an Athletic and Academic All-American, an All-Conference honoree, and a recipient of the James T. Glerum Top-50 Award.
Outside of the pool, you have served as president of Outlook, chair of the Gender-Neutral Housing Committee, a co-founder and president of the Diversity and Inclusionary Advisory Board, a member of the Campus Affairs Committee, a senior interviewer for the Office of Admission, and co-coordinator of the Orientation Staff. Your work to normalize collaborative efforts around the lines of difference, diversity, and inclusiveness on our campus is clearly demonstrated by your goal of having every Outlook event co-organized with another student organization or campus program.
Brian, we thank you for having made Denison a better place with your compassionate and significant contributions to life on this campus, and we are proud to call you one of our own.
Kareha, you have been described as a woman of both character and poise, as well as an extremely talented student with an exceptional attitude who always promotes a positive environment for those around you.
As a chemistry major, you have thrived in the laboratory environment, showing exceptional problem-solving and leadership skills. Your hard work and outstanding research skills are reflected in your being selected to present your summer research at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students and being chosen for the Summer Research Scholar Program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Ignited by these experiences, your immense passion for research has been evident to all those who work with you in the lab.
Your interests extend beyond the classrooms and laboratories, however, as shown by your extensive community involvement, both on and off campus. The Licking County Humane Society, the Salvation Army, the Black Student Union, the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, the SHARE program and the Breakaway Program in Selma, Ala., all have benefitted from your positive, considerate nature and your well-developed leadership skills.
And now, Kareha, as you leave us to pursue your prestigious Post-Bachelor Fellowship at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, we honor your commitment to the field of research with this medal. We in the Denison community have been very lucky to have you among us.
Campbell, you have been described as “the quintessential scholar-athlete,” gaining the respect of faculty and fellow students both in the classroom and in the swimming pool.
An English major, you are known in your classes as a voice for the “respectful, intellectual engagement of ideas and perspectives.” Your professors have valued your intellectual curiosity, personal drive, ability to draw others into conversations, synthesize disparate materials, and reconceive pertinent questions. You often have assumed the position of quiet leader in the classroom, facilitating good and productive debate and drawing students into conversation with one another. In addition to your contributions to class discussions, your devotion to hard work as a writer is exemplary. You often composed essays well in advance of the due date and brought them to your professors for discussion. A faculty member recounts a story of your first essay, which was admittedly “a bit of a disaster,” but that the underlying ideas were quite good and “impressively complex.” Your mature reaction to the critique allowed you to rework the entire essay, turning in a work that received the highest grade. Given these qualities, it is not surprising that you have received the McCann Prize as the outstanding junior English major and the Juliette Barker Sarrett Award for Excellence in Literary Studies, and that you were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior.
Your commitment to achievement extended into your athletic endeavors, as well. Your awards and accolades are numerous: NCAC Swimmer of the Year, and All-Conference and All-American in the 200 free, the 500 free, the 1,650 free, and the 800 free relay. You are a 12-time NCAA All-American, a four-year College Swimming Coaches Association of America All-American and Scholar All-American, a two-time College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American, a recipient of Denison’s Ted Barclay Top-Five Student-Athlete Award, and the winner of the 2017 James T. Glerum Jr. ’82 Presidential Award recognizing your “academic and athletic accomplishments, leadership, and service to the university and community.” In addition, you still found the time to serve on Denison’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
Heather, among your many exemplary attributes, your nominators highlight your skills as a “scholar, analyst, and theorist,” and they point out your “openness to new ideas and possibilities, and your unusually productive and integrative intellect.”
As a double major in economics and theatre, you have proven yourself to be a well-rounded artist-scholar, or as some would put it, a poster child for the liberal arts, pursuing academic experiences that provide both breadth and depth. You have been described as a “skilled and accomplished thinker, writer, and performer who is passionate about finding ways to use these skills to create theatre that asks difficult questions, and also questions easy answers regarding the complex and often contentious relationship between art and commerce.”
Whether you are evaluating the economic theories of Amartya Sen and Friedrich Hayek or researching musical theatre performers for your study entitled “Beauty and the Broadway Beast: How Comediennes Dethroned the Ziegfeld Girl,” your talent at integrating traditional research with experimental creative scholarship have made you an exceptional collaborator and leader in your classes. In addition, your creativity, professionalism, and leadership have extended beyond your coursework. Serving as a performance director in the Denison Independent Theatre Association, a founding member of the Economics Club, a DJ on WDUB, and a member of the Denison Bluegrass Ensemble, you have taken advantage of a multitude of opportunities to link theory with practice.
Heather, we are proud to award this medal to you with sincere gratitude for your substantial contributions to intellectual and artistic life on this campus.
Cole, your time at Denison has been one of deep and genuine engagement.
As a double major pursuing both theatre and your individually-designed folklore major, your lively intellect, tremendous knowledge, curiosity, and talent as a creator of performances, have made a rich and lasting contribution to the arts at Denison. Your theatre professors have marveled at the breadth of your knowledge and preparedness for classes, noting that you often come to class with questions and notes from an ancillary, self-curated reading list.
You are known for your keen stage sense, your profound understanding of drama, and for “exploring a wide variety of ways to tell a story on stage — ways that genuinely take advantage of what a live theatre performance can do.” You are known for your fearlessness, laughter, and striking sense of fashion. Being known as “Suits Guy” prior to your arrival in Granville suggests that you began exceeding expectations and subverting conventions even before you transferred to Denison. Since coming here, you have shaped your creative genius and gained a reputation as a generous and kind collaborator, often acting intentionally to serve the scene and your partners on stage. You have powerfully personified Stanislavsky’s tenet to “love the art in oneself, and not oneself in the art.”
Your generosity of spirit has extended beyond both the classroom and stage through your service as Shabbat coordinator, secretary for Hillel, an officer in the sketch comedy group Sketch’rs, and the theatre honorary Theta Alpha Pi. And you have even earned a bronze medal as a member of the Swashbucklers, the Denison fencing team.
Now you will take your passions and talents — and blazers and vests and slacks — to Columbia University to pursue your Master of Fine Arts degree in dramaturgy.
Cole, the contribution of your intellectual aptitude, your fervent curiosity, and your commitment to the arts make you most deserving of this President’s Medal.
Na’il, you have approached your time at Denison with clearly defined passions and values that are reflected in your engagement both in your courses and across our campus.
As a biology major and Spanish minor, you have been inducted in Sigma Xi, the scientific research honorary society, and served as both a teaching assistant and tutor for the Departments of Biology and Biochemistry. This degree of involvement demonstrates your commitment to the pursuit of academic distinction. Through your extensive summer research at the Medical College of Wisconsin, your faculty have commented on not only the remarkable level of independence in your work but also that you perform on the same level as graduate students working on their doctorate degrees.
Your ability to balance your academic work with co-curricular activities has been remarkable. Your outstanding leadership skills and deep concern for the Denison community have been apparent in your work as a resident assistant, a head resident, a mentor for our Paving the Way orientation, and serving as president of Tehillah. Also benefitting from your membership has been the Interfaith Council, the Diversity Strategy Team, the Multicultural Recruitment and Scholarship Committee, the Black Student Union, and the Gospel Choir. You have chosen to participate in activities and experiences that have a positive impact on Denison and in the world. Recognition of your leadership on campus through induction into Omicron Delta Kappa is not surprising and well deserved.
Na’il, we thank you for your constructive influence on our community, and for showing us what it truly means to be a thoughtful and caring member of the Denison family. We know that you will excel in your studies of medicine as a Dean’s Scholar at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Erin, your nominators have come from all across our campus and even beyond. You have been described as having a high work ethic that embodies Denison’s mission of academic excellence and civic engagement, and of being both a thinker and a doer as you have worked to effect change not only beyond the Denison community but far beyond our nation’s borders, as well.
As an English literature and international studies double major, a fellow in the International Studies Program, the student representative on the International Studies Committee, and as a Dean’s List honoree for your entire Denison career, you have excelled in your academic pursuits with both insightful analysis and boundless curiosity. You have impressed your professors with your engagement in the world around you and your “astute interdisciplinary understanding of the connection between cultural, economic, and political analysis.”
As a senior interviewer and tour guide for the Office of Admission, you are credited by the staff with personally convincing dozens of extremely smart and capable prospective students to enroll here. As president of Sustained Dialogue and the lead student coordinator of Refugee Awareness Week, as well as numerous service learning projects, your passion and work ethic have served you and our community well. And your independent research while studying at the Arcadia College of Global Studies in Athens has enhanced your ability to make an impact on our world.
Perhaps most notable of your experiences has been your dedicated service to the Global Fellows Committee. Your work on the committee has been described as nothing less than inspiring. Because of your efforts, Mohammed and Furqan, two refugees from Iraq, are able to move forward with their lives as members of the Denison and Granville communities. Erin, upon returning from Greece, you wrote that you “want a life dedicated to eradicating injustice — leading with empathy and making life matter through relationships.” We have no doubt that you will do exactly that, and in doing so, make this world a far better place.