Partnerships support outreach to diverse students

Learning on Denison’s fully residential campus is focused on academic and co-curricular experiences, and also through peer-to-peer interactions as students live and learn in the same spaces. We strive for a student body with diverse experiences that can expand knowledge and create empathy.

Denison is fortunate to collaborate with a group of local, national and international programs to recruit talented students from all backgrounds to campus.

Through the Denison-Columbus Alliance, Denison financial aid ensures that up to 20 high-achieving students from the Columbus City Schools each year are able to attend Denison tuition-free. This program is offered in partnership with I Know I Can, the only college access program in Columbus, Ohio.

Students respond to their Denison-Columbus Alliance opportunity.

Tarma Obeng ’21

Tarma Obeng ’21

  1. How did you learn about the Denison-Columbus Alliance? What made you decide to apply?

    I learned about this program through my I Know I Can representative at my high school, Mr. Johnson. He recommended the program as I was in the process of my college search. Prior to hearing about the DCA program, I had never heard of Denison before I applied. In fact, I had never had the opportunity to visit Denison’s campus until being accepted. Denison’s liberal arts education was the main factor that helped me make my decision. I wanted an education in which I could maximize subjects within academia. I knew that could help me be better equipped in the industry.

  2. You worked with I Know I Can counselors and participated in pre-collegiate training before coming to Denison. What did that look like? What kinds of things did you talk about?

    Working with the IKIC counselors was a blessing in disguise. As part of the program, we had to have pre-collegiate training. These series of sessions throughout the summer helped us ensure we were well-equipped to be students on Denison’s campus, as well as forming a familiarity with our program cohorts. During one of our sessions, we spoke about networking, and practiced with one another.

  3. You’ve been on campus for a couple of years now. What are you majoring in? Why did you choose that major? Can you talk about a class or professor that has sparked something in you?

    I am currently a Black Studies major with a Chemistry minor. Initially starting as a Biochemistry major, I realized that I had a much more unique and special connection with the Black Studies field. I took my initial Intro to Black Studies class freshman year and couldn’t stop thinking about the significant impact it had on me. The class itself was so intriguing to me as I had never learned much about the history of African Americans prior to that class.

  4. Have you been able to take advantage of any special opportunities? (Study abroad, Denison Seminar, Summer Research, Internships for example) Can you talk more about that?

    I was able to participate in the Denison Global Internship the summer after my sophomore year. I traveled to Toronto, Canada, where I had my research internship at the MaRS facility (Medical and Related Sciences), near the campus of the University of Toronto, St. George Campus. I spent three months living in a suite-style apartment on the campus of the University of Toronto. I was able to live the day-to-day life as a (temporary) Toronto native. This spring semester, I am currently enrolled in a Denison Seminar class going to South Africa. The title of the class is STEM Ed., Democratic/ Poverty South Africa, and I am very excited about my experience.

  5. The Denison-Columbus Alliance program has an element of “paying it forward” to the classes below you. What has that been like from your perspective?

    My perspective of “paying it forward” is to constantly interact with my fellow cohorts as well as providing any help I can give to underclassmen. I have served as a peer mentor for one of the two advising circles for the 2017 cohort, as well as participated in a few panels with prospective students from Columbus. Through the cohorts of DCA, I have gained a sense of community and formed such meaningful relationships in which both the underclassman and upperclassman cohorts benefit from. I am always willing to help in any way possible because I knew it took my whole community to help me get to where I am today.

“I knew it took my whole community to help me get to where I am today.”

Farah Hersi ’22

Farah Hersi ’22

  1. How did you learn about the Denison-Columbus Alliance? Had you heard of Denison before you applied? What made you decide to apply?

    I learned about the DCA program right around the halfway point of my junior year. My school was visiting Denison. In that trip I learned what a liberal arts school and a residential campus entail and it felt right to apply to Denison once the college application process started the following year.

  2. You worked with I Know I Can counselors in Columbus before coming to Denison. What did that look like? What kinds of things did you talk about?

    During my application process I worked with my school’s I Know I Can (IKIC) advisor to walk me through early decision, financial aid and anything else that came with college admissions. Once I was accepted into the DCA program, IKIC hosted a semester’s worth of Pre-Collegiate Training (PCT) sessions intended to connect me to the other scholars and become familiar with Denison University. The PCT sessions were every 2 weeks with a few exceptions here and there, we met between February to the end of May. We talked a lot about what it’s like to be a college student, the forms and documents we needed before enrollment, the opportunities available on campus and many other topics in a similar manner. In hindsight, the time could’ve been even better used to connect with the previous cohort and complete all the necessary first-year forms to make sure everything was finished before June and August orientations.

  3. You’ve been on campus for a couple of years now. What are you majoring in? Why did you choose that major? Can you talk about a class or professor that has sparked something in you?

    I’m currently double majoring in History and Anthropology/Sociology. I chose both majors because they fulfilled a passion I’ve always had — despite trying to avoid said passion when I was trying to major in Computer Science my first-year.

    My first history seminar, the Indian Ocean World, pushed me into the position I am today. In my first semester, I was struggling a lot with classes I never fit into, however, I particularly enjoyed this seminar class I joined as a second-hand guess. My professor asked us to start class with a prompt: “Why is this history important?” I was writing the prompt and I stopped to review my answer. In a moment of reflection, I realized the contentment and joy I felt answering this question. And while the struggle of being in a major I didn’t belong to continued on for months afterwards, I knew in my heart I felt it was right to be a history major. Sociology only complimented my desire of social and academic justice, and it has been a great addition to my current studies.

  4. Have you been able to take advantage of any special opportunities? (Study abroad, Denison Seminar, Summer Research, Internships for example) Can you talk more about that?

    In Denison, you have to try very hard to be someone who is not connected to several opportunities or organizations. I’ve been able to take advantage of a multitude of opportunities, and I would say one thing that stood out more than the rest is Summer Research. Many of my peers took advantage of this opportunity and I applied this semester in the hopes of having my own project approved. I have never done research before, trying this is something exciting and a new challenge I hope to gain a lot from.

  5. The Denison-Columbus Alliance program has an element of “paying it forward” to the classes below you. What has that been like from your perspective?

    One benefit from the program is the close connection I have with my fellow DCA peers, within my own cohort and the two others on campus. Due to this connection, I already have a relationship with first-year students and I can provide my on-the-ground knowledge to help them and advise them to a better experience.

     

March 4, 2020