Who Am I?

Who Am I?

We all do it on occasion. We’re walking across the quad, or shopping at the grocery store, or maybe riding the elevator to our office. We have a chance encounter, or simply observe someone from a distance. Within seconds, we’re starting to form some perception of that person’s identity, working largely from some previous experience or understanding. It’s OK–it’s how our human brains work. We subconsciously, or perhaps even consciously, gather what information we can in an attempt to give that person meaning, to determine how he or she relates to our world.

But what if our immediate and limited perceptions only tell part of the story? What if that good-looking guy talking to a bunch of friends on the quad, who seems to have it so together, is also failing two of his classes? Or what if that mother struggling with her two unruly kids in the grocery store is also a super-successful lawyer? Or what if the long-haired, tatooed bike courier in the elevator is also a youth minister at his church? How would those multiple identities influence our perception? More importantly, how would they influence each other?

Playing off of this notion, we invited a few dozen students into a makeshift campus studio one day in April, asked them to pose for the camera, and to list at least ten identities that they would apply to themselves. Needless to say, some of those identities lived up to what we might have guessed, and some took us completely by surprise.

D Callahan ‘07

Fairfield, Connecticut

  • Super Senior [5th year]
  • Denison Hilltopper
  • Music entrepreneur
  • Yankees fan
  • East Coaster
  • Dance party promoter
  • Oldest of four brothers
  • Increasingly moderate Democrat
  • Candidate for position
  • New York Times reader
  • Grammar snob

Vianna Alcantara ‘09

Lawrence, Massacusetts

  • Posse Scholar
  • President of Women’s Emphasis
  • Mother
  • Activist
  • Dominican
  • Poet
  • Real estate agent
  • Daughter
  • Conflict analyst
  • Bostonian
  • SHARE advocate

Greg Pecora ‘08

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

  • Denison soccer player
  • Admissions worker
  • Jock
  • Southern boy
  • G-Pec
  • Tar Heels fan
  • Delta Chi
  • Crazy partier
  • Movie buff
  • Gangsta
  • Italian Stallion

Eric Ahnmark ‘07

Columbus, Ohio

  • Dreamer
  • Bicyclist
  • Ohio State fan
  • Leader
  • Follower
  • Climber
  • Realist
  • Beginner
  • Conservationist
  • Brother

Darrin Collins ‘09

Oak Park, Illinois

  • Black
  • Christian
  • American
  • Boxer
  • Student
  • Posse [Program] member
  • Member of Phi Beta Sigma Inc.
  • Male
  • Heterosexual
  • Youngest child

Sophie Sadat-Ketabchi ‘07

Wyckoff, New Jersey

  • Former president of Pi Beta Phi
  • Men’s lacrosse statistician
  • Persian
  • Dual citizen (British/American)
  • Humanitarian
  • Mortar Board membership selection chair
  • Sociology/Anthropology senior researcher
  • Poet
  • Senior Gift Committee member
  • Anthropologie Sales associate
  • Jersey ‘girl’
  • Future au pair in Madrid
  • Ford Models intern

Jayme Hughes ‘09

Pickerington, Ohio

  • Double-major (creative writing and women’s studies)
  • Only child
  • Feminist
  • Ohioan
  • Story time volunteer at the Pickerington Local Library
  • Semi-vegetarian
  • Admissions host
  • Liberal
  • Women’s Emphasis secretary
  • Writer
  • Jew/Buddhist

Rob Horn ‘08

Toledo, Ohio

  • Moderate
  • Culturally Jewish
  • Philosopher
  • Toledoan
  • Jammu & Kashmir scholar
  • Annual Fund manager
  • Support services tech
  • Sustained Dialogue participant
  • Strong believer in Hindu/Buddhist philosophy
  • Honorary Desi

Matt Pennington ‘07

Dexter, Michigan

  • Ann Arborite
  • Denison Hilltopper
  • Only child
  • Text Twist champion
  • Pistons fan
  • Nudist
  • Caring friend
  • Chair cover marketer
  • Advice giver
  • Psychology major

Jacqueline R. Johnson ‘07

Charlottesville, Virginia

  • Layto, Utah native
  • 25-year-old
  • English writing major
  • Christian: American Baptist
  • Former college drop-out
  • Horrible speller
  • Ice cream addict
  • Former coffeeshop manager
  • Future mother of three(?)

LaForce Baker ‘10

Chicago, Illinois

  • Biology major
  • South Side of Chicago native
  • Democrat
  • Scientific/societal problem solver
  • Black Student Union member
  • Baptist
  • Fashionable
  • Leader
  • Brother
  • Boyfriend

Sarah Slotkin ‘07

Verona, New Jersey

  • Sorority girl – Kappa Alpha T heta
  • Psychology major
  • Daughter/sister/cousin
  • Future revolutionary
  • Runner
  • Francophile
  • Brunette
  • Asthmatic
  • Mailroom staffer
  • North Jersey resident
  • Avid traveler

Mimi Pierson ‘08

Bainbridge, Ohio

  • Varsity basketball team member
  • Little sister
  • Tour guide
  • Yoga enthusiast
  • Bookworm
  • Treasurer of Sigma Pi Sigma (physics honorary)
  • Western horseback rider
  • Democrat
  • Honors student
  • Outdoors fanatic

Romero R. Huffstead ‘08

Skokie, Illinois

  • DCGA Co-Governor for the Class of 2008
  • President of the Black Student Union
  • Resident Assistant in Curtis East Hall
  • Posse Scholar
  • Christian
  • Chicagoan
  • African-American male
  • Co-Chairman of the Class of 2008 Senior Class Gift Committee
  • Member of the DCGA Finance Committee
  • Member of the DCGA Res Life committee
  • Psychology major
  • Intramural basketball player

Emily Sack ‘07

Toledo, Ohio

  • Third base on the Denison softball team
  • DCGA senator
  • Social butterfly
  • Jewish American princess
  • Red Zone student spirit section founder
  • Car appreciator
  • Older sister
  • Trend addict
  • Possessor of a serious sweet tooth
  • Soon-to-be member of the real world

Jake Neiheisel ‘07

Leetonia, Ohio

  • Researcher
  • Democrat
  • Guitarist
  • Philosophy student
  • Aspiring political scientist
  • Badminton player
  • Writer
  • Hippie
  • Tutor
  • Political activist
  • Journal editor
  • Youngstown-area native
  • Film afficionado

Nimarta Singh ‘07

Canfield, Ohio

  • Finnish-Indian
  • Member of Sociology/Anthropology Forum
  • Research assistant
  • Member of Kappa Alpha Theta
  • Senior researcher studying multiracial identity formation
  • Honors Program scholar
  • Pianist
  • Democrat
  • August Orientation Leader
  • Babysitter

De’Von McRavion ‘08

Geneseo, New York

  • North Carolinian
  • African American
  • Southern Baptist
  • Junior
  • Brother
  • Uncle
  • Student body president
  • Political science/women’s studies double major
  • Member of Black Student Union
  • Slayter information desk worker

Sia Moua ‘08

St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Asian American
  • Female
  • President of Asian Culture Club
  • DCGA class senator
  • International studies & communication double major
  • Political science minor
  • Minnesotan
  • Programming chair
  • Midwest AsianAmerican Student Union vice president
  • ACLU Denison member
  • Student
  • Member of DCGA Finance Committee

Greta Donley ‘08

Oregonia, Ohio

  • Independently designed Medieval Studies major
  • TA for the English Department
  • Treasurer of Sigma T au Delta–English Honorary
  • Equestrian–3 Day eventer
  • 4H species coordinator–llamas
  • English tutor
  • Volunteer at Bridge Riding for the Disabled
  • Special Events coordinator for Campus Crusade for Christ
  • Bible Study leader
  • Research fellow & student intern, Newberry Library, Chicago
  • Occasional farm hand

Michael Craig ‘07

Harbor Springs, Michigan

  • Student
  • Diabetic
  • Naked Guy
  • Dancer
  • Political Science major
  • Philanthropist
  • Mediator
  • Recovering alcoholic
  • Designated driver
  • Super Senior [5th year]

Courtney Cobb ‘10

Sylvania, Ohio

  • Soccer player
  • Only child
  • Quietly confident
  • Sorority girl–Kappa Alpha Theta
  • Loyal friend
  • Buckeye fan
  • Socially awkward
  • Scholar
  • Adventurer
  • Family member

Dan Murphy ‘10

Buffalo Grove, Illinois

  • Asian/Japanese
  • Caucasian
  • Baseball player
  • Soccer player
  • Student
  • Son
  • Brother
  • First-year student
  • Male
  • Volunteer

Brittany P. Alexander ‘07

Temple Hills, Maryland

  • Black
  • Lesbian
  • Athlete
  • Soccer player
  • Office of Multicultural Student Affairs Intern
  • Founder and president of Zami
  • Executive board member of the Black Student Union
  • Scholar
  • Artist
  • Poet
  • Chair of Culture Jam 2K6
  • Slayter Hall manager
  • Future Leader of the Free World
Published November 2020