Denison University Provost Kimberly Coplin has announced the 2020 recipients of the Provost’s Academic Excellence Award, which recognizes graduating seniors who have exhibited an extraordinary level of intellectual engagement and academic achievement during their time at Denison.
The winners of this award have exemplary academic records, engagement in independent research or creative work, and contributions to the intellectual life on campus and beyond. They have demonstrated outstanding performance in all their academic endeavors, truly exemplifying excellence in the liberal arts.
Rosa Canales: A double major in German and English, Canales has done advanced research on the psychology of evil and the Holocaust, German exile literature, and literature of and about migrants. Her professors have been impressed by her sophisticated and incisive capacity for literary and textual analysis, even when the literature is in the original German. She received a DAAD award to study in Heidelberg, Germany, and Canales was recently awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany. She plans to eventually enter the publishing world.
Hayley LeBlanc: A double major in computer science and mathematics, LeBlanc has done cutting-edge research during her time at Denison, including a project to develop algorithms that generate structural information about infinite mathematical entities called substitution tilings. She participated in the prestigious Max Planck Institute’s predoctoral summer school and worked in a lab at the University of Rostock, in Rostock, Germany, funded by a DAAD- RISE. Last year, LeBlanc was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, the premier national scholarship in math and science. The captain of the women’s epee fencing squad, LeBlanc plans to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science.
Clem Pearson: A music composition major with a philosophy minor, Pearson is highly respected by his peers and his professors for his extraordinary musical talents, his humility, and his devotion to the arts. Pearson has combined his studies and work as a composer with performances as a violinist and conductor. He conducted the Denison Symphony Orchestra on tour and conducted a world premiere as part of the TUTTI Festival. As a philosophy minor, Pearson has also shown a deep commitment to the philosophical enterprise.
Brenna Raeder: An economics major with a minor in English literature, Raeder has shown how one can seamlessly integrate different academic disciplines. Raeder has been a much sought-after tutor and TA in Economics. Her research has been as varied as analyzing the novels of Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood to studying the relationship between women’s participation in the labor force and their use of contraception in post-Soviet Tajikistan.
Harper “Hoke” Wallace: A biochemistry major, Wallace was recently awarded a Fulbright to pursue a two-year master’s program in cognitive science (Cogmaster) in Paris, France. The recipient of a Goldwater Scholarship, a prestigious national scholarship in math and science, Wallace’s groundbreaking biochemistry research resulted in an invitation to present his work to members of Congress at the United States Capitol as a participant in Posters On the Hill, an event hosted by the Council on Undergraduate Research. He plans to pursue a career in neurosurgery and medical research.