University News

Academic Awards ceremony honors achievements of faculty & students

Honors & Awards
April 18, 2023

Excitement begins to build across campus as the calendar approaches the middle of April, the time of year for Denison’s annual Academic Awards convocation. At this year’s ceremony on Friday, April 14, members of the Board of Trustees and Alumni Council, professors in regalia, and hundreds of students packed into Swasey Chapel to cheer on the winners of Denison’s highest academic honors.

President Adam Weinberg, Provost Kim Coplin, and professors Adam Davis, Jordan Fantini, and Heather Pool presided over the ceremonies, which opened with faculty and student performances and closed with a stirring rendition of the alma mater, To Denison.

In addition to the recognition of inductees to Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honorary society, the following faculty and students were honored during the ceremony.

Faculty honors

  • Charles A. Brickman Teaching Excellence Award: Diana Mafe, English
  • Bonar Family Mentorship and Teaching Excellence Award: Dan Homan, physics and astronomy
  • Dr. David Baker Research and Scholarship Excellence Award: Ching-chu Hu, music

Provost’s Academic Excellence Awards

  • Khoi Le ’23, computer science and mathematics 
  • Fernanda Aiala ’23, biology 
  • Alivia Su ’23, biochemistry 

President’s Medalists

President Weinberg and Chair of Faculty Heather Pool presented President’s Medals to these exceptional students who have paired their academic achievements with a combination of 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.

  • Lucy Anderson, major in computer science, math minor
  • Tait Ferguson, major in environmental studies, religion minor
  • Zoya Gheisar, majors in data analytics and history, Spanish minor
  • Oliver Gignoux, majors in global commerce and French, minor in economics
  • Seyeong Hanlim, major in political science, minors in philosophy and studio art
  • Madeleine Murphy, major in philosophy, politics & economics
  • Jaelyn Roth, major in physics, minor in music composition
  • Tessy Udoh, major in computer science
Content Body

International fellowships and scholarships

The ceremony celebrated students and alums who have sought nationally and internationally competitive fellowships and other awards for a wide range of summer, undergraduate, and postgraduate opportunities.

Amgen Scholarship for undergraduate summer research

  • Abigail Engler ’25, biochemistry, to study at Duke University

Barry Goldwater Scholarship for excellence in STEM research

  • Monica Bradford ’24, biochemistry

CBYX Fellowship for young professionals in Germany

  • Sarah Kovacic ’23, history and German

Critical Language Scholarships for immersive summer study

  • Robert Garber ’23, English, Japanese
  • Owen Green ’26, politics and public affairs, Indonesian
  • Dulcie Heyes ’23, international studies, Arabic alternate

DAAD-RISE scholarships for summer STEM research internships in Germany

  • Margaret Spriggs ’25, environmental science
  • Rachel Furge ’24, physics

Davis Project for Peace to create a community-centered peace-making project

  • Ali Imran ’24, anthropology and sociology, Pakistan

Fulbright Community Based grant to facilitate community service

  • Sarah Kovacic ’23, history and German, in Austria

Fulbright Teaching Assistantships to teach English while living abroad

  • Zoya Gheisar ’23, history and data analytics, Colombia
  • Audra Kimbell ’23, Spanish and history, Mexico
  • Lenny Tejeda ’23, global health, alternate for Colombia
  • Fernanda Aiala ’23, biology, Colombia

Gilman Scholarships to study abroad

  • Dailin Morfa ’24, global commerce, studying in Ghana
  • Jenavier Tejada ’24, biology, studying in Argentina

Japan Exchange and Teaching Program

  • Maggie Andries ’23,  psychology

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

  • Sarah Spielman ’21, physics at Bryn Mawr College
  • Clairine Larsen ’21, biology at University of Wisconsin
  • Kaitlyn Fouke ’19, biology at Duke, honorable mention

Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship 

  • Ania Wellere ’23, global health, alternate

US Teaching Assistantship

  • William Kelsey ’23, English, Austria
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