2011 Distinguished Leadership Awards
In a ceremony held on April 11 in the Welsh Hills Room of Burton D. Morgan Center, Denison’s new Vice President of Student Affairs Laurel Kennedy presented the university’s 2011 Distinguished Leadership Award to 24 deserving seniors.
The honor is awarded annually to graduating seniors recognizing their extraordinary commitment to excellence, leadership and dedication to Denison and surrounding communities. About this year’s event, Dr. Kennedy said, “For many years, I have sat in the audience and watched as these awards were presented. This year, I get to make the presentations myself, and I am deeply moved by this opportunity, having read the impressive dossiers of the students who are seated before me.”
Kennedy added, “While we hope that students are changed by their experiences while at Denison, we can say that we have been changed as a college by your presence. You have moved us forward in important and visible ways, and we will never go back. For that more than anything, we acknowledge you today.”
This year’s awardees, listed below, represent a remarkably broad and diverse range of interests, contributions, and achievements. Click any name for a profile of the student’s accomplishments and Dr. Kennedy’s presentation remarks.
Corey Ella Ackerman
B.A. Mathematics and Economics; East Lansing, Mich.
Association of Women in Mathematics – Secretary, Founding Member; Venture Philanthropy Club – Treasurer; Denison Democrats – Treasurer; Student Global AIDS Campaign - Executive Board; Breakaway Winter Service Trip - Alabama; Obama Campaign - Staging Location Director; Denison Service Orientation - Washington D.C.; Department of Economics - Teachers Assistant; Department of Math and Computer Science - Fellow; America Reads -Tutor/School Liaison/Advisory Board; Office of Academic Support and Enrichment— Head Tutor; Social Entrepreneur Corps—Cuenca, Ecuador - Intern; President’s Award for Service—Bronze; Mortar Board; Pi Mu Epsilon (National Honorary for Mathematics); Omicron Delta Epsilon (National Economics Honorary); R. Stanley and Janet O. Laing Scholarship for Advancement of Economics through Technology; Forbes B. Wiley Award for Excellence in Mathematics; Phi Society (Freshman Honorary); Distinguished Leadership Award
Presentation remarks: Corey, the word integrity has the same root as the mathematical term, integer, a thing that it whole to itself. Integrity suggests that all the parts are in alignment with that whole, that ones values and ones actions are in correspondence. Your leadership has bridged many areas of the college, from the academic realm, where you are a member of Mortar Board and the national honoraries in both Math and Economics, to service, where the very long list includes Student Global Aids Awareness, America Reads, and Breakaway, among others. In describing your leadership in these many venues, Ellie Thompson and Mary Kimberly described your unstinting work ethic, which provides an example for all those around you. They pointed to your upbeat attitude and your constant encouragement of others to try to new things and to take on new challenges. Corey, you can leave Denison knowing that you have created a legacy in the form of the Association of Women in Mathematics and VPC, and that you have modeled not just a genuine commitment to social justice but also the initiative to get things done. Further, you can leave knowing that you impressed us all because you worked always with dedication, initiative, and the capacity to involve others and make them feel valued. You have exemplified integrity in each domain in which you have worked. Thank you for your many contributions to Denison.
Brett Evan Ayers
B.A. Political Science and Economics; Mentor, Ohio
Lugar Program - Foreign Policy & International Affairs; Theta of Ohio Phi Beta Kappa Chapter; Dean’s List; Phi Society (Freshman Honorary); Distinguished Leadership Award; Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honorary) - President; Political Science Department - Fellow; Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics Honorary); Mortar Board -Alumni Relations Officer; Paschal Carter Scholarship; National Merit Scholarship; Ohio Academic Scholarship; Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training- Washington, DC -Summer Internship; Political Science Department - Research Assistant; Denison Campus Governance Association (DCGA) - Co-governor, Academic Committee Chair, Senior Class Gift Committee, Senior Week Program Committee; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Event and Public Relations Committees; Modern Languages Department - Spanish Tutor; Kappa Sigma- Gamma Xi Chapter - Founding Father, Alumni Relations Chair; Men’s Varsity Indoor/Outdoor Track - 3-year Letter Winner, 2009 All-Conference NCAC Indoor Track and Field, Distance Medley Relay; Varsity Football - 2-Year Letter Winner
Presentation remarks: Brett, your peers say that you have made an enduring commitment to enhance the quality of life in the Denison community, and that you have done this by reaching out to others, nurturing their potential and leadership skills. As a DCGA Senator you took a leadership role in pressing for change in a University policy related to off-campus study. You were instrumental in propelling Kappa Sigma towards chartered status on our campus. You brought enthusiasm and a positive team spirit to track and field throughout your four years, even when injuries kept you off the track. All of these successes no doubt contributed to your election as Co-Governor of your class. John Beckman writes admiringly of your attention to detail and your respectful listening to the many others who are involved in making Senior Week a both positive and memorable. All of these any accomplishments point to a person who can lead others through example, through encouragement, and through impassioned commitment to shared goals. Congratulations, Brett, and thank you.
Courtney Connell Baxter
B.A. Women’s Studies and International Studies; Wyoming, Ohio
School for International Training Study Abroad, Spring 2010 - Cameroon: Social Pluralism and Development; Sexual Harassment and Rape Education (S.H.A.R.E.)- President; Women’s Studies Department - Research Assistant; Women’s Resource Center - Senior Staff; The Vagina Monologues and Take Back the Night - Activist, Organizer; Office of Academic Support and Enrichment - French Tutor; Women’s Rugby Club; Spark Social Justice Leadership; Distinguished Leadership Award; Make it Happen! Entrepreneurs for Social Change Workshop; Eloise A. Buker Women’s Studies Fellow; Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges; Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Scholarship; Denison Alumni Award; Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center - Created Girls Writing Program; New Beginnings Domestic Violence Shelter – Volunteer; The Vagina Monologues (Cincinnati) - Produced and Directed; Young Women Feminist Leadership Academy Graduate
Presentation remarks: Courtney, some students take a little while to dabble before they find their niche. It is a great feature of the liberal arts that this environment provides the opportunity for such exploration. But other students come in with a fairly clear sense of where they are headed, and they take advantage of opportunities to learn more and to deepen their skills sets. Your drive to be an effective activist was already evident before you arrived at Denison, and your work while here exemplifies how commitment becomes accomplishment. You played a critical role in creating a 24-hour sexual assault 'hot-line' on our campus; you created the SHARE Advisory Board that later transitioned into the Community Sexual Misconduct Awareness & Response Team, and you played a leadership role in pressing for, and developing early drafts of, the Sexual Misconduct Policy that was put in place last September. The language your recommenders use to describe you include bright, insightful, creative, motivating, organized, and effective. This award goes to students who have had a transformative impact on our campus, and no one can doubt that you have had such an effect, while at the same time being a warm, kind, and caring presence in every room you enter.
Corallina Hazel Breuer
B.A. Educational Studies and English Literature; Stoughton, Wis.
Study Abroad Summer 2009 - Advanced Studies in England Bath, Somerset UK; Kappa Delta Pi and The United Nations Conference, Indianapolis, IN; Denisonians for Obama - Dorm Captain; The Denisonian - Photographer, Photo Editor, Layout Editor; Denison Community Association (DCA) - Companions Middle School Mentoring Committee Co-Chair (Founded similar program at neighboring Wilson Middle School), Cabinet Member; Mortar Board - Public Relations/Publicity Chair; 6th St. Community Garden - Board of Directors; Kappa Delta Pi (International Honor Society in Education) – Historian, Secretary; Office of Admissions – Host, Greeter; Department of Dance - Photographer; William Howard Doane Library – Circulation, Stacks Worker; Garden of Hope - Intern; Badminton Club; Relay for Life; Honors Program; Breakaway; Quest Sophomore Program; Safe Zone -Confidential Advisor; Mary Carr Scholarship; Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship; English Department Vinton R. Shepard Memorial Scholarship; English Department McCann Scholarship; Kappa Delta Pi (International Education Honor Society); Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honor Society); Distinguished Leadership Award
Presentation remarks: Coral, Alan Miller knows you well from your work with the Denisonian and I am going to begin with his description of you. He writes that your key strength is that you are first a listener, patient, attentive, and keen in the observations you make. He describes your sense of fairness, your strong moral compass, your empathy. Both he and Susie Kalinoski write of your composure under pressure and the sense of stability that you convey to those around you. You write about playing duck-duck-goose in the snow, which suggests not staid composure, but the lovely capacity to meet others right where they are, to assess their needs, and to join them in seeking to fulfill those needs. Coral, you are great photographer and a fine Tweeter. You have transformed Denison Companions into a reliable experience to which young people in Newark look forward. You brought boys into the Garden of Hope. In each of your many undertakings, you have built trust, you have provided inspiration, you have been, in Kelly Folkers' language, a "rock" for colleagues and friends. You are richly deserving of this recognition. You are a Distinguished Leader of our campus and beyond. Congratulations.
Eric Joseph "Harry" Brisson
B.A. Economics and Political Science; Music Performance minor; Katy, Texas
Fudan University - Shanghai, China Study Abroad, Contemporary Chinese Society and Language; Denison Campus Governance Association (DCGA) - President, Campus Affairs Council ; Distinguished Leadership Award; Ohio Student Government Leaders Conference – Created, Organized; Denison Film Society - President; 91.1 FM, WDUB - Business Manager, DJ, Assistant Music Director; Office of Campus & Residential Life - Residential Assistant, Residential Assistant of the Month; Independent Music Composer, Arranger; Young Scholar Research Grant; Stanley E. Johnson Pre-Law Scholarship; Denison Founders Scholarship; RedTech- Audio Engineer, Treasurer; Legal Aid – Chair, Volunteer; Beta Theta Pi - Chorister, Alumni Relations Chair, Sergeant-at-Arms; Talkapella - Co-Founder, “President”; D-Day - Tech Liaison, Security; The Denisonian- Copy Editor; JAMBAND- President, Founder; Crew Club; Knitting Club; Denison International Student Association (DISA); Department of Music - Stage Manager; Department of Political Science - Teaching Assistant; Jazz Band; Jazz Combo; Latin Jazz Combo; Gamelan Ensemble; Bluegrass Ensemble; Concert Choir; Guitar Ensemble
Presentation remarks: Harry, what a pleasure it is to be able to make this award. I first knew you through your work with Legal Aid, which you worked with for two years. But the list of campus organizations with which you have worked over the years is long and diverse: Crew, the Knitting Club, the Denisonian, Res Life, the Denison Film Society, WDUB and of course DCGA. All of these are quite aside from your leadership in the campus music scene, where you form JAMBAND and played as a member of at least ten different musical groups and ensembles. Rob Moore and Kale Hills attest to the energy, thoughtfulness, genuineness, and true devotion to service that they have witnessed as fellow students and DCGA leaders alongside you. Michael Brady wrote of your thirst for knowledge, your ability to communicate with anyone, and your light touch as a mentor and guide to younger students. Sam Thios sent this note: "Harry is one of the most passionate student leaders I've ever known. What makes him effective is that he leads with both his head and his heart. He cares deeply, he works diligently, and he advocates effectively for others, especially his fellow students. You have made an impact in many domains of campus life, Harry, but you have also made an impressions on the individuals with whom you have worked. We are honored to call you one of ours, a true Denisonian. Thank you.
Daniel Patrick Crawford
B.S. Biochemistry; Upper Arlington, Ohio
2011 Teach For America Corps, Chicago; Battelle Memorial Institute Foundation Scholarship; Mildred Klinger Sanders Award (Biochemistry Award); Alpha Epsilon Delta (Pre-Health Honorary); Mortar Board; Varsity Football - Co-Captain, Player Advisory Panel Member, Conference Runner-Up and Team Offensive Rookie of the Year, Coach Wooden Citizen Cup Finalist, National Football Hall of Fame Foundation Scholar Athlete Award, ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection; Denison Student-Athlete Advisory Council (DSAAC) – President, ‘09-‘10 Male DSAAC Standout Award, Soles4Souls Initiative - Organizer, Student Athlete Day – Organized, Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Child holiday Initiative - Leader; NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Conference Representative - Chicago; Distinguished Leadership Award; Department of Chemistry - Lab Assistant; Academic Support and Enrichment Center - Chemistry Tutor; Department of Athletics - Training Room Manager, Student Manager
Presentation remarks: Dan, we don't actually have time for all the accolades you have racked up during your time at Denison, but I'll try to give those who didn't get to read the nominations a sense of your record. You have excelled in three areas: As an athlete, you have exemplified disciplined training and an unfailing work ethic, grace and dignity even in the face of defeat, and generous and thoughtful support of your teammates, on an off the football field. In DSAAC, the Denison Student Athlete Advisory Committee, you have wedded athletic leadership with service, transforming DSAAC into an organization whose contributions to the ethos of the campus are widely known and recognized with pride. In the academic realm, you have been an exemplar as well, modeling the love of learning and knowledge in the classroom, as a tutor, and soon as a teacher in the Teach for America program. Your recommenders write of you with awed approbation. They say you earn respect as a consequence of your character--your unflagging discipline, your trustworthiness, your steadiness, and your unfailing generosity. Your peers talk about those same qualities, but also about your smile, your good heart, and your willingness to use your position to achieve good outcomes for others. Dan, we are very proud of you and all that you represent. Congratulations and thank you.
B.A. Economics; Hyde Park, Mass.
Posse Foundation Full Tuition Leadership Scholarship; Edwards Scholarship; Mary C. McMackin Scholarship; Distinguished Leadership Award; Office of Campus and Residential Life - Head Resident, Resident Assistant; Office of Admissions - Transportation Coordinator Intern; La Fuerza Latina – President, Treasurer; Denison Men’s Club Volleyball – President; Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc, Denison University Colony - Founder, President; Multicultural Recruitment and Scholarship Committee – Student Representative; Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee – Student Representative; Assistant Director of Residential Life Search Committee Member; Big Brother/Big Sisters Lunch Break Program - Big Brother Volunteer; Gospel Choir; Club Tennis; Zumba Club
Presentation remarks: Steve, you are president of Phi Iota Alpha, La Fuerza Latina and the Men's Volleyball Club. You are a Big Brother, a member of the Gospel Choir, and your recently were featured leading a Zumba class for Big Red's Big Day. You have been an RA and an HR and you have worked for Admissions. Sometimes a list as varied at that suggests breadth without depth. But you are a deep guy. As Kim Showman writes, you have been an agent of change at Denison: bright, motivated, talented, mature. Toni King wrote, "Steve becomes involved for the long haul rather than the big splash. Shavely Peralta writes that you believe in the power of community. Your own comments attest that you know yourself well, because you talk about the importance of the interpersonal--of connecting at a human level, of eliciting a smile not by being a jokester or keeping it light, but by going to the heart and learning about others' aspirations, and then seeing how we can achieve those collectively. La Fuerza has changed dramatically in the last few years, and Phi Iota Alpha didn't exist when you arrived four years ago. It has been with quiet persistence, attention to small details, and a spirit of kindness that you have pressed for changes. Each alone has been subtle, but the totality is remarkable. Steve, we are better for your contributions to the college, and we are better for knowing you. Thank you.
B.S. Biology and International Studies; Dance minor; Zurich, Switzerland
Denison Summer Scholar; CIEE - Costa Rica Tropical Ecology and Conservation; Honors Program; Dean’s List; Department of Chemistry Award; Margaret Ann Watkins Award for Excellence in Biology; 2010 Alumnae Endowed Scholarship; Distinguished Leadership Award; Office of Campus and Residential Life - Resident Assistant, Head Resident; Denison Campus Governance Association (DCGA) - Finance Chair, Member of the Executive Board, Senator, Co-Governor; University Governance - Student Representative: University Finance Committee; University Personnel Committee, University Committee on Residential Life; Office of Academic Support and Enrichment - Biology and Chemistry Tutor; Big Brothers /Big Sisters; June Orientation - Student Staff , Staff Coordinator; Denison International Relief Effort (DIRE)- Co-Chair; Haiti Relief Coordinating Committee (HRCC); LEADERSHAPE Institute; Denison Religious Understanding (DRU); Black Student Union (BSU); Asian Culture Club; La Fuerza Latina; Office of Admissions - Host; La Sobremesa (Spanish Discussion Group); Sustained Dialogue; Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration - Volunteer; Davis Project for Peace Grant Recipient
Presentation remarks: Sybille, when I review the domains in which you have made your mark at Denison, I see some very difficult terrain that you have negotiated with intelligence and an unwavering commitment to integrity. To wit, you have been an RA and HR to first-year students over and over again, and you have served as DCGA Finance Chair and a member of the University Finance Committee, as well as a Senator and Co-Governor of your Class. Your service to Denison students will continue even beyond your Commencement, in your capacity as the June Orientation Student Staff Coordinator, a position that is prestigious specifically because it requires such an array of leadership skills. Along the way, you have spearheaded or advanced a host of initiatives that will have long-lasting effect on our campus, from the way the budget works, to the way the Pit is lit. Your capacity to manage such challenges is well documented by your recommenders, who point to your academic prowess, the trust you have garnered from peers--even those whose budgets you have called into question--and the maturity and calm you have demonstrated, even under conditions of difficulty, whether those were organizational conflict or the sudden absence of a critical staff person. John Cort writes that you "could be the poster child for the Denison mission statement" because of your active engagement in every possible element of your educational experience. Thank you, Sybille.
Zachary Simon Goldman
B.A. Mathematics; Physics minor; Blue Ash, Ohio
Study Abroad: Africa Windhoek, Namibia Center for Global Education-Augsburg College; Denison Community Association (DCA)- President, Cabinet Member; Mathcounts Middle School Math Program -Assistant Coach; Venture Philanthropy Club – Granter, Volunteer; Operation Move-Out – Chair, Volunteer; Denison Companions - Mentor; Math and Physics Departments - Tutor; Service - Learning Trip - Starkville, Mississippi , Denison Service Orientation (DSO) - Washington, D.C. , Memphis, Tennessee; American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)- Conference on Educating for Personal and Social Responsibility Minneapolis, MN; IMPACT National Student Conference on Service, Advocacy, and Social Action (Little Rock, AR); Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics Honorary); Pi Mu Epsilon (Math Honorary); Distinguished Leadership Award; Physics and Mathematics Departmental Fellow; Forbes B. Wiley Award for Excellence in Mathematics; Anderson Science Scholar
Presentation remarks: Zack, no one at Denison can remember you being a tentative first-year student trying to find a niche. In my own mind, you arose fully formed and ready to take on the service world. The magic you began with the transformation of Operation Move Out spread to your leadership of DCA, your orchestration of a trip of Denison student activists to the IMPACT conference last spring and now to the Changemaker movement that you and Phoebe Myrhum have catalyzed. Those are only your most visible contributions, and do not include VPC, the MathCounts program, or your service to Denison Companions. In each of these, you have been a quiet--very fast-talking, and yet somehow quiet--but determinedly proactive presence. This is the person you have always been on our campus, Zack, because this is who you are. In her letter of support, Lyn Robertson recounts the very significant work you undertook to launch the Be the Change(maker) class, and then recalls asking you what do you do for fun. Your reply, she said, was, "This." Phoebe began her letter of support with this testimony: "I'm convinced Zack never sleeps." But you have done much more than contribute effort. Your enthusiasm for thoughtful engagement is infectious, and your ability to enlist others in doing good and meaningful work have been your hallmarks, along with persistence, humility, thoughtful consideration and, well... talking very fast. You have moved us far ahead in your four years, and we will miss you. Thank you.
Mark James Heckmann
B.A. Sociology/Anthropology and Communication; Pittsburgh, Pa.
Dean’s List; Office of Campus and Residential Life - Head Resident, Resident Assistant; Communication Department -Fellow; Distinguished Leadership Award; Sociology/Anthropology Department - Fellow; Senior Gift Committee –Fundraiser; Office of Academic Support and Enrichment - English/Writing, Sociology/Anthropology and Communication Tutor; Department of Communication - Teaching Assistant; Mortar Board - President; University Appeals Board –Student Representative; Leadership Fellows –Fellow (Stretch!, O.N.E.); Common Hour Conversation Initiative –Group Moderator; Lambda Pi Eta, (National Communication Honorary) -President; Beta Theta Pi Fraternity -Vice President, Alumni Relations Chairman, House Manager; The LeaderShape Institute; Sophomore QUEST Initiative –Facilitator; Women’s Varsity Volleyball –Assistant Coach; Men’s and Women’s Club Volleyball - Head Coach; DePauw University Undergraduate Honors Conference – Greencastle, IN - Presenter; University of St. Thomas Undergraduate Research Conference – St. Paul, MN; Phi Beta Kappa; Lambda Alpha (National Anthropology Honorary); Alpha Kappa Delta (National Sociology Honorary); Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges; The James Huchison-Lionel B. Crocker Scholarship; The K.I. Brown Scholarship
Presentation remarks: Mark, I'm going to turn to the words of one of our community's finest orators to open these remarks. Dr. Kurtz describes your work in Residence Life, your fraternity, and in the Communication Department. "I can think of few other students," he writes, "who exhibit such gifts for leadership as Mark. He is courageous and thoughtful, compassionate and wise. When I think about what is best about Denison, about what Denison is and all that Denison may aspire to be, Mark Heckmann is seated at that table, participating in those difficult, necessary, rich and risky conversations, supporting our community in word and deed." Natalie Pariano was similarly unequivocal in her support: "No letter I could write would do him justice. Mark is one of the most outstanding students I have worked with at Denison, and in my career. "Mark, that is all lofty, and it reflects my own views in light of the same data: your community-building in Res Life--not just your own halls, but on the campus as a whole, your ethnical leadership in Greek life, and your erudite presence in the Communication Department. You have been extraordinary. But I know you want to hear from your peers, old soul though you are. So here is Brooke Beavers: "Mark is a respectable volleyball coach." No, she said much more. She wrote about your outstanding judgment, your mentorship and thoughtful advising, and your sense of purpose and direction, which is inspiring to her as it is to us all. When you say that you want to change the world, we all know that you will, and we are all grateful that we got to know you here. We admire your character, your resilience, and your fine mind. Thank you for the leadership you have demonstrated in so many venues of our campus. We look forward to seeing what you do next.
Jaelyn Lianne Johnson
B.S. Biology; Cleveland, Ohio
Office of Campus and Residential Life - Head Resident, Residential Assistant; Office of Admissions – Intern, Telethoner; Denison Athletic Training Department - Assistant to the Head Athletic Trainer; Multicultural Scholarship Recruitment Committee - Student Representative; Distinguished Leadership Award; Deaf Culture Awareness Club (DCAC) - Treasurer; Tehillah – Treasurer, Singer; Agape; Knitting Co-Op; Humane Society; Denison University Biological Society (DUBS); S.T.E.P.- Strength Through Empowered Praise - Dance Choreographer; DU Lead - Facilitator; Residential Life Selection Committee – Student Representative; Multicultural Epistemology; Black Student Union Freshman Foundations - Treasurer; Women’s Track and Field; Florida Fisher Scholarship; GAR Foundation Endowed Scholarship; Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship; VanBeuren Scholarship; Willie James Simpson Scholarship Award
Presentation remarks: Jaelyn, your memberships on our campus are far-reaching, but you have made your mark in a couple of different areas in particular: in Residence Life and in your work with the Deaf Cultural Awareness Club. Bill Fox endorsed your selection on the basis of his observations of you as an RA and HR: He writes that you are an engaged student, eager and thoughtful in your pursuit of campus involvement, respected by peers as well as faculty and others, and committed to improving student life in all the ways you find possible. He says you are a "voice of reason" who strives to be a positive representative of the college. Jerrell Beckham says you are quiet and patient, but that you are determined to pass on a better world to the next generation, and that Denison has been your training ground. You are well on your way, having volunteered over 100 hours of service to the Cleveland Children's Hospital, and pushed the boundaries of the Deaf Culture Awareness Club to be a more visible and active presence on our campus and in the Newark and Columbus communities. And though you find these ways of serving the deaf, you also have a special way of serving those with hearing, through Tehillah and the Gospel Choir. We look forward to watching as you carry your leadership skills forward beyond Denison.
Allison Alexandra Kranek
B.A. English Literature; Akron, Ohio
Phi Beta Kappa; Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges; K.I. Brown Scholarship; McCann Prize (English); Juliet B. Sarrett English Department Scholarship; Sigma Tau Delta (English Honorary); Distinguished Leadership Award; Phi Society (Freshman Honorary); Denison University Founders Scholarship; Dean’s List; Young Scholars Summer Research Scholar; Office of First-Year Programs - June Orientation Student Leader; English Department - Teaching Assistant; Small Liberal Arts Colleges - Writing Program Administrators Conference - Student Organizer, Facilitator; Writing Center - Writing Center Consultant, Manager; Office of First-Year Programs- August Orientation Student Staff Coordinator, Leader; University Appeals Board - Student Representative; Honor Committee - Vice-Chair, Student Representative; Academic Affairs Committee - Student Representative; Sigma Tau Delta (English Honorary) - President, Membership Chair; Articulate Literary Journal - Senior Editor, Junior Editor, Editorial Board; Spark!: Leadership and Social Justice Workshop; Prologue: A First-Year Journal - Editor
Presentation remarks: Allison, we have already seen that leadership takes many forms at Denison. Your leadership has been tremendously impressive, encompassing a unique constellation of venues: August Orientation, tutoring, campus governance, religious exploration, and student expression in written form through two different journals. Your supporters wrote with that air of certainty that made your selection so easy. Brenda Boyle wrote that she could not imagine a student more deserving of this award, noting that there are few campus sites in which you have Not been a leader, and she writes of your kindness in assisting others, your clear thinking when analysis is called for, your poise as well as your persuasiveness in working with diverse types of groups. Her peers describe her organization, her thoughtful foresight, and her ability to immerse herself completely in the task at hand to insure it is done well. You have used your skills, as well as the respect you have garnered from your peers, to do a task that is unquestionably difficult: you have served a long tenure, one marked by character and integrity, on the University Honor Committee and the Appeals Board. That you are able to do this work with compassion and care is testament to who you are. As Claire Navarro wrote, you do not merely complete your obligations. You insure that you have completed them exceptionally. That impression that you are truly exceptional is widely shared on our campus, Allison, as the result of your fine work in so many arenas. Thank you for the energy you have committed and the leadership you have shown. We are proud of you.
Stephanie Lauren Lazaro
B.S. Psychology; Latin minor; Fontana, Calif.
Tyree/Parajon Scholarship; Altria Group Scholarship Foundation; Eta Sigma Phi (Honorary Collegiate Society for Students of Classical Studies); Distinguished Leadership Award; Newman Association - President, Member; Kairos Retreat- Coordinator, Group Leader; Religious Life Advisory Board (R-LAB) - Board Member; Office of First Year Programs - August Orientation Leader; Big Brothers/Big Sisters; Office of Admissions - Senior Interviewer; Department of Biology - Laboratory Teaching Assistant; Office of Academic Support and Enrichment - Student Worker
Presentation remarks: Steffi, I'm going to draw on the words of your friend Claire Navarro to begin: " Two words that best describe Stephanie are "authentic" and "passionate." When Steffi interacts with others, she invests her entire self into that moment and into that person. It is this profoundness, this openness, this honesty, this genuineness ...that make Stephanie a leader. Those are lofty words, but Allison Kranek brought them down to earth. She wrote about your excellent judgment, your maturity, your problem-solving skills--all hallmarks of fine leadership. Jennifer Vestal wrote similarly of your reliability and sense of responsibility, and remarked that you have been a quiet, steady force of positive change on our campus. In the areas of religious life, your leadership of the Newman Association and especially your planning of Kairos retreats have insured the continuity of these endeavors. Through those involvements, you have reached beyond the campus to work with YES Clubhouse and, even before that, with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Stephanie, thank you for your service to the Denison community and your leadership of these vibrant organizations. You have modeled genuine care for others, and helped them find their own strength and voice. Congratulations.
Kevin Robert Lynch
B.A. English Literature and Education; Vocal Performance minor; Sewickley, Pa.
Denison University D-Day - Chair, Steering Committee; Denison Campus Governance Association (DCGA) - Senator, Finance Committee; University Programming Council (UPC)- Concerts Director, Concerts Assistant Director; Writing Center - Writing Center Consultant; University Task Force on Writing - Class of 2011 Representative; Articulate- Editorial Board, Student Editor; DUwop A Capella - President, Executive Committee Member; Lambda Chi Alpha, Gamma Iota Chapter - Alumni Relations Officer, Rules and Standards Office, Executive Board Member; LeaderShape; Distinguished Leadership Award; George D. Morgan Award; Clarke and Irma Morrow Scholarship; Estelle King Van Beuren Scholarship; English Department Danner Lee Mahood Award
Presentation remarks: Kevin, Denison is in a moment of change this year, and your imprint on the future is clear. You've played a role in revitalizing the Roost, you have served on the Task Force on Writing and you have continued to be active in DCGA and in the campus D-Day Committee, which you chaired not once, but twice. Finally, you have played a key role in your fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha, and in establishing closer ties to your chapter's alumni. And did I mention Du Wop? Your selection found strong support in the community. Your leadership is described as kind, genuine, lucid, motivational, positive, creative and diligent. John Beckman writes that you are an opinion-leader on campus, trusted by your peers and others with equal regard. You are seen as a person who actively seeks improvement and positive change, never content with the status quo. But your capacity to make change comes from having a steady hand on the tiller. This creates the space for others to join you in creative problem-solving, and for participation by many in positive change strategies. Kevin, you've been an active leader throughout your four years at Denison. We are grateful for your work in each of these different arenas, and we acknowledge the contributions that you have made. They will long outlast you, and that is the sign of a true leader.
Rachel Veronica Mattingly
B.A. Environmental Studies and International Studies; German minor; Avon, Ind.
Study Abroad: Development and Globalization in Khon Kaen, Thailand; Dean's List; Honors Program Office of Admissions - Senior Interviewer; Woodyard Scholar; Denison Summer Scholar Program; DCA -Garden of Hope - Intern; University Communications – Student Assistant; Department of German - Teacher’s Assistant; Denison University Theater - Scene Shop Crew; Venture Philanthropy Club - Co-founder, Executive Board Member; Fair Trade Alliance - President; Denison Religious Understanding (DRU) Pipe Bearer, Elder; Fencing Club - Treasurer; Hospice of Central Ohio - Volunteer; Hope for Autism - Volunteer; Denison Progressive Alliance – Activist, Chair; Distinguished Leadership Award; Office of Religious and Spiritual Life - Shepardson Award; Alumnae Endowed Scholarship; Department of Environmental Studies - Fellow; Who’s Who Among American College Students; Phi Beta Kappa
Presentation remarks: Rachel, your leadership has occurred in many areas, but they cohere around issues of social justice and spiritual growth. You have been a member of Elder Council for Denison Religious Understanding, the President of the Fair Trade Alliance, and member of the Venture Philanthropy Club and you have worked with the Denison Progressive Alliance, Hope for Autism, Hospice of Central Ohio, and the treasurer of the Fencing Club, your one incursion into aggression. Your recommenders see your activism as consistent with your values. Tricia Ruess wrote that when she thinks of public service and social justice, you spring to mind and she writes, "Her passion is far more than an awareness of the issues. She is driven to action and to developing creative solutions that will make a different for those who are oppressed. Her approach causes others to be drawn to her and to follow her lead of hard, good work." John Cort shares Tricia's praise: "There is a clear center to Rachel's moral being. She does not join organizations to pad her c.v. or to become popular. She has consistently been active on issues concerned with human rights, environmental justice, inter-religious understanding and global equity. She will take the leadership and activist skills she has honed at Denison into the next stage of her life, and continue to be a powerful and effective voice for justice." This is what all of us who have known you have seen, Rachel. You have inspired us all at Denison, and you've done it with gentleness, a soft voice, and tremendous intellectual depth. Thank you, and congratulations.
Emily June Morrison
B.A. History and International Studies; Sociology/Anthropology minor; Macungie, Pa.
Dean’s List; Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honor Society) - President; Distinguished Leadership Award; Department of History - Fellow; Allen T. Price Scholarship - History Department; Mississippi State University Symposium for History Undergraduate Research - Presenter; Office of Campus and Residential Life - Resident Assistant, RA of the Month; Doane Library - Circulation Desk Worker, Media Technology Services; International Justice Mission, Arlington, VA - Education Intern; Old Africa Magazine, Kijabe, Kenya - Intern; Women’s Rugby Football Union-Officer, Match Secretary, Most Improved Player, Player of the Match, Most Valuable Player; Denison Christian Community (DCC)- President; Haiti Relief Coordinating Committee (HRCC) -Chair; Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society)- President; Habitat for Humanity, Alabama and Georgia; African Student Association (ASA); Denison Outdoor Orientation (DOO) - Group Leader; Denison Library Advisory Committee; Denison Campus Governance Association - Liaison
Presentation remarks: Emily, like others in this group today, your leadership sites are diverse: rugby, Christian fellowship, Habitat for Humanity, the African Student Association, DOO, the History honorary. In one of your essays for this award, you noted that Denison celebrates both individual of its students, and the value of a unified community. Few students have expressed their individuality with such robustness as you have done, nor have they used their diversity of interests and aptitudes to help build community relationships as you have done. Your successes are often visible, like the $10,000 raised by the Haiti Relief Coordinating Committee under your astute leadership. Others, like leading a DOO group, are subtle but no less sincere. As diverse as your engagements have been, there are bight threads that run through: your concern with justice, your convictions for living out your spiritual values, about helping those in need, whether a suffering friend or a suffering nation. As your recommenders say, everything you do, you do to the limits of your ability. You press yourself harder than you press anyone else, but you inspire use to join you in the challenge, nonetheless. Emily, you have contributed much to our individual and collective lives at Denison. Thank you for your fine leadership. We wish you well.
Phoebe Bentley Myhrum
B.A. Economics and Religion; Pittsburgh, Pa.
Organizational Studies Certificate Program; University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England - Pembroke/ Kings College International Program; The Washington Semester – American University Washington, D.C Economic Policy Program; Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, Arlington, VA Intern – U.S. Program Office - Created Pilot Program for AshokaU; Denison Investment Office - Intern; Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women- Vice President of Philanthropy, Fundraising Chair, Co-Created Pi Phi Palooza, “Outstanding Sophomore” Award Winner; Distinguished Leadership Award; Women’s Varsity Lacrosse - Captain 2010 Season-Point Leader, Goal Leader, Assist Leader, 2010 Second-Team All-Conference Selection, 2009 Season- Assist Leader; Denison Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (DSAAC) - Women’s Lacrosse Representative; Campus-Wide Forum on Discrimination- Initiated, Moderated; Education 346: Be the Change(maker)- Co-created, Co-teach; Economic Policy Program American University, Washington Semester Program; Entrepreneurial Endeavors Workshop; Participant Ashoka: US Program Fall Associate, Summer Associate
Presentation remarks: Phoebe, what a gift you have been to our community. I am among those for whom you came out of nowhere this year, but what a meteor you have been, lighting up our sky. You are long known to many on our campus as the result of your work with Pi Phi, which you served in several different capacities. You have excelled on the Women's Lacrosse team and represent the team as captain. You joined DSAAC (Denison Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) to address issues facing student athletes and promote community involvement by athletes and their teams. But over the course of the last year, since your interned with Ashoka, a series of epiphanies prompted you to move in new directions and to challenge the college to be better and to serve students more effectively in supporting their development as social change agents. Your sheer enthusiasm for the work, as well as your strong mind and your organizational acumen allowed you to move quickly to raise new issues for us as a community. You were able to take all that you had learned in Pi Phi, in service and as an athlete and put it to use in creating an infrastructure for change. You've been a change-maker, Phoebe, and the role of community activist suits you well. You have had a transformative impact not just on the campus, but on the lives of the individuals you have drawn into your project with such energy and good will. We cannot go back to who we were before... and neither can you. We expect great things, with confidence. Congratulations.
Claire Alyssa Navarro
B.A. Religion and Spanish; Seal Beach, Calif.
Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish Academic Honorary); Department of Religion – Fellow; Department of Spanish - Fellow; Distinguished Leadership Award; Denison Tyree/Parajon Scholarship; Lee and Ruth Jones Scott Scholarship; Office of Admissions - Senior Interviewer; Department of Religion - Teacher’s Assistant; First-Year Office - August Orientation Staff Leader; English Department - Writing Center Consultant; Big Brothers/Big Sisters; La Sobremesa (Spanish Club); Women’s Varsity Track & Field; Presbyterians at Denison: Kairos Retreat Leader; Dean’s List; Prologue: A First-Year Journal - Co-Editor
Presentation remarks: Claire, one of my favorite lines from your recommenders was this, from Stephanie Lazaro: "The strengths that I identified in Claire almost four years ago not only amplified in their magnitude, but have also multiplied in quantity." That is the story of becoming a leader, and of being observed in the process of becoming. It is an enormous compliment--I hope you'll hear it that way--to have your own transformation be visible for friends and colleagues to witness. You have been a great leader, someone who, again in Claire's words, has the capacity to reconceptualize any problem as an interesting challenge. You demonstrated this in August O, on the track team, in planning Kairos retreats, and in working with Courtney, the little girl to whom you were a Big Sister in Newark. You are regarded as a leader by your peers as well as your professors. They use words like reliable, passionate, disciplined, encouraging of others, deeply spiritual. They also write that you have a heart of gold and that your mentorship of others is the place where you will continue to shine. This is what has been at the center of your many contributions to Denison--that ability to understand the needs of others and to respond to it effectively and kindly. Your warm presence, the quality of your character, and ability to stay with a problem until it is resolved are the traits of an outstanding--a distinguished leader. Thank you for all you have given to Denison, Claire.
Kimberly Meera Oshita
B.A. Educational Studies and Sociology/Anthropology; Cincinnati, Ohio
Kappa Delta Pi (Education Honor Society)- President; Alpha Kappa Delta and Lambda Alpha (Sociology and Anthropology Academic Honoraries); Distinguished Leadership Award; Mortar Board; Department of Sociology/Anthropology - Fellow; Summer Scholars Program; Office of Admissions - Senior Interviewer; First-Year Office - June Orientation Student Staff Member; Office of Campus and Residential Life - Resident Assistant; Athletic Department -Intramural Sports Referee; Office of Academic Support and Enrichment - Economics Tutor; Women’s Varsity Soccer- National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America Second Team, NSCAA Scholar-Athlete East All-Region Second Team, North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) “Offensive Player of the Year,” ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team, First Team All-NCAC, Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association All-Ohio and Academic All-Ohio First Teams; Breakaway Co-Leader East St. Louis, IL; Breakaway Participant Baltimore, MD; Denison Campus Governance Association (DCGA)- Public Relations Chair, Class Senator; Delta Delta Delta - Philanthropy Chair, Rho Gamma, Activities Chair; Denison Club for Students-Vice President of Marketing
Presentation remarks: Kimmi, like many at Denison, you have appeared in many different areas of campus life, and you have left a positive mark in each: June O, as an RA, as a tutor, in Breakaway, DCGA, Greek life and as an athlete. You are the very best of that "well-rounded student" that we think of as a Denisonian. You are described by your peers as creative, dedicated, motivating, and a model worthy of emulation. Your coach, Gail Murphy, writes that your influence has touched many. She describes your ability to be a leader of your team, involved with these many other activities, while adhering to your academic goals and modeling healthy balance to others. That you are thoughtful and committed to improving our campus was clear in your application for this award, in which you critiqued the selection process and recommended several (very good!) changes. That ability to think critically and yet to be courteous and kind has served you well at Denison. As Rachel Reed wrote, you are 'a gifted leader who inspires others to fulfill their own aspirations." You have modeled this yourself, on Breakaway, in athletics, in the classroom, and in your relationships with members of our campus community. Thank you, Kimmi, for your many contributions to Denison.
DiTallianna Eliza Ann Patterson
B.A. Psychology and Black Studies; Glenwood, Ill.
Department of Psychology - Research Assistant; Center for Black Studies - Research Assistant; Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Michigan State University, MI - Summer Research Recognition; Black Student Union (BSU)- Chief Minister (President), Executive Board Member, Minister of Records and Correspondence; University Appeals Board-Senior Appeals Board Member; The LeaderShape Institute; Distinguished Leadership Award; The Posse Foundation, Inc., Posse Scholar; La Fuerza Latina; Students of Caribbean Ancestry; Agape Christian Fellowship; Silent Praise Mime Group – Founder; Tehillah; DCA – Homelessness and Hunger; Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities; Department of Psychology - Senior Fellow; Pennsylvania State University Research Presentation Award; International Journal of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Research Award; Michigan State University; Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Scholarship; Black Alumni Association Leadership Scholarship; Dean’s List; Psychology Department - Computer Lab Monitor; Office of Admissions - Hosting Coordinator Intern; Women’s Resource Center - Senior Program Coordinator; Granville Parent Cooperative – Student Teaching Assistant
Presentation remarks: Tally, you have led by example, inspiring, empowering, and motivating, always with solid ethical ground under your feet. Provost Bateman wrote that you are not simply a leader at Denison, but you are an important leader, a claim he substantiated by pointing to you leadership this year of the Black Student Union. You ran the BSU, he wrote, to meet the needs of the students who comprise the organization, assisting them in focusing on issues and addressing them effectively. Dr. Toni King writes that you are a source of strength and grounding for other students. Like Dr. Bateman, she writes that you are never driven by ego, but rather by the wish to help others grow into their best selves. Dr. King--an expert on leadership--wrote that you have a central core of leadership, formed of competence and the ability to foster synergy within a team. From that core, you build increasing circles of support and implementation, always in ways that draw upon and affirm others. Your peers feel the same way. They write of your dedicating, your work ethic, your trustworthiness, and your loving heart. Tally, you have served the BSU well, and in doing so you have served the entire community. But we also commend your service to the University Appeals Board, La Fuerza Latina, Tehillah, Agape Christian Fellowship, and other campus involvement. You have made your mark here, Tally, and we look forward to all that you will do with your talents and leadership ability beyond Denison. Thank you for the many gifts you have given to Denison. Congratulations.
Shavely Marie Peralta
B.A. Communication and Spanish; Methuen, Mass.
University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia - Arcadia Sydney Semester Internship Program; Rebecca Shelly Lee Scholarship Recipient; Geraldine H. Crocker Scholarship (Communication Department); Edward and Neil Vosmer Endowed Scholarship; Distinguished Leadership Award; Emma L. Bowen Foundation Scholar; Posse Foundation Full Tuition Leadership Scholarship; Teach for America - Campus Campaign Coordinator; Lambda Pi Eta (Communication Department Honorary)-President; Office of Campus and Residential Life- Resident Assistant; Student Activities Office - Leadership Fellow; DU Lead- 2010 On-Site Coordinator; Denison Campus Governance Association (DCGA) - Vice President/Chair of Committee on Residential Life; Office of Multi-Cultural Student Affairs - “Paving the Way” Pre-Orientation Student Coordinator; LeaderShape Institute; Department of Modern Languages -Spanish Fellow; Senior Class Gift Committee; Office of Admissions - Senior Interviewer; Sophomore Quest Program-Student Facilitator; Office of Career Services - Student Relations Committee; Theatre Production “For Colored Girls…,” – Cast Member
Presentation remarks: Shavely, here is the list: Communication Honorary, RA, Leadership Fellow in Student Activities, DCGA, Paving the Way Student Coordinator, Martin Luther King Planning Committee member. What do your recommenders say? That you have the trust and respect of your peers; that you empower others; that you attend to the needs of others; that you are selfless and civically-minded; that you have good judgment. Erik Farley writes that you have been an excellent mentor and peer to new students. Certainly you have modeled this in the extracurricular realm, but you have also been outstanding as an academician. You have danced, you have volunteered your time, you have worked hard, you have made your experience a model of how to do Denison. Shavely, you have impressed many of us throughout your career, but when you returned from LeaderShape and wrote to friends on campus, you said things like this: I will throw myself into my life, like a pebble thrown into the pond. I will sit in the front row of my life. I will make a difference." We are convinced. You have only just begun, and we look forward, proud already, to see what you will do next.
Lauren Anne Sabo
B.A. Sociology/Anthropology; Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Mary Carr Academic Scholarship; Charles J. Ping Award; Haiti Relief Coordinating Committee (HRCC) - Co-Founder/Chair; Elefence International - Board Member; Inaugural Tree Campus U.S.A. - Student Chair; Campus Environment Team & Recycling Program - President; Campus Sustainability Committee - Student Elected Chair; Habitat for Humanity - President; Global Village El Salvador, Habitat for Humanity, San Vicente, El Salvador - Student Leader; Women’s Varsity Golf - Captain; Senior Gift Committee - Co-Chair; Climate Counts - Champion Leader; Campus Sustainability Student Advisory Group - Co-Founder & Chair; Licking County Habitat for Humanity - Board Member; Hope for Autism; Student Relations Committee - Student Liaison; Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity - House Board/Member; Residential Life Recognition and Development Committee – Chair; Safe Zone - Confidential Advisor; Homelessness & Hunger - Board Member; Denison Student-Athlete Advisory Council (DSAAC) - Representative; Distinguished Leadership Award; Big Brothers and Big Sisters; Habitat for Humanity Global Village & Leadership Conference Scholarship Recipient and Attendee, Chicago, IL; John R. Hunting Venture Fund Sustainability Grant; Great Lakes College Association Sustainability Grant; Department of Sociology/Anthropology Educational Grant for Summer Experience; Jeffrey Brian Gardner Scholarship for Global Leaders; Student leadership featured with Executive Director Media/ Television WBNS-TV; Panhellenic New Member of the Year Award; Presidents Volunteer Award; Office of Career Services - Peer Advisor; Office of Campus and Residential Life - Head Resident
Presentation remarks: Lauren, you are another student for whom the list is just too long. Is there anything you haven't done, any part of Denison life you have at least touched during your four years? Athlete, community servant, RA, leader in the areas of global humanitarian relief, environmental sustainability, advisor to many, friend to more. Ashley Strausser writes that you are one of the most extraordinary and inspiring students she has worked with during her 8 years in higher education." That you understand and embody the Denison mission statement isn't clearly merely in your words--it is in your life as you have lived it the past four years. You have packed in so much! Your recommenders write that it is astonishing that a person of your age has already accomplished so much, but they note that you are without ego -that you are all passion and soul, driven by a dedication and enthusiasm for a better world. And yet, good leadership requires an eye to the future. Jeremy King wrote, "She is an effective leader and in her role, she has always worked to delegate tasks efficiently and to develop other student members into leaders. I admire her for recognizing that she only has a few years on campus and to really leave her mark, she needs to ensure that others are ready to take her place when she leaves..." Given how far your reach has extended, it is hard to imagine that you will NOT change the world, Lauren. You have already begun by changing us here, for the better. Congratulations on this distinction.
B.A. Economics; Cinema minor; Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany IES Metropolitan Studies Program; Dean’s List; Phi Society (Freshman Honorary); Omicron Delta Epsilon (Honor Society for Economics); Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges; Ronald S. Beard Endowed Scholarship; Tyree/Parajon Scholarship; Davis Summer Work Scholarship; Distinguished Leadership Award; International Student Services - Peer International Student Advisor, Pre-Orientation Staff & Webpage Maintainer; Office of Career Services - Internship Panelist; Office of Community Rights and Standards - Community Rights and Standards Board;, Taekwondo Club - President; Student Activities Office - Slayter Building Manager; University Communications - Online Communications Intern; Office of Academic Support and Enrichment - Chinese Language Tutor; Gilpatrick Center for Student Research and Fellowships - Office Assistant, Webpage Maintainer; Mitchell Recreation and Athletic Center-Facilities Monitor; Information Technology Services - Educational Information Technology Assistant; Asian Culture Club
Presentation remarks: Li, you have been a Peer International Student Advisor, you have served on the Community Rights and Standards Board, you have been a tutor, the president of the Tae Kwon Do club, a member of the Asian Culture Club, and you have volunteered often for Admissions and other campus offices. Marilyn Andrew writes that you will be sorely missed when he graduates this May... Li has been an extremely valuable role model during his tenure at Denison. That sentiment is shared by your peers, like Joy Wang, who wrote that you taught her a lot when she first came to Denison and really helped her adjust to the new environment. "I know I can always go to him when I have questions and problems." In addition to helping new students to acclimate to Denison, you have been a consensus builder. "He has the ability to bring together diverse groups of people to work together to achieve a common goal. He exhibits great leadership skills and integrity; he is very personable and respectful of others and easily garners the admiration of the people with whom he is working," wrote Marilyn Andrew. Li, you have been a warm presence for so many on our campus. We are grateful to you for all your contributions. Congratulations.
Jessica Harriet Wang
B.A. English and Communication; Chicago, Ill.
Distinguished Leadership Award; Asian American Student Union - President and Co-Founder; Sustained Dialogue - Public Relations Chair, Moderator; LeaderShape ’08; Catalyst; D.U. Lead ’08; Wind Ensemble - First Clarinet; Delta Gamma - Director of Chapter Archives and Member; Doane Library - Circulation and Inter Library Loan; Office of Admissions - Senior Interviewer; Prevent Child Abuse America - Development and Communications Intern; Off Campus Study - CIEE Alicante, Spain
Presentation remarks: Jessica, you co-founded the Asian-American Student Union and served on the Executive Committee of Sustained Dialogue, while simultaneously distinguishing yourself in academics. More broadly, you have been a leader pressing for improved cross-cultural connections and communication. Susan Rice wrote of you, "She excels in collaboration and the exchange of ideas." She says that you are brave, intelligent and that you support your words with action, that you are not merely a participant, but a person who strives to create a caring and just society. Claire Jen sees similar strength. She writes that you are fiercely independent, and yet open to feedback, committed to the best ends. You are a person willing to take the initiative to solve problems, even the thorniest and most complex. Finally, your peers write admiringly of how you use your skills as a writer and thinker to achieve your goals. Your essays about finding your own identity, and then finding leadership as an element of that identity, were moving to the selection committee, who saw that you had taken the full balance of your learning to make a lasting impact on us as Denisonians. We are moved to think about ourselves and each other in new ways as the consequence of your work. Thank you for these important contributions.