Nathaniel Peter Sheldon Cook '02
B.A., Economics (Philosophy minor); Sidney, Ohio
Nathaniel Cook, son of Janet and Philip R. Cook III of Sidney, Ohio, was among six graduating Denison University seniors who were honored by President Dale T. Knobel as this year's "President's Medalists" during the University's annual Academic Awards Convocation on April 19.
Cook, an economics major, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest academic honorary, as well as Phi Society (an honorary recognizing excellence in the first year), Mortar Board (a senior honorary based on scholarship, leadership and service), Omicron Delta Kappa (the international leadership honorary) and Omicron Delta Epsilon (an international economics honorary). Holder of a Faculty Scholarship for Achievement, he has been named as a fellow for the economics department and has been given two Young Scholar Awards to pursue research with a faculty member in the summer. A consistent dean's list student and a member of the Honors Program, he was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Cook has served on the editorial board of Episteme, a student philosophy journal, presented at regional philosophy conferences and was co-coordinator of departmental "Philosophy Coffees." His honors project was titled "Globalization and Labor."
Cook served as an assistant and as a head resident in the residence halls on campus and also served on the Campus Environment Team and Campus Affairs Council. He was a member of the Judicial Appeals Board and the Academic Integrity Board, served as secretary of the Denison International Students Association for two years and was a member of the campus antiracist action group. Cook also played club soccer.
Cook is a graduate of Sidney High School.
"Nathan, your four years at Denison have been marked by extraordinary academic achievement, intellectual grace and energy, and wide-ranging contributions to the campus commonweal. One of your economics teachers writes that, 'It is a thrill in a life of a teacher to work with a student who values learning as much as Nathan -- one who seeks knowledge to improve the conditions for human existence, and not for himself.'
"You have distinguished yourself as a Phi Beta Kappa economics major, having won a Young Scholar Award for two summers running and, based on that research, produced a senior honors thesis that raises provocative institutional and policy questions surrounding the formation of the World Trade Organization.
"But wait -- you have shown academic brilliance not only in economics, but in your minor of philosophy, where you have served as departmental fellow, co-coordinator of the highly successful Friday-afternoon Philosophy Coffees, and presenter of papers at two regional philosophy conferences. You are famous in the philosophy department, in the words of one of your instructors, as 'the major we never had.'
"At the same time, you have had a very high profile in other contributions to the life of the college: admissions Senior Interviewer, Resident Assistant, Head Resident, and member of the Judicial Appeals Board, the Board of Academic Integrity, the Campus Environment Team, ODK and the Antiracist Action Group. In these pursuits your nominators describe you variously as 'activist/scholar,' 'the voice of reason,' a 'paragon of personal integrity,' and 'proud ambassador of Denison.' Nathan, we appreciate, applaud, and celebrate these distinguished achievements during your time at our college."