Melanie Bailey Cluss '04
B.S., Physics; Uniontown, Pa.
Melanie Cluss has been inducted into Phi Society, Sigma Pi Sigma physics honorary, and Phi Beta Kappa. She is a six-time North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) indoor track and field conference champion and six-time outdoor champion; a 10-time All-NCAC team member in track and field for both indoor and outdoor; holder of four Denison indoor records (55 meter hurdles, long jump, triple jump and 4 x 400 meter relay) and two Denison outdoor records (55 meter hurdles and 4 x 100 meter relay), she also holds two NCAC conference records (55 meter hurdles and 100 meter hurdles). Cluss also has been named to the NCAC All-Decade Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Team.
"Melanie, you have taken the three major threads of your Denison education -- science, athletics, and the arts -- and woven them into a liberal arts fabric that is a wonder to behold. Your professors write glowing words about your deftness in the field of physics, resulting in your selection as the Benjamin Leslie Experimental Fellow, the award for the top experimentalist in the department. One teacher writes that 'Mel is remarkable in her ability to back her intuitive grasp of physics with technical prowess and intellect, and to make it look effortless.' Another notes that she has used your lab notebook as an example to other students on how to write lab reports.
"While you are known to members of the department as an outstanding Phi Beta Kappa student, you are familiar to the rest of the College as a standout track and field athlete. Your awards in this arena are too numerous to recite all of them -- but here are just some: 2002 First-Team All-Region Verizon Academic All-American; three-time NCAC Indoor Track and Field Champion; six-time NCAC Outdoor Track and Field Conference Champion; six-time All-NCAC Indoor Track and Field honoree; 10-time All-NCAC Outdoor Track and Field honoree; two North Coast Athletic Conference records in the hurdles; four Denison indoor records; two Denison outdoor records. Your coach has written that you are incomparable in your willingness to 'sacrifice personal goals in order to help the team,' and that your intensity is a source of inspiration for your teammates.
"The academic and athletic threads of your Denison career came together with your love of dance in a remarkable independently-designed honors project. In this scholarly investigation you drew a detailed comparison of the physics of movements in dance to similar athletic movements, going the extra mile by seeking out and closely consulting with the nation's leading researcher in the physics of dance.
"But that's not all! In your spare time you worked as a physics tutor and lab assistant, and you were active in the department's outreach to local school children by assisting with planetarium shows, observatory open houses, and physics demonstration shows.
"Melanie, it should be no surprise after all you've accomplished that you have made Denison supremely proud to be your alma mater."