2007 President's Medalists
Denison University's faculty, staff, students and trustees took time today at the Academic Awards Convocation to recognize the academic achievements of its students, honor its outstanding faculty members, and present medals to seven outstanding student leaders. President Dale Knobel welcomed everyone to this celebration of the academic life of the University, which began with the procession of the faculty and trustees in full academic regalia down the aisles of Swasey Chapel.
The newly-inducted members of Phi Beta Kappa were honored as were the students who completed Honors Projects and the winners of national fellowships and grants. Associate Professor Gregg Parini (physical education) was honored as this year's winner of the Charles A. Brickman Teaching Excellence Award. Parini is head coach for the men's and women's swimming teams at Denison. Also honored was Associate Professor Jim Pletcher (political science), who was named as the new holder of the Charles A. and Nancy Brickman Distinguished Service Chair. In addition, Professor Marlene Tromp (English) and Associate Professor Steve Doty (physics and astronomy) were announced as the new holders of the John and Christine Warner Professorships. Tromp also serves as Denison's director of women's studies.
Chair of the Faculty Joan Krone named seven seniors as winners of the President's Medal, the highest and most prestigious honor bestowed on Denison students. Six of the medalists are also members of Phi Beta Kappa and five were recently honored as recipients of Distinguished Leadership Awards. Their interests are a reflection of their individuality and cover such research topics as animal language, sexual signaling by damsel flies, and "'Git Off My Lawn:' Eminent Domain and Moral Harm." They have participated in the life of the University by such varied activities as being lead soprano in every Singers Theatre production since arriving on campus, winning four conference championships in track and field, or becoming a finalist in the Rhodes Fellowship competition.
The President's Medal winners for 2007 are:
- Samuel Knott Benham, son of Jane and Gerald Benham of Springfield, a 2003 graduate of Southeastern High School who is majoring in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE).
- Elaine Michele Binkley, daughter of Dr. Mary Lynn Kiacz and Dr. Philip Binkley of Columbus, a 2003 graduate of Bishop Watterson High School who is majoring in biology.
- Erin Natannie Colbert-White, daughter of Pamela M. White of Peoria, Ill., and Maurice Colbert of Holly Lake Ranch, Texas, a 2003 graduate of Richwoods High School (Peoria) who is majoring in psychology.
- Kristin Michelle Cox, daughter of Patricia Taylor of Traverse City, Mich., and Brian Cox of Interlochen, Mich., a 2003 graduate of Central High School (Traverse City) who is double majoring in psychology and music.
- Jacob Robert Neiheisel, son of Pat and James Neiheisel of Leetonia, a 2003 graduate of United Local High School who is double majoring in political science and philosophy.
- Evan Penniman Starr, son of Susan and Bradley Starr of Claremont, Calif., a 2003 graduate of Claremont High School who is triple majoring in Spanish, mathematics and economics.
- Laurel Braden Symes, daughter of Robin Symes of North Canton and Barbara Kelly of Haslet, Texas, a 2003 graduate of Hoover High School who is majoring in biology.
The President's Medals were established in 1985 as Denison's highest and most prestigious honor, recognizing students who have demonstrated not only intellectual achievement, but also have made some other significant contribution to the community in such areas as global awareness, athletic fitness, leadership and campus discourse.
The Denison Chamber Singers and organist Kevin Wines added special music to the ceremonies.