Elaine Michele Binkley '07
B.S., biology; Columbus, Ohio
"Elaine, you epitomize the true student-athlete. Your selection to Phi Beta Kappa in your junior year and the perfect 4.0 GPA that you carry into the last weeks of your Denison career exemplify your academic excellence. For well over a year you have been a vital member of your advisor's research team exploring the role of the SM50 gene regulating skeleton formation in a species of sea urchins. Your research work has produced several co-authored papers and a conference poster at the national Developmental Biology meeting as well as your just completed honors project. Coupled with outstanding class performance these achievements earned the following accolade by one of your professors, 'Elaine Binkley is the brightest undergraduate student that I've encountered at Denison or any other institution including Duke University.'
"Athletically you have enjoyed great success as a distance runner in both cross country and track and field. In the former you earned All North Coast Athletic Conference honors four years running, All Great Lakes Region recognition for same period, and twice achieved All-American status. In track and field you have won four conference championships, been named All-NCAC six times, while garnering the outstanding distance runner award for the 2004 outdoor championship. ESPN The Magazine recognized your combination of scholarly and athletic excellence by twice naming you an Academic-All American. And as just celebrated, you are a winner of a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Despite all this recognition you remain humble, dedicated to your teammates and their improvement, and a quiet leader in a very successful running program. Given your passion for running it is no surprise that you are an active participant in the Central Ohio running community including organizing road races and writing a column for the monthly running newspaper, Run Ohio.
"As Denison's representative in the highly competitive competition for the Rhodes Fellowship, you were the first in many years to become a finalist for that elusive prize. While virtually all Denisonians are aware of your dedication, hard work, and excellence, many fewer know that you have a great sense of humor and gift for mimicry. You have even been known to do killer imitations of some of your professors! (We don't hold it against you.)
"Elaine, it should be no surprise after all you've accomplished that you have made Denison supremely proud to be your alma mater although given your unfailing modesty you will probably have discounted our praise today. We wish you well as you take the next step on your educational journey in medical school at the Ohio State University."
Note to media: Linkhere [jpg] for a downloadable high-resolution JPEG image of Elaine Binkley.