Evan Penniman Starr '07
B.A., mathematics and economics; Claremont, Calif.
"Evan, you could be accused of collecting majors for your trophy room as you have added economics to your original double major in mathematics and Spanish but that would be an unfair charge, for your majors enable you to apply the required multidisciplinary expertise to the investigation of complex issues. No where is this clearer than in your expertly crafted honors project, 'Critically Assessing Wintrobe's Theory of Dictatorship: A Political Economy Analysis of Chilean Autocracy.' Here you have powerfully blended mathematical modeling, economic analysis, and the use of Spanish language sources. In the words of your advisors your project 'goes far beyond what Denison expects of its independent senior researchers' and reflects your 'outstanding academic skills' and your 'insatiable intellectual curiosity.' Not surprisingly a segment of your research recently presented at the undergraduate economics paper contest at Bowling Green State University was honored with the silver medal.
"Faculty are delighted to have you in class for you 'have the uncommon ability to draw (your) colleagues into class discussion through the connections you make and the questions you ask.' You raise the bar for both professor and students in ways that challenge us all to do our best. Your recent election to Phi Beta Kappa is deserved recognition for your many academic achievements.
"Your contributions to Denison, however, go far beyond the classroom. You are a superb campus leader who exhibits, as stated in one of your letters, 'a natural ability to lead without any overt aspiration to control.' Your leadership roles have been many and varied and just honored with a Distinguished Leadership Award. For two years you initiated eager first years to the wonders of the West Virginia wilderness as a key staff member on the Denison Outdoor Orientation program, while last year sophomores benefited from your outstanding service as a staff member on the Quest program. And this year as a skilled senior interviewer you are playing a key role in selecting the class of 2011 for Denison. Taking on the challenge of leadership in the Greek system, you have worked tirelessly to hold your fraternity to the highest standards. You have, in the words of one staff member, 'been an agent of transformation through leadership by example and with integrity.'
"Evan, you have left your mark on Denison; we are better for your presence and know you will continue to give back to your alma mater as you proceed to a Ph.D. program in economics at the highly regarded school to the north."
Note to media: Link here [jpg] for a downloadable high-resolution JPEG image of Evan Starr.