Jacob Robert Neiheisel '07
B.A., political science and philosophy; Leetonia, Ohio
"Jake, in an age of specialists you have been called by your recommenders 'a Renaissance man - editor of the Philosophy journal Episteme, president of Pi Sigma Delta, vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa, elected member of DCGA, contributor to several academic volumes, presenter at a handful of political science conferences, builder and player of guitars, a connoisseur of fine food and wine, and car mechanic.' This range is impressive, but it is your intellectual fire power the blows away your teachers. To quote, 'Jake has shown himself adept both with theoretical work in Philosophy and Politics as well as with study design, data collection and analysis. To excel in one of these areas is hard enough; to shine in both as Jake has done is truly exceptional.' To make the point more concretely, you have established a record of scholarly conference presentations and publications that would be the envy of many faculty members.
"As a professor at another university has said of you, 'Jacob is not an aspiring political scientist. He is already a published, contributing political scientist.' You honed your passion for exploring the links between religion and politics through two summers of Young Scholar research and your just completed honors project, 'Christian Right Horticulture: Grassroots Activism in a Republican Primary Campaign.' But your engagement with politics also finds expression in your role as treasurer of the Denison Democrats and your entry on several occasions into the rough and tumble world of political campaigning.
"Lest we conclude that you are all work and no play, you have been known to let off a little steam on the badminton court and can be seen carrying your guitar up and down hill. One letter writer remarks, 'He is committed to music as a bass player and a fine bluegrass and blues instrumentalist.' As a valued member of the Bluegrass Ensemble, your solid guitar work and contributions to the well-being of that rapidly expanding program reflect your 'steady personality and commitment to excellence without fanfare.'
"Your excellence, of course, has been recognized by selection to Phi Beta Kappa, as a Fellow in both Political Science and Philosophy, and by admission to many of the top graduate schools in Political Science to pursue your Ph.D. Rumor has it that the University of Wisconsin might win out in this competition. We understand your journey will one day result in a faculty position, but wherever your road leads Denison will celebrate you as one of its finest.
Note to media: Link here [jpg] for a downloadable high-resolution JPEG image of Jake Neiheisel.