Erik Peter Teh Walker '08
B.A. Political Science & German; The Woodlands, Texas
“Erik, the portrait of you that emerges repeatedly in your letters of nomination exhibits commitment to excellence, perseverance, and risk-taking. As a child when your family moved to Germany, you had the option of attending an English language school, but instead chose to attend a regular German school, even though you did not speak a word of the language. Four years later you were fluent, which served as the foundation for your double major in German and Political Science at Denison. But instead of basking in the satisfaction of knowing two languages, you threw yourself into a third one by attending the famously intensive language program in Mandarin Chinese at Middlebury College and continuing those studies at Denison.
“A faculty member tells a story of your willingness to take risks. He writes that one morning, after facing down a groundhog in his backyard and feeling pretty good about it, he arrived in his office, opened up an email from you, and learned that you were in the jungles of Malaysia tracking down a tiger. He remarked in his nomination letter that, ‘If you compare in proportions our two encounters — a 15-pound groundhog and a 250-pound tiger — you will begin to appreciate the heights that Erik will reach well beyond his mentors here at Denison.’
“Having served as an intern in the office of Senator Richard Lugar, you went on to achieve the pinnacle of your scholarly success recently when you were selected as one of only 75 participants in the highly competitive and much coveted Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program in Germany. In athletics you have been a consistent winner of awards in track and field, racking up nine All-NCAC awards. In service to the community you founded a German Club, taught math and English to local elementary students, and volunteered in the LEADS swimming program.
“Eric, as you embark on the Youth Exchange Program in Germany, we salute you for having taken full advantage of all our College has to offer, at the same time that you have generously given back the best that you have to offer.
Dean's List: Distinguished Leadership Award; Honors Program; Mortar Board - Secretary; Omicron Delta Kappa; Department of Political Science - Fellow; Department of Modern Languages - German Departmental Fellow; Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honorary); Delta Chi - Scholar of the Year; Denison Faculty Scholarship for Achievement; United States Senator Richard G. Lugar - Summer Intern; Department of Modern Languages - German Teaching Assistant; Indoor Varsity Track and Field - Three-Time All-North Coast Athletic Conference Athlete; Outdoor Varsity Track and Field - Three-Time All-North Coast Athletic Conference Athlete; Delta Chi Fraternity - Scholarship Chair, Secretary, Judicial Board Scholarship Chair; Denison Community Association - Vice President for Public Relations, LEADS Swimming Program for underprivileged children