Nicole Gabriela Jimenez '12, President's Medalist
B.A., environmental studies
Nicki, one nominator writes that you have "wrung every drop of learning from (your) Denison curriculum that four years will allow." Your focus of leadership is environmental policy and, to quote a letter written about the nature of your leadership, "(you have) made an indelible mark on the college and beyond, as our world moves toward sustainability and societal environmental change." Your nominators describe you as a risk-taker who has a vision and is not afraid to act on it. One writes that "It's not just that she earns high grades, but that she takes risks—by taking courses such as organic chemistry, economics, political science, history, and music—not required for her major or concentration—but courses that she saw as necessary for her to be a liberal-arts-degreed environmental studies student." Another states that rarely, if ever, has a student shown the ability to cross disciplines so comfortably and enthusiastically—and that it bodes well for the future to have a student so conversant in the sciences who seeks out a career in the policy realm.
You have served on the Campus Sustainability Committee; you are a founding leader of People Endorsing Agricultural Sustainability (PEAS); you are a former president of Green Team, (a group that facilitates environmental consciousness and sustainable living at Denison); and you served as a research assistant on the U.S. Geological Survey leadership project. You are only the second Denisonian to receive the nationally prestigious Morris K. Udall award for outstanding students interested in environmental public policy, and you are the only one to win it as a sophomore. Another nominator writes that as a founder of the Denison Community Garden, you are unparalleled in your efforts to educate and lead with respect to this country's local-food movement. One example of what one letter writer calls your "drive to apply (your) knowledge" was your co-development with Juliana Lisuk of a Sustainability Grant Proposal to examine the feasibility of wind power as an alternative energy source for Denison. The proposal involved researching equipment, helping to design mounting structures for wind-logging hardware on our rooftops, retrieving data, streamlining an Excel program to handle all that data, and presenting results. You are also a member of the Venture Philanthropy Club and a senior fellow in Environmental Studies. You have received a Cephus L. Stephens Summer Internship in Public Affairs as well as the K.I. Brown Scholarship, which is awarded to a junior or senior with high scholastic ability preparing for a career in education.
Because your "boundless energy and perpetual drive for an environmentally sane and sustainable world has touched many areas of life at Denison," and because you have left a lasting legacy that helps to move us forward, we present this 2012 President's Medal to Nicole Gabriela Jimenez.