The Ivy Award, given to "the man of the graduating class who is outstanding in leadership, scholarship, and contributions to the college community," was awarded to Nicholas Allred.
Nick operated at the highest levels academically while maintaining an incredibly full extracurricular life. He was a research assistant, resident advisor, and Lang Opportunity Scholar (LOS); was active for years in various political campaigns as well as with the College Democrats and the Swarthmore Township Democratic Committee; volunteered with Chester Mutual Ministries and the College Access Center of Delaware County; was involved in the College's Quaker group; and performed in the chorus of "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," presented by the College's amateur theater group. There seems no end to Nick's interests or talents, yet he remains easygoing, charming, and friendly with a self-deprecating sense of humor that prevents him from taking himself too seriously.
With a major in English literature, and a minor in political science, Nick is graduating with Highest Honors. Nick is a natural born scholar whose deftness with complex ideas and theories belies his young age.
Nick always took his extracurricular commitments as seriously as his academic ones. For three years he volunteered with the College Access Center of Delaware County, helping high school applicants and families navigate the daunting College financial aid processes. Nick's LOS project - to create a financial-aid counseling program in Delaware County - sprung out of this experience.
The Oak Leaf Award, given to "the woman of the graduating class who is outstanding in leadership, scholarship, and contributions to the college community," was awarded to Dina Zingaro.
During her time at Swarthmore, Dina has distinguished herself both as a student and a member of the campus community. She is graduating with High Honors as a double major in religion and English literature. Last year, she won the Religion Department's top prize for her essay, "Twenty-First Century Mutah," and was awarded a Summer Initiative Grant from the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility to live in three different monastic communities - Greek Orthodox, Soto Zen, and Theravadin Buddhist. Equally impressive is Dina's dedication to improving the quality of campus life.
As a naturally open and empathetic person, Dina has been an active member of Speak 2 Swatties, a peer-to-peer mental health counseling program that runs a 24-hour hotline and online chat room. Dina also helped found "Not Yet Sisters," a group that worked to establish an inclusive sorority at Swarthmore that welcomes all female-identifying students. In addition, she was an editor and writer for The Phoenix; served on the Orientation Committee to welcome and acclimate first year students; played on the tennis team; participated in Learning for Life; and volunteered with TopSoccer, a group that works with young, disabled athletes. That she can engage in so many activities while maintaining her academic excellence is a testament to Dina's spirit and energy.
The Lang Award, given to "a graduating senior in recognition of outstanding academic accomplishment," was awarded to two individuals who we find equally worthy of the honor: Ben Goossen and Kari Olmon.
Ben Goossen is a double major in History and German Studies and is graduating with Highest Honors. He has been the recipient of three nationally prestigious grants: a DAAD grant (German Academic Exchange Service) to support research and study abroad in Germany while he was a junior; the Beinecke Scholarship to support future graduate work; and, most recently, the Fulbright to research the proliferation of Protestant organizations in late 19th- and early 20th-century Germany that popularized and promoted the concept of a German religious diaspora.
Ben already has two publications to his credit including, "'Like a Brilliant Thread': Gender and Vigilante Democracy in the Kansas Coalfield, 1921-1922," in Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains 34 (Autumn 2011). In Kansas History, Ben examined issues of gender and politics in southeast Kansas in the 1920s. Specifically, he described the 1921 coal mine strikes that protested poor working conditions and focused on the role of women in this traditionally male environment.
In addition, Ben is a four-time winner of the A. Edward Newton Library prizes for four different book collections that he curated. He is a talented painter and illustrator whose work has appeared in several campus exhibitions. He was instrumental in founding the German Club in his sophomore year, a group that hosts a variety of cultural happenings, including film screenings, musical events, and an annual Oktoberfest.
Kari Olmon is a Theater and English Literature double major who is graduating with Highest Honors. Kari came to Swarthmore already experienced in the field of production dramaturgy. She successfully completed professional internships at the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia and several theaters in New York City, including Second Stage Company, Soho Rep, and New York Musical Theatre Festival.
Kari's work at the Wilma Theater included several months as part of the team that researched the historical background for the American premiere of the contemporary Polish play Our Class, which deals with the subject of the Jedwabne massacre of Jews in Poland during World War II. On the basis of her work at the Wilma, dramaturge Walter Bilderback has described Kari as a rising "rock star" in the field of production dramaturgy.
At Swarthmore, Kari has been a regular contributor to various extracurricular productions by the Drama Board, and volunteered as a much-valued contributor to numerous productions for the Department of Theater.
The McCabe Engineering Award, presented each year to the "outstanding engineering student of the graduating class," was awarded to Keliang He.
Keliang He is a double major in engineering and mathematics, the president of the Swarthmore Tau Beta Pi chapter, and secretary of the Swarthmore Society of Engineers. He is also a recipient of the John W. '60 and Ann E. Harbeson Scholarship and the John W. Perdue Memorial Prize.
Keliang's math and engineering skills have helped him pursue his love of robotics at Swarthmore. For his senior design project, he collaborated with fellow engineering major Elizabeth Martin to produce a multiresolution trajectory optimization scheme which generates smooth, human-like motion for robots in constrained manipulation tasks. This fall, Keliang will continue his robotics research career by starting a Ph.D. program at Rice University under Lydia Kavraki, a pioneer in the field of robot motion planning.
Aside from completing two challenging majors at Swarthmore, Keliang has been active in a number of other academic capacities, serving as a TA and/or grader in engineering, math, and physics/astronomy; a peer tutor for the Math Department's walk-in clinic; and a tutor for Chinese language students at the College. In his spare time, he is an active participant in both the Swarthmore Bridge Club and Swarthmore's ice hockey club team.