When Christi Binkley ’17 received an email notifying her that she was a recipient of the Franklin Miller Award this semester, she immediately went online to do some research about Franklin Miller himself.
Binkley, a molecular biology major and anthropology minor from Delaware, Ohio, was one of two award recipients for the fall semester. The other award was given to Edgar Martin ’17, a political science major with an English minor and law and society concentration. He is from Santa Ana, California.
The award is given to students who make unusual or significant contributions to the academic environment of the College. Each semester, a call for nominations is sent to faculty members, and Provost Joseph L. Klesner and Vice President for Student Affairs Meredith Bonham ’92 read through the nominations to elect one or two recipients. With regard to Binkley’s and Martin’s academic achievements, Klesner said, “Both [Bonham and I] thought these are the kinds of efforts that make Kenyon a better place in terms of the academic environment.”
Jacky Neri Arias ’13, assistant director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, nominated Martin for his extensive work with Adelante, a Latino/a cultural society on campus. Martin, co-president of the club, said he is proud of the strides Adelante has taken this year, and he is pleased to have helped create space for Latino/a students in both academic and social areas on campus. “I do think that this is an acknowledgement of the work that has been done to bring these varying experiences to the forefront,” he said.
Associate Professor of Biology Karen Hicks nominated Binkley, who proposed that the annual Summer Science poster session be expanded to incorporate the works of students who conduct research off the Hill. “I’m glad the administration recognizes that students are trying to make changes,” Binkley said. She spent a summer researching gene expression on krill at the University of Massachusetts before working at the Ohio State University at a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.
The Franklin Miller Award was established by Edward T. “Chip” Ordman ’64 in honor of Professor Emeritus of Physics Franklin Miller Jr., who passed away in 2012 at the age of 100. The award provides winners with a $250 credit to their Kenyon Bookstore accounts. “It’s a nice award to have,” Klesner said. “It’s good to be reminded every time a call comes out of our former colleague Franklin Miller, who really was an exemplary member of the faculty. One of the greats in the Kenyon pantheon.”
By India Amos ’17