Summer Spotlights

FaceBook  Twitter

With summer halfway over, Betas have been up to some exciting things with their free time! Kicking off our summer spotlight series is Brother Rex Zhihao Cao.

Zhihao is in the middle of an extremely busy summer. He began with a June internship with The Kineo Group, a Chicago-based communication firm, doing market research and publicity for an Illinois energy coalition.

At the end of June, Brother Cao travelled to Senegal with a study abroad program, which involves taking language classes and interning with a communication/advertisement agency. That makes Africa the third continent on which Zhihao, a native to China, has studied. On top of his classes and internship, Zhihao is doing interviews with local Chinese entrepreneurs for his senior research project (a requirement for his International Studies major) on Chinese neocolonialism in West Africa.

In August, Zhihao will head back to campus early to coordinate Denison's International Student Orientation. Part of his role is creating a program that will provide year-long mentorship opportunities to incoming international students to aid in their transition to Denison.

That sounds like one exciting and formative summer! Keep up the good work Brother Cao!!!

Ever-focused on improving himself, Brother James Le is most of the way through a rigorous summer schedule exploring his interests in business and technology.

Spending his time in Seattle, Brother Le completed the Koru business immersive bootcamp and gained valuable experience to move forward with his interest in technology. Throughout the program, James honed the hard and soft skills innovative companies crave and practice using them to understand customer needs and make data-driven decisions. In addition to Koru, he solved business challenges on a small team alongside executives inside Zillow, a fast-paced real estate data company headquartered in Seattle. What benefits him the most are the invaluable connections with thought-leaders at thriving companies and growing network with people invested in his success.

It turns out Denison is one of Koru's partner schools, so hopefully more brothers can follow James' lead and build some business skills with them next summer. Great work James; we're looking forward to seeing you put those skills to use on campus in less than a month!

Even the newer members of the Alpha Eta chapter are up to cool stuff. Just check out what Brother Benson Anderson is up to this summer.

By daytime Benson is a counselor at Hawken Day Camp for the fifth year. By night he’s playing bass guitar as a member of the onstage band for The Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood Ohio and their professional production of American Idiot, the musical based on the Green Day album of the same name. The band has been praised by many critics including Kate Miller of the Examiner who wrote, “a mighty band of eight rocks the house with raw abandon”. The show is in it’s fourth week and Benson will continue to play with the band for the next two weeks.

On campus Benson is a member of the Hilltoppers, the prestigious all male accapella group. He was also one of the main leads in the campus production of RENT; he also happened to play guitar in the onstage band for a production of RENT at Weathervane playhouse in Newark, OH, earlier this summer. When he isn’t doing all this amazing work, he is recording original songs at his home studio in his free time.

Brother Yusuf Ahmed began the summer by serving as a leader for Denison's June Orientation, serving as a mentor for small groups of incoming freshmen as they chose their classes. Yusuf and Brother Jake Dennie were two of the only three fraternity men included in the highly selective June-O staff.

More recently, Yusuf has been doing exciting things in Amsterdam. He is currently interning with Libertus International a youth organization that works toward ending discrimination and intolerance in Europe. Through his work with Libertus, Yusuf has discovered a passion of working with refugees from the Horn of Africa who've sought asylum in the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy.
He is looking to incorporate his work with asylees into his senior research project for his International Studies major.

Sounds like a formative and productive summer for an intelligent and passionate Beta! Way to go Yusuf!

Not every member of Beta left campus this summer; brothers like Jon Sullivan are up to some pretty cool stuff while residing at Denison.

Jon Sullivan, or "Sully," as he is more commonly known, is living at Denison this summer. The rising junior is currently working for Infor, a global leader in software development, as an associate software engineer. His current job is designing user interface software that will be used to test a cloud software package that Infor is releasing next year.

During the school year, Sully is very involved with the tech department of Denison and was even the head of Red Tech last year, which provides sound equipment for all campus events. The winner of the Outstanding New Member award at Denison Fraternity and Sorority Life awards this past Spring, Jon is truly an outstanding Man of Principle and we can’t wait to see the system he is working on and what new heights he will bring Beta to next year!

While other brothers are adventuring abroad, Brother Ryan Erickson is right at home at YMCA Camp Ernst in Burlington, KY.

This summer is his 12th at the camp and 6th on staff, but this year is the first he's been named Yellow Unit Leader. As a unit leader, Ryan is responsible for the programming for about 100 kids each week and each of their counselors. Called "HP" by the kids at camp (and any of the brothers at Denison) because of his uncanny resemblance to Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Ryan says that "Working with kids is like nothing else, it's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement and it's unparalleled to be a role model for the campers these days the same way my counselors were role models for me."

It's clear that Brother Ryan (who was our Chapter President for 2014) loves his summers at Camp Ernst, and we're so glad the kids there have so great a role model as a Man of Principle like HP.