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Dartmouth valedictorian hails from Michigan

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 06/11/05 • Contact Sue Knapp (603) 646-3661

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Following calculation of final four-year grade point averages for the Dartmouth Class of 2005, which will graduate Sunday, June 12, Sandeep C. Ramesh has been named valedictorian. Ramesh is from West Bloomfield, Mich.

Mikhail Akulov and Christine Schott are co-salutatorians.

Over the course of his career as a Dartmouth undergraduate, Ramesh achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA) on the Dartmouth grading scale. Akulov and Schott both earned a GPA of 3.98.

Ramesh will deliver the valedictory address during the College's commencement ceremonies, which will be held on the Dartmouth Green beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

Biographical Backgrounds

Sandeep Ramesh, Valedictorian

Ramesh has majored in history with a minor in English. During his senior year at Dartmouth, he was a Senior Fellow, a highly competitive program where students pursue independent projects and are not required to enroll in classes. Ramesh's project examined "The Ethics of the Secret," an abstract philosophical concept that he explored through many dimensions, including film treatment, critical theory, classical literature, religious thought, political and legal issues, and psychoanalytic theory. His advisor, Lawrence Kritzman, the Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professor in Humanities and a Professor of French & Italian and of Comparative Literature, says that Ramesh's final thesis was, "The most brilliant piece of undergraduate writing I have seen in over twenty years."

During his Dartmouth career, Ramesh has earned 16 academic citations for outstanding scholarly work. He was a Rufus Choate Scholar, meaning his G.P.A. ranked in the top five percent of undergraduates, for all four academic years. He was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Prize for the highest G.P.A., and was an early inductee into this organization, which is the nation's oldest and largest academic honor society. He was a varsity member of the Dartmouth Forensic Union, the college's competitive two-person team, policy debate program. He also was a founding member and treasurer of the Dartmouth chapter of the United Nations Children's Fund, also known as UNICEF.

Ramesh was also a Presidential Scholar during his junior year, where he served as a research assistant for Susannah Heschel, the Eli Black Associate Professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion. In this position, he studied the relationship between Christianity and Judaism using theoretical models that ranged from post-colonial writings to the work of French philosopher Jacques Derrida in the late 20th century.

Ramesh enjoys electric guitar, tennis, Detroit Pistons basketball and snowboarding. Next year, he will be attending Yale Law School.

Mikhail Akulov, Salutatorian

Akulov, from Brooklyn, N.Y., has majored in history and economics. In addition to his eight academic citations for his scholarly work, he is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and has been a teaching assistant in Dartmouth's Mathematics Department. He worked in the Jewish Studies Department, where he served as a research assistant for many professors. He has also worked for the Dartmouth College Library and as a tutor for first-, second- and third-graders in New York City, helping the young students in math, reading and science. He is a native speaker of Russian (he was born in Kazakhstan and lived there until the age of 15), and he will study French at Middlebury College this summer. He hopes to pursue a graduate program in history.

Christine Schott, Salutatorian

Schott, from Springfield, Va., has majored in English literature and creative writing. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and has earned five academic citations for her scholarly work. During her Dartmouth career, she was involved in X.ado, Dartmouth's Christian a cappella group, and Aquinas House, Dartmouth's Catholic Student Center. She worked as a tutor to her fellow undergraduates in RWiT, the center for Research, Writing, and Information Technology, and she also worked at Dartmouth's Feldberg Business and Engineering Library. She participated in the English Department's foreign study program in Dublin, Ireland, where she studied the Irish literary renaissance. She was awarded a Waterhouse Research Grant to research medieval monasticism as background for her creative writing thesis. Her hobbies include horseback riding and language study. Next year, she will work at the Philadelphia Unemployment Project as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

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