They’re the academic top-of-the-top of their class: 24 students have been named valedictorians or salutatorians, Dartmouth’s highest undergraduate academic honors.
Thirteen valedictorians each earned a cumulative 4.0 grade point average throughout their time at Dartmouth. They are Brendan Balthis ’23, Benjamin Cullivan ’23, Chloe Ezzo ’22, Spencer Grimm ’23, Kamren Khan ’23, Sheen Kim ’23, Jonathan Lee ’23, Dakota Ma ’22, Sarah Mischel ’23, Megan Ren ’23, Steven Shin ’23, Cypress Toomey ’23, and Ananya Vaidya ’23.
A committee representing the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the dean of the College selected Jonathan Lee to deliver the valedictory address at Sunday’s Commencement.
“From anthropology and environmental studies to geography, English, engineering, computer science, and more, these exceptional students have demonstrated extraordinary accomplishments across the spectrum of the liberal arts,” says Elizabeth F. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “The entire faculty joins me in congratulating them on their achievements to date.”
The 2023 salutatorians each earned at least a 3.99 grade point average. They are Jessica Cortez ’23, Elizabeth Crocker ’23, Matthew Gluck ’23, Aditi Gupta ’23, Kira Hobson ’23, Hansen Liem ’23, Frances Pool-Crane ’23, Carson Riggs ’23, Hayden Welty ’23, Noah Yusen ’23, and Kevin Zhou ’22.
Brendan Balthis ’23
Economics and biology modified with mathematics double major; Phi Beta Kappa
An aspiring physician who next year plans to work as a research analyst at Massachusetts General Hospital while applying to medical school, Brendan Balthis’ academic interests include using economic models to optimize medical decision-making. At Dartmouth he ran varsity cross country and track and field and participated in a men’s athlete Bible study group. He served as a research assistant and a teaching assistant in economics and worked in a cancer immunotherapy lab at Dartmouth Health. In addition, he completed a biostatistical analysis internship for a physical therapy startup providing innovative care for runners and an investment banking internship at Tuck Advisors. He was a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar, a Dartmouth Economic Research scholar, and earned high honors for his economics thesis, which investigated the impacts of changing international trade patterns on health outcomes in the United States.
Benjamin Cullivan ’23
Hyde Park, Vt.
Computer science major; Phi Beta Kappa
With interests in computer science and algorithm design, next year Benjamin Cullivan plans to work as a software developer at the global quantitative trading firm Headlands Technologies. He interned at Mathworks during the fall of his junior year and went on to complete a software development internship at DRW Holdings during the summer before senior year. During his Dartmouth career, Cullivan, a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity, earned 15 academic citations for excellence in his computer science, mathematics, and physics, and Italian coursework.
Chloe Ezzo ’22
French and Russian double major; Phi Beta Kappa
Deeply involved in conservative causes on campus, Chloe Ezzo served as president of the Dartmouth Republicans and of Dartmouth’s chapter of Students for Life (for which she also served as state captain) and the Network of Enlightened Women. She was a student reporter for the College Fix, worked as a field director for Donald Bolduc’s 2022 U.S. Senate campaign, and has published opinion pieces in The Wall Street Journal, the New Hampshire Union Leader, and elsewhere. For her culminating project in French, Ezzo conducted original research on the Agnes Varda film Les Créatures. She earned an academic citation for excellence in a French course on 20th-century literature, completed an internship with Alliance Française, and offered free French lessons to students in underprivileged communities. With Associate Professor of Russian Mikhail Gronas, she helped to create an online debate platform. This summer she will attend the Academia Tocqueville Summer Seminar in Paris to study modern French conservatism, and also plans to travel and study filmmaking.
Spencer Grimm ’23
Economics major; computer science minor, Phi Beta Kappa
Post-graduation, Spencer Grimm plans to move to New York City to work for the quantitative trading firm Jane Street, where he interned last summer in business development. Grimm has earned four citations for excellence in his economics and computer science coursework and describes himself as interested in finance, industrial organization, game theory, machine learning, and music. In addition to Jane Street, he completed two internships with small private equity firms. At Dartmouth he sang with the Dartmouth Aires, served as a TA and tutor in economics, was a member of the Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity, and spent a term studying in the United Kingdom on the Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange at Keble College.
Kamren Khan ’23
Neuroscience and English double major; Phi Beta Kappa
After graduation, Kamren Khan will work as a research associate in a Yale neurosurgery lab, studying human cognition. At Dartmouth he was a leader of the mountaineering club, worked as a monitor in the campus climbing gym, and served as a TA in English and a tutor in organic chemistry. He completed an internship in health care and science communication with Close Concerns, which works to improve outcomes for diabetes patients. With funding from the Leslie Center for the Humanities, he conducted archival research in the history of science at the University of Oxford. He has conducted research in English and neuroscience as a sophomore scholar, held an Undergraduate Research Assistantship at Dartmouth, is a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar, and received a Psychological and Brain Sciences Lincoln Filene fellowship and an Eichler fellowship. His neuroscience thesis on higher-order social cognition won the Robert N. Leaton Prize for Best Neuroscience Thesis. He earned seven citations for excellence in his course work and was awarded the Stanley Prize from the Department of English and Creative Writing.
Sheen Kim ’23
Geography and anthropology double major; Phi Beta Kappa
An aspiring attorney who plans a career doing “lawyering that is good for the world,” Sheen Kim studies critical feminist geopolitics, critical Korean studies, and socialist organizing. On campus, Kim has been a member of the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth, Dartmouth Young Democratic Socialists, the Dartmouth Radical, the Dartmouth Minority Pre-Law Association, and the Dartmouth Student Union. Kim traveled to Hawai’i on an anthropology off-campus program, served as coordinator for the Women Cross DMZ campus chapter, and has conducted research with the Critical Geospatial Research Lab, the Deportation Research Collective, and as a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar. Among other honors, Kim received a Reynolds International Expedition Grant for independent research, the McKennan Prize in anthropology, an American Cartographic Information Society Undergraduate Scholarship, and the Pan-Asian Emerging Leader Award. Kim begins Stanford Law School next year.
Jonathan Lee ’23
Ithaca, N.Y. and Portland, Ore.
Mathematics major modified with computer science; Phi Beta Kappa
As a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar, Jonathan Lee worked on solving so-called coin-weighing problems under different models of statistical noise—a project that culminated in a paper showcased in the Center for Engineering and Computer Science. During an internship with the Delivery Experience AI team at Amazon, he developed AI workflow software that provided API support for internal Amazon data science engines. A member of the Dartmouth Forensics Union, he qualified for the National Debate Tournament and was named top speaker at the Northeast District Tournament. On campus, he is a member Phi Delta Alpha fraternity, the Korean Student Association, the Dartmouth Consulting Group, Agape Christian Fellowship, and Greek InterVarsity. He has volunteered with the Lebanon, N.H.-based Wellspring Worship Center and served as an online math tutor. Honors include nine citations for excellence in coursework in math, computer science, philosophy, and physics. Post-graduation, Lee will return to Amazon full-time as a software development engineer and is interested in further pursuing AI research.
Dakota Ma ’22
Biology and psychology double major; Phi Beta Kappa
Dakota Ma is interested in the intersection of medical research and humanistic medicine, especially in how mental health and culture can affect patient care. She was director of outreach for the Dartmouth Mental Health Union, president of the Dartmouth Asian Organization, and a member of the Asian Pacific Islander Council. She interned at the Student Wellness Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, served as a learning fellow and peer tutor in biology and chemistry, and volunteered at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt.; Calvary Hospital in Brooklyn; and Dartmouth Health’s Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care. Ma has received five citations for excellence in courses in engineering, chemistry, sociology, geography, and French, as well as the Francis L. Town Scientific Prize in biological sciences. As a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar, she studied fungal pathogen Candida albicans genetics with Geisel professor Samuel Lee, which led to her senior honors thesis and a first-author publication. This year she has continued as a research assistant in Lee’s lab while applying to medical school.
Sarah Mischel ’23
La Jolla, Calif.
Cognitive science major; Phi Beta Kappa
Sarah Mischel is interested in biochemistry and cognitive psychology, including emotion, perception, and attention. Among her academic accomplishments, she earned a dozen citations for excellence in courses including chemistry, biology, computer science, cognitive science, theater, French, religion, chemistry, and philosophy and winning the CRC Freshman Achievement Award. As a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar, she worked on research related to theory of mind, and through the Women in Science Project she served as a research assistant in a plant biology lab. She worked as an ophthalmic assistant at Dartmouth Health, volunteered in Dartmouth Health’s Virtual Visits Program, and served as a research assistant in PhilLab and as a teaching assistant in Introduction to Psychology. When not in class or the lab, she served as musical director for the Rockapellas a cappella group, worked as a tour guide and tour guide trainer in Admissions, played club field hockey, and was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Post-graduation, Mischel plans to work for a higher-education consulting firm while applying to medical school.
Megan Ren ’23
Computer science major; quantitative social science minor; Phi Beta Kappa
When not racking up citations for excellence in her courses—11 total, in computer science, economics, math, QSS, environmental studies, and linguistics—Megan Ren could be found captaining the women’s ultimate Frisbee club team, working as a data scientist in the DALI Lab, making jewelry in the Donald Claflin Jewelry Studio. She served as a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar conducting research with Assistant Professor of Economics Apoorv Gupta in the Dartmouth Economic Research Scholars program, creating software to collect data on agricultural trends in India. She completed an internship in software engineering at Capital One and in developer relations at Dolby Laboratories, served as a full stack web developer at a health tech startup, and worked on front-end mobile development for The Dartmouth student newspaper. She was a TA and peer tutor in computer science and economics, mentored younger students through America Reads, and was a trip leader for First-Year Trips. After graduation she plans to join Netflix as a software engineer on the machine learning platform team.
Steven Shin ’23
Severna Park, Md.
Cognitive science major; Phi Beta Kappa
With interests in cognitive science, linguistics, and philosophy, Steven Shin plans to spend the next two years continuing to conduct research while working in higher education and preparing to apply for medical or graduate school. An avid climber, he has served as manager of the Dartmouth Climbing Gym, a leader in the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club, and a member of the climbing team. Shin earned six citations for excellence in his courses, including cognitive science, chemistry, philosophy, biology, and physics. He received a UGAR leave term research grant and served as a research assistant in the Stanford Causality in Cognition Lab and in the Dartmouth PhilLab. He completed an honors thesis and has published research in cognitive science.
Cypress Toomey ’23
Los Angeles, Calif.
Environmental studies major; Italian minor; Phi Beta Kappa
Among her academic interests, Cypress Toomey lists sustainable food systems, environmental policy, and Romance languages—she has taken classes Italian, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. She participated in the Italian language study abroad program in Rome and spent an off-term making pasta and waiting tables in Tuscany and at a sailing school in Salento. She earned four citations for excellence in her coursework in Italian and environmental studies. Outside of class, she was a drill instructor in Italian, a diver on the varsity swim and dive team, a member of the gospel choir, a mentor for Growing Change through the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact, a dramaturg and actress in various theater productions, and a member of the Wellspring Worship Center. A member of the Chi Delta sorority, she also participated in club and intramural sports and was a First-Year Trips leader. Post-graduation, Toomey plans to travel and participate in a work exchange program.
Ananya Vaidya ’23
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Psychology and English double major; women’s, gender, and sexuality studies minor; Phi Beta Kappa
Ananya Vaidya’s interests include postcolonial geographies, feminist theory, and concepts of inhumanity. As a Stamps Scholar, she conducted independent research into representations of monstrosity over time, drawing connections to the phenomenon of marginalization. She served as James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar and a Race, Migration, and Sexuality scholar. She earned four citations for excellence in her coursework in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, geography, and psychology. She also served as a tutor and head writing assistant at the Writing Center, a pre-orientation mentor for international students, and as women and gender student coordinator in the Office of Pluralism and Leadership. After graduation, she plans to join McKinsey & Company.
Jessica Cortez ’23
Sociology major; psychology minor; Phi Beta Kappa
Jessica Cortez will start a PhD program in sociology at Indiana University Bloomington this fall, studying social cohesion, culture, and mental health. At Dartmouth, she founded and served as president of the sociology honor society Alpha Kappa Delta, tutored sociology students in statistics, and participated in and later facilitated the Rockefeller Center’s Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors Program. During off-terms she conducted mixed-methods research on the social correlates of college suicide, with funding from the Kaminsky Family Fund and the Denis G. Sullivan Fund for Undergraduate Research. She also tutored second graders through the Tennessee Tutoring Corps program at the Boys & Girls Club. She was accepted into the American Sociological Association honors program and presented at their annual meeting. Cortez has earned four citations for excellence in her sociology coursework and received the Andrew G. Truxal Memorial Award, the Mecklin Prize, and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the sociology department.
Elizabeth Crocker ’23
New Rochelle, N.Y.
Computer science major; mathematics minor; Phi Beta Kappa
Elizabeth Crocker is a Jack Byrne Scholar who earned six citations for excellence in her computer science and mathematics courses and completed a senior honors thesis in computer science. As a James O. Freedman President Scholar, she worked with Nicholas Jacobson, an assistant professor of biomedical data science and psychiatry at Geisel, in the AI and Mental Health Laboratory. She was a research assistant for Professor of Mathematics John Voight, a teaching assistant in computer science, and a group tutor and grader in the math department. A member of the varsity sailing team, she served as vice commodore, received the Yachtsman Trophy, and was named to the Academic All-Ivy Team and the Intercollegiate Sailing Association All-Academic Team. Last summer, Crocker interned at Microsoft in Seattle, where she will be returning post-graduation as a software engineer.
Matthew Gluck ’23
Government major; Phi Beta Kappa
Matthew Gluck studies the intersection of constitutional law and national security, an interest he will put to work for the next two years as a writer and podcaster for Lawfare—a national security law magazine associated with the Brooking Institution—where he previously served as an associate editor. Gluck received eight citations for excellence in his coursework and was a War and Peace Fellow and a Great Issues Scholar through the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, a Law and Ethics Fellow at the Ethics Institute, and a Rockefeller Leadership Fellow through the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy. He conducted research with Professor of Government Benjamin Valentino and worked with Joel Parker 1811 Professor in Law and Political Science Sonu Bedi as a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar. He also served as a research assistant for Harvard Law professor Jack Goldsmith. He worked in the Political Violence FieldLab at Dartmouth and spent a term in the Defense Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs conducting research and helping to prepare nominees for confirmation hearings. He also served as a research assistant for Tom Karako at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Accepted to Harvard Law School through the Junior Deferral Program, he will matriculate there in 2025.
Aditi Gupta ’23
Anthropology major modified with history; Phi Beta Kappa
A 2022 Newman Civic Fellow and president of the Hygiene for All Student Alliance, Aditi Gupta has worked with the Center for Social Impact to help improve the accessibility and affordability of menstrual products. She served as editor in chief of the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science and is a member of the Sigma Society. A pre-med student, she spent a term in California completing a vascular surgery internship and a summer as a health and hygiene intern at CARE USA. She has earned five citations for excellence in her biochemistry and history coursework, and as a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar was the primary author on a paper submitted for publication and researched infertility and women’s health with Associate Professor of Anthropology Zaneta Thayer. Next year Gupta will use a Fulbright scholarship to teach English in the Czech Republic.
Kira Hobson ’23
Mathematics and economics double major; Phi Beta Kappa
With interests in macroeconomics, econometrics, and gender economics, Kira Hobson has earned 10 citations for academic excellence in her courses. A James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar, she served as a research assistant to Associate Professor of Economics Treb Allen. She participated in the Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange at Keble College and was an investment associate intern at Bridgewater Associates, a research assistant in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, and participated in the Enterprise Institute Summer Honors Program in constitutional law. On-campus, she was editor and chief of the Dartmouth Law Journal, a Dartmouth Economics Research Scholar, and a TA in economics. She also played women’s club ice hockey and was a member of Chi Delta sorority. Post-graduation, Hobson will be returning to Bridgewater as an investment associate. She ultimately plans to pursue a PhD in economics.
Hansen Liem ’23
Mathematics major; Phi Beta Kappa
With an interest in pure mathematics, Hansen Liem counts abstract algebra and probability theory as some of his favorite classes in Dartmouth. Outside the classroom, he was a member of the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship Student Leadership Board, the Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community, the Dartmouth Finance Society, Thayer Energy Club, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, skiing, and a regular walk around Pine Park. Post-graduation, Liem plans to move to New York to work as an investment banking analyst for Morgan Stanley. He hopes to pursue a career in energy and infrastructure.
Frances Pool-Crane ’23
Indian Rocks Beach, Fla.
English and German double major; Phi Beta Kappa
During her time at Dartmouth, Frances Pool-Crane has worked as a transcriber and research assistant for the Michael Field Diary Project, and co-translator in the German department. She has completed internships at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. She earned a citation for excellence in her German studies coursework, received two fellowships from the Leslie Center for the Humanities, and was awarded the Feinstein Prize and the Perkins Prize from the Department of English and Creative Writing. Her writing has been featured in Stonefence Review, and she played keyboard and keytar for the student band The L Word. Next year Pool-Crane plans to attend Cambridge University, where she will pursue an MPhil in English.
Carson Riggs ’23
Classical archaeology major modified with Medieval and Renaissance studies; Phi Beta Kappa
With interests in Late Antique art and archaeology, material religion, and museum studies, Carson Riggs has taken full advantage of the collections at Dartmouth Library’s Rauner Special Collections Library and the Hood Museum of Art. A member of the Kappa Delta sorority, Riggs received nine citations for excellence in her coursework, completed an honors thesis in archaeology titled “Solomon as Protector of the Womb: The Image of the Holy Rider on Late Antique Gem Amulets,” and has had a publication accepted in the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Historical Review. Among her honors, she won the Dartmouth College Class of 1846 Latin Prize, the Dartmouth College Justin Firestone ’92 Memorial Prize, and the Zarbin Prize in Classical Archaeology. She participated in foreign study programs in history and classics and spent a term at an archaeological field school in Ireland. Next year she will begin a PhD program in classical art and archaeology at Cornell University.
Hayden Welty ’23
English major; public policy minor; Phi Beta Kappa
A War and Peace Fellow and a Great Issues Scholar through the Dickey Center, Hayden Welty participated in foreign study programs in English and public policy in London and South Africa, respectively. On campus, he served on the executive board of Phi Delta Alpha fraternity, captained a team for the Mock Trial Society, and was a tutor in the Writing Center. He also served as a TA in economics and earned four citations for excellence in his coursework in anthropology, Latin, math, and public policy. He spent a term working on a carbon sequestration project in Texas and, as a First Year Fellow through the Rockefeller Center, interned with the United Nations Development Programme. Also through Rocky, he participated in the Global Leadership Program, the Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors Program, and the Policy Research Shop. He interned with Bridgewater Associates and DBO Partners. In September, Welty will return to Bridgewater as an investment associate.
Noah Yusen ’23
Computer science major; Phi Beta Kappa
Among his activities at Dartmouth, Noah Yusen was a developer in the DALI Lab, a member of the club baseball team, and a drill instructor in Italian. He earned seven citations for excellence in coursework in computer science, economics, Italian, and Japanese. Yusen spent two terms as an intern with Fairmarkit, a startup software company that provides procurement services. He plans to join Fairmarkit full-time as an engineering manager in machine learning.
Kevin Zhou ’22
Computer science major; Phi Beta Kappa
With interests in computer systems and AI, Kevin Zhou earned eight citations for excellence in courses in computer science, mathematics, and economics. He was a developer at the DALI Lab, where he worked on student-oriented projects, including the Sexual Violence Prevention Project and a prototype for a new system for students to declare majors, among others. He participated in a language study abroad program in Tokyo, completed internships in investment banking at Momentum Cyber and EAC Partners, and was a software engineering intern at Meta. Following graduation, Zhou plans to join the online gaming platform and game development system Roblox as a software engineer.