I first met Deidre Nelms when I joined the Green Amherst Project (GAP) and its coal divestment campaign. Every time I ran into her outside of GAP, she was partially hidden behind massive stacks of philosophy books and mounds of paper. This is probably a good representation of Nelms; a passionate environmental activist, a farmer and a brilliant philosopher. As her friend Sam Slaby ’13 describes her, “[s]he is an odd mix, interested in growing vegetables, but also a major brainiac.”

Whether a farmer-philosopher, or a philosopher-farmer, Nelms is an intriguing combination.

Time may pass differently for Zach Bleemer. After four short years Bleemer will graduate having completed three majors and written two theses. Bleemer’s breadth of knowledge is only surpassed by its depth; he was commended with a senior award for both his economics and philosophy theses.

He pursues every endeavor with an unmatched enthusiasm, and it is fortunate that after individually accomplishing so much, Bleemer aspires to impart his knowledge to and develop the talents of others.

Perhaps no one has left a greater impact on campus in the last year than Dana Bolger. The soft-spoken, but persistent Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought (LJST) major has risen to become one of the most exemplary and visible advocates for women’s rights and issues of sexual assault on campus.

It’s been a hard year for Amherst. That seems to be the general consensus among students, faculty and staff as we bring the 2012-2013 academic year to a close. In fact, it seems to be the only thing we can all agree on: that the events of the past year have shaken our community in ways that few could have anticipated. Early in the year we were torn apart by a debate about the new location for the Multicultural Resource Center.

Many Amherst students use their four years entirely for personal development, paying little attention to how their time here affects Amherst or society at large. They see what Amherst can do for them but not what they can do for Amherst. Among her peers, Larissa Davis is probably one of the College’s most vocal critics.

But above all, her acknowledgement that Amherst is often an imperfect place pushes her to do what many others do not: to put her community before herself and actively change the institutions around her.

If there is anyone who truly embodies the interdisciplinary spirit of Amherst College, it might be Risalat Khan. Khan has engaged and excelled in a wide variety of Amherst’s academic selections, taking more than four classes nearly every semester and writing an Environmental Studies thesis that featured advanced mathematical modeling. In addition to his schoolwork, Khan participated and became a leader in many different extracurricular activities, including the Association of Amherst Students (AAS) and the International Student’s Association (ISA).

Despite running over 80 miles a week, Andrew Erskine always finds himself in bed before 11:00 p.m., leaving enough time to have memorized every Disney song, accurately sung upon request — perhaps not in tune, but at least in character. However, Erskine’s passion is not for theatre, but rather for math. Graduating with a double-major in Math and Computer Science, Erskine has mapped out his life — on and off the track — with precision and calculation.

I’ll Make a Man...
“In the Jewish religion, you name children after deceased family members,” Erskine said.