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Davis receives Fredrica Clarkson Award


POTSDAM - Graduating senior James C. “Jamie” Davis of Lake Katrine received the Frederica Clarkson Award during Clarkson University’s 119th commencement ceremony today. He was selected for the $1,000 award by a vote of the full University faculty based on his scholarship and promise of outstanding achievement.

The award was established in 1921 as a bequest in the will of Frederica Clarkson, sister of Thomas S. Clarkson, for whom the University is named. This award and the Levinus Clarkson Award are traditionally given to the two top students in the graduating class.

Davis, a member of Clarkson’s Honors Program, received both a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and a bachelor of science degree in computer science.

Davis worked on several different research projects during his time at Clarkson. During the summer and fall of 2009, he had his first taste of research under Mathematics & Computer Science Professor Scott Fulton, with whom he studied vortex dynamics.

The following year, Davis spent his summer as an intern at IBM in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he helped build the foundation for a water monitoring project under the umbrella of IBM’s Smarter Water initiative. During this time he collaborated with researchers at the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, a not-for-profit environmental research organization, which recently became a subsidiary of Clarkson University.

In the summer of 2011, Davis participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates at Hope College in Michigan. There, he used mathematical modeling to study chimney swift roosting behavior.

For his honors thesis, which he began in the spring of 2011, Davis studied the properties of synchronizable networks with his mentor, Mathematics & Computer Science Professor Takashi Nishikawa.

After entering Clarkson as a physics major, Davis received the Outstanding Physics Freshman award. Since then, Davis has received the R. Gerald Bradshaw Outstanding Computer Science Junior award and a Phalanx Commendable Leadership award, as well as both the Hamlin-Darraugh outstanding computer science senior and the Hamlin-Darraugh outstanding mathematics senior awards.

He has been a presidential scholar for all eight semesters and graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

Davis has been a teaching assistant for differential equations for the past four semesters. Outside of the classroom, he took part in several activities. He played the role of Arvide Abernathy during the Clarkson Theatre Club’s 2008 production of Guys and Dolls. He also participated in the Big Brother Big Sister program at the Lawrence Avenue Elementary School for two semesters with his fiancée Kirsten Lacksonen (class of 2010), whom he will marry on June 9.

Davis played French horn in the Clarkson Orchestra for two semesters and served as the club’s historian for one of those two. Davis has also been a fixture in the Clarkson Open Source Institute laboratory since his sophomore year.

His primary extracurricular involvement was with the Clarkson-Potsdam InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where he served, in various years, as outreach coordinator, main event coordinator, and president. He also led a weekly Bible study on campus for five of the past six semesters, in which he and his peers studied Mark, James, Ephesians, Daniel, the Fruits of the Spirit, and Mark.

Following commencement, Davis will work for IBM in Poughkeepsie as a software tester. He says that he may return to academia in the future.

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