‘All the Tools You Need to Succeed are Available to You Here’

July 19, 2016 – by Cuckoo Gupta ’18

Josh Denison '15 speaks with OWU students participating in the University's 10-week Summer Science Research Program about success at Ohio Wesleyan and life after graduation. (Photo by Cuckoo Gupta '18)

2015 Astrophysics Graduate Shares Advice with OWU Students

Ohio Wesleyan University graduate Josh Denison encourages current and future Bishops to “start every class with the earnest belief that you will succeed in it.”

Denison enrolled at Ohio Wesleyan as an English and philosophy major but found his calling in science and graduated in 2015 with a degree in astrophysics. He recently earned his master’s degree in patent law from Indiana’s University of Notre Dame and now is enrolled in the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Denison visited the OWU campus this summer to speak about his undergraduate experience and his chosen career path, exemplifying the power of OWU connections.

Denison learned about his master’s program from OWU alumna Rose Moller-Jacobs ’13, when she returned to campus to discuss her postgraduate experiences.

During his talk to current students, Denison emphasized the importance of a liberal arts education, stating that his experiences at OWU polished his communication skills and aid him in the tasks he performs every day as a technical specialist (a precursor to becoming a patent agent).

“Many STEM majors learn to write for their peers and scientific publishers; through my experience, I learned to explain and teach concepts in the simplest way possible,” Denison said. “One such experience would be when I was a teaching assistant for physics and astronomy professor, Dr. (Robert) Harmon.”

Denison added that he “got an idea of working with scientists” even before he started working as a technical specialist thanks to his time as a research student.

He emphasized that “all the tools you need to succeed are available to you here. … You have to make an effort to use them efficiently.”

Denison believes that OWU helps students “become a well-rounded human being and grow into an adult.” “You make your own decisions, and face the consequences like an adult. The faculty and staff are there to guide you, but ultimately it is in your hands to work hard.”

Asked about his favorite thing about OWU, Denison said: “I have always been a curious person and have challenged myself. The physics department created an intellectually challenging environment for me.”

Also important, he added, were the low student-faculty ratio and the diverse people and perspectives he encountered at Ohio Wesleyan.