Eliot Circular

Sociology major wins Truman Scholarship

Elea Denegre ’18

Elea Denegre ’18

Sociology major Elea Denegre ’18 was named a national Truman Scholar in recognition of her potential to be a “change agent” in the field of public service.

A passionate believer in restorative justice, Elea has compiled an impressive track record of service in her time at Reed. During freshman year, she became a SAPR (sexual assault prevention and response) advocate and later became the student program coordinator, managing the support hotline. She joined the Honor Council and developed a proposal to incorporate restorative justice into Title IX violations. She volunteered at the Raphael House, a local nonprofit dedicated to ending domestic violence, and was a counselor at Camp Hope, a summer camp serving kids whose lives have been affected by domestic violence. She also volunteered with Reed’s SEEDS program and studied abroad in Japan.

Elea, who hails from Billings, Montana, said she was “shocked and honored” to learn she had won the prestigious award, which provides $30,000 for scholars to go to graduate school in preparation for a career in public service. “It didn’t feel real until I called my mom,” she said. “Then we both started to tear up.”

“I am delighted that Elea will have this amazing opportunity,” says Rowan Frost, assistant dean of sexual assault prevention & response. “Because of its confidential nature, most people will never see the contributions Elea has made to the SAPR program. As an advocate and a program coordinator, Elea brings out the best from the people she works with. Her ethics, intellect, and inclusive leadership style reflect the best of Reed. She truly has the potential and vision to create positive change in the world.”

“I love the liberal arts, and I love connecting the intellectual side with real people on campus and off campus,” Elea says. 

After Reed, she plans to travel abroad, become a lawyer, work in juvenile defense, and then get into policy work. But first—yes—she’ll have a thesis to write.