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Nathan Wilmers (Roeper ‘06), son of Brian and Cathy Wilmers of Huntington Woods, has been selected for the Presidential Scholar award as a PhD candidate in Sociology at Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Nate started at Roeper in kindergarten and attended through his 2006 graduation. According to his parents, Nate’s time engaging with Roeper’s philosophy and community led him to think about social problems and how to confront them.
As a student at the University of Chicago, Nate became involved in labor organizing, and in 2007 he spent a summer in Maseru, Lesotho, southern Africa, organizing workers with the Lesotho Clothing and Allied Workers Union. He also worked with the cafeteria workers on the UChicago campus, helping them win a large wage increase and an affordable health insurance option for single mothers. After earning his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with Honors from the University of Chicago, Nate worked as a field investigator at the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago, then as a researcher at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Washington DC. He is currently working for the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) as a research analyst. His work there involves using workers’ pension assets to reign in executive compensation and improve corporate governance.
Thinking his work would be enhanced with a graduate degree, he applied to Harvard’s PhD program in Sociology. According to Harvard, the Presidential Award is offered to "…a small group of the most talented prospective students in the humanities and social sciences…bringing the most promising, creative and diverse group of students to Harvard to do their doctoral work." Nathan will begin his work at Harvard in September 2012. He plans to study economic sociology, with a focus on finance, labor and inequality. Nate credits his teachers at Roeper for giving him the foundation in writing and critical thinking that has helped him in his work in Chicago and Washington DC and now on to Cambridge.
Founded in 1941, The Roeper School is a uniquely personalized, co-educational school for gifted and talented children in preschool through grade 12 from more than 60 communities in southeast Michigan. With campuses in Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Roeper was conceived on founding principles that recognize the power of education, choice and self-expression, and the transformative impact these principles have on young minds.
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