There is widespread recognition in our country–and around the world–that the need for expertise in crucial languages has reached a crisis point. In 2007, the College received the first of several annual transformative gifts. In celebration of her 100th birthday, Kathryn Wasserman Davis gave $1 million to support the education of individuals–graduate and undergraduate students, artists, journalists, social workers, educators, and other professionals–poised to make a difference in the world. Mrs. Davis entrusted Middlebury and its affiliate in global education, the Monterey Institute of International Studies–now a graduate school of Middlebury College–with administering 100 fellowships to students and professionals with a demonstrated passion for peace initiatives. Recipients are chosen for their unusual merit and their commitment to international studies and fluency in critical languages. One hundred outstanding Davis Fellows have attended the Language Schools each summer since that first gift, all with, in the words of one Fellow, “a desire to do good in the world.”
In 2011, Catherine Stanley was one of those Fellows. Ten years ago, she founded a nonprofit organization in Kazakhstan to feed, clothe, and educate children living in state-run orphanages. Thanks to her summer as a Kathryn Davis Fellow, she anticipates that a more sophisticated command of the Russian language will help her to better address the deprivation these children still suffer, despite the improvements of the past decade. “I need to grasp the nuances of Russian to fully enter into this society–to both change and be changed by this country."
For more information about the program, please see http://www.middlebury.edu/ls/finaid/fellowships/kwd