Middlebury Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Davis UWC Scholars Program

Middlebury College is proud to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Davis United World College Scholars Program April 29. This commemorative event will bring faculty, students, staff, and alumni together to learn more about the program and hear powerful stories from the founders and scholars touched by this life-changing educational program.

From 4:00pm to 5:30pm in McCullough Social Space, editor of the Middlebury Magazine, Matt Jennings, will interview the co-founders of the program, Shelby Davis and Phil Geier, as well as three alumni, including Helene Songe '04, Yohanne "Kido" Kidolezi '05, and Livia Vastag '07, on their experiences beyond Middlebury's campus.

Helene Songe, originally from Norway, is currently working at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near Middle East (UNRWA) in Damascus, Syria. Prior to this position, she held an internship in political reporting at the Norwegian embassy in Damascus, volunteered for Simon Bolivar UNited World College in Ciudad Bolivia, Venezuela, and obtained her master's degree in development studies at SOAS, University of London. This summer she will be attending the Middlebury Arabic Language School on a KWD Fellowship.

Kido, born in Tanzania, is currently pursuing his master's degree in business administration at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Prior to going to graduate school, he worked at Analysis Group as an analyst in Boston.

Livia, originally from Hungary, is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, conducting research in the field of virology, with hopes to become a teacher or professor back in her home country. At Princeton, she was awarded the George B. Rathman '51 Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry for a top first-year student interested in biotechology or chemical biology. She has also been awarded the Hugh Scott Taylor Merit Prize in Chemistry. She is married to fellow Davis UWC scholar Petar Mitrevski '07.

Alumni of the Davis UWC Scholars Program

One goal of the Davis United World College Scholars program is a better world, and alumni are proving daily that their education has empowered them to act as agents of positive change.

Helene Songe

Helene Songe'04

Helene spent the summer of 2010 as a Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace in the Middlebury Arabic School. With her increased fluency, she is able to better serve Palestinian Iraqi refugees living in Syria, where she currently works for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Read more...


Yohanne Kidolezi '05

Born in Tanzania, Kido is pursuing an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. After finishing his degree, he intends to help reform the educational system in his home country. He says he thinks often of the 300 Tanzanian child laborers he once interviewed for a Middlebury research project. Read more...

Hussein thumbnail

Hussein Alramini '09

At Middlebury, Hussein majored in molecular biology and biochemistry. Under the tutelage of Professor Grace Spatafora, he distinguished himself with remarkable senior research. By the time he graduated, he was the first scientist to prove that six genes of the bacteria causing Lyme disease work together through a process called operon regulation. Read more...

Rachel Ochako close

Rachel Ochako '11

“If you want to raise a standard of living, you first need to have a good heart,” Rachel Ochako '11 explains. “But the rest is mostly economics." A 2010 summer at the Monterey Institute on a Davis UWC Scholars Fellowship brought the Middlebury senior closer to a career in international development back in Kenya. Read more...



Davis UWC Scholar Yohanne "Kido" Kidolezi '05 describes what his life would have been were it not for his UWC and Middlebury education. Photo: Brett Simison.


Yohanne "Kido" Kidolezi '05 and Helene Songe '04 listen to Shelby Davis P'01 before the program begins. Photo: Brett Simison.


Over 250 students, faculty, and staff attended the program to learn more about this scholarship and its impact. Photo: Brett Simison.


Cofounder Shelby Davis P'01 tells the audience about his motivation behind supporting over 2,000 scholars at American colleges and universities. Photo: Brett Simison.


Cofounder Phil Geier P'06 tells Matt Jennings, editor of Middlebury Magazine, how he met cofounder Shelby Davis P'01. Photo: Brett Simison.


Phil Geier P'06, Livia Vastag '07, Shelby Davis P'01, Yohanne "Kido" Kidolezi '05, and Helene Songe '04 pose for group photo. Photo: Brett Simison.