Paola Meza ’19

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Paola Meza ’19 is one of five students to be awarded the new Jeff Ubban Posse Fellowship. The award, which goes to students in their second year of college, includes a robust summer internship, hosted by accomplished industry leaders, and a generous stipend.

Meza, a neuroscience major from Los Angeles who entered Middlebury with a STEM Posse, will conduct her internship at the Children’s Health Fund in New York City this summer, working with Karen and Irwin Redlener, the organization’s cofounders.

“It will be an amazing experience to be under the mentorship of my hosts, who are both highly accomplished individuals in the health industry,” said Meza. “I know I will experience, first-hand, how organizations like the Children’s Health Fund are addressing health care disparities that are prevalent in underserved communities.”

At Middlebury, Meza is co-founder and president of the student organization Underrepresented in STEM (UR-STEM). She is also president of Newman Club, a JusTalks facilitator, an Open Door Clinic interpreter, and a First Generation Program student mentor.

“Paola is a born leader,” said Roger Sandwick, professor of chemistry and Meza’s advisor. “She has great vision of things that need changing to build a more equitable community and she has an incredible talent for identifying people and approaches to help her develop creative solutions to the problems. She has already accomplished so much on campus. Together with her tremendous inner strength and passion, she is a remarkable individual and a most worthy recipient of this prestigious fellowship.”

The new fellowship is named for Jeff Ubben, who served as board chair of the Posse Foundation from 2007-2016. During Ubben’s decade of service, he helped Posse establish 47 new college and university partnerships, double the number of sites from five to ten, and build the organization’s assets to nearly $80 million. Ubben is the co-founder and CEO of ValueAct Capital, a hedge fund based in San Francisco, California.