Meet the Cohorts
2021 & 2021.5 Cohort
Hannah Bensen ‘21 is restless, a writer, and a sister. She is from Wisconsin, USA. She is majoring in Environmental Policy. She speaks English and a little Spanish. She is interested in writing, reading, journaling, outdoors, skiing, being social, and traveling. She has a twin sister.
Bochu Ding ‘21 is spontaneous, a listener, and open. He is from the USA and China. He is majoring in Economics and Sociology/Anthropology. He speaks English, Chinese, and French. He is interested in storytelling, writing, rowing, graphic design, and will try anything once. He was named after a famous horse tamer.
Hadjara Gado ‘21 is adventurous, African, and a learner. She is from Niger and majoring in Math. She speaks French, English, Hausa, and Songhai. She is interested in debating, adventures, volunteering, and traveling. She has been to Bosnia.
Sam Kamau ’21 is a dreamer, believer, and achiever. He is from Nairobi/Nyeri, Kenya. He is majoring in Computer Science and Economics. He speaks Swahili, Kikuyu, and English. He is interested in African development, reading, and technological innovation. “Crisps, not chips!”
Trishabelle Manzano ’21 is forgiving, a Go-getter, and ambitious. She is from the Phillipines and Los Angeles, USA. She is majoring in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry. She speaks English and Tagalog. She is interested in social justice, meaningful friendships, and Netflix. She has 2 birthdays.
Francoise Niyigena ‘21 is empathetic, compassionate, and reflective. She is from Rwanda and is majoring in n\Neuroscience and Psychology. She speaks English and Kinyarwanda. She is interested in learning, exploring, asking questions, community service, and playing with kids. She wants to have 30 children (adopted).
Oscar Psychas ‘21 is a brother, sponge, and shake-it-up-er. He is a citizen of Finland and the USA and from Gainesville, Florida. He is majoring in Environmental Studies/Geography and speaks English, Finnish, and French. He is interested in empowering youth as environmental leaders, armchair and regular traveling, and getting out in the woods. Oscar once bought a pangolin from a poacher and freed it in the forest.
Monique Santoso ’21 is passionate, blessed, and honest. She is from Indonesia and majoring in Psychology. She speaks English, Indonesian, and basic Czech. She is interested in hiking, surfing, scubadiving, writing, and theater. She is an INFJ.
2022 & 2022.5 Cohort
Hawa Adam ‘22 is driven, thoughtful, and fun. She is from Mombasa, Kenya and grew up in Burlington, Vermont. She is majoring in Black Studies and speaks Mai Mai, English, and a little Arabic. She is interested in dance, spoken word, and event planning. Her first name means Eve and her last name is Adam. Together she makes up both Eve and Adam.
Hannah Ennis ‘22.5 is curious, inspired, and wholehearted. Hannah grew up in Worcester, MA, USA, and is passionate about justice, movement, community, and connecting with both new people and old friends. As a little kid, Hannah did acrobatics with the dream of running away and joining a traveling circus.
Yardena Gerwin ‘22 is passionate, persistent, and community. She is from New York, USA. She speaks English and Hebrew. She is interested in reading, family, broadway shows, cooking, community work, and gender empowerment. She loves baking sourdough and rye bread.
Isabel Linhares ‘22 is resourceful, experimental, determined, and unconventional. She is from Tustin, California, USA. She speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish. She is majoring in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MBBC). She is interested in
art in all its forms, baking, writing music, amateur figure skating, the outdoors, reading, and working to address healthcare inequality. She was in a girl band in middle school, on vocals and bass guitar.
Cheko Mkocheko ‘22 is curious, chatty, and enthusiastic. He is from Tanzania and is majoring in Computer Science and Economics. He speaks Kiswahili, English, Mandarin, and French. He is interested in running, business, plays, cooking, and international films. Until 2012, he spoke only one language: Kiswahili.
Cecilia Needham ‘22.5 is compassionate, curious, and capable. She is from Denver, Colorado, USA. She is majoring in International and Global Studies. She speaks English and is currently learning Spanish and Haitian Creole. She is interested in nonprofit work, skiing, photography, Haiti, and hiking. Cecilia has held a koala!
Assadou Nzigamasabo ‘22 is thoughtful, imaginative, and attentive. He is from Rwanda and majoring in computer science. He speaks Kinyarwanda and English and is interested in machine learning, agriculture, social justice, and education. His name means Lion and his zodiac sign is Leo.
Mai Thuong ‘22 is spontaneous, humble, and listening. She is from Vietnam. She is majoring in French and Dance. She speaks Vietnamese, English, French, and Chinese (spoken, not written). She is interested in hiking in the mountains, swimming naked in the sea, dance, and speaking French. During her gap year she did not use toilet paper for 2 months while living in Nepal to save money.
2023 & 2023.5 Cohort
Abdul Hack Anas Abubakari ‘23 (most people call him Abdul), is from the former Gold Coast, Ghana. He is majoring in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry with a minor in Global Health.
Rena Gao ‘23 is always excited to get uncomfortable trying new things and growing. She is from Chengdu, China but has been studying in Europe and USA since age 15. She is passionate about the transformative power of creativity, connection, and vulnerability through alternative education. She hopes to learn and grow by designing and running a summer camp on these topics in China, jumping through a multitude of logistical hoops!
Molly Grazioso ‘23 is an Anthropology and Architectural Studies major and Global Health minor from New Jersey. She is fascinated by the intersection of health equity and design. Her fellowship project aims to investigate the impact of fast fashion on global health and make sustainable fashion more accessible to the Middlebury community.
Rain Ji ‘23 is an International and Global Studies Major who’s studying about the Middle East and North Africa. She is interested in looking for ways to increase news literacy among students in her hometown Beijing. Rain hopes to offer students insights into the often-mysterious newsrooms with her experiences working for The Campus.
Shuyi Lin ‘23 is passionate, adventurous, and persistent. She is from Fuzhou, a small city in the southeastern part of China. She majors in Environmental Studies-Chemistry. She can speak Chinese and English. She is interested in wildlife photography, boxing, and musicals. She has once followed a family of gibbons by foot for an entire day in Yunnan.
Hieu Nguyen ‘23: People living in rural areas often go to the hospital when their illnesses become lethal because they live far away from a central hospital. As a Fellow, Hieu plans to launch a telehealth program which brings modern virtual care platform to provide medical diagnosis for people living in rural Kenya.
Steven Shi ‘23 is a listener, and doer. He is from Beijing, China. He is majoring in Computer Science. He speaks English and Chinese. He is interested in acting, snowboarding, playing basketball, and traveling. He is currently working on a project aims to improve educational outcomes in rural China.
Patrick K. Wachira ’23 is reflective, ambitious, a believer, and a dreamer. He is from Murang’a/Nairobi, Kenya, and is majoring in International and Global studies. He speaks Swahili, Kikuyu, Italian (somehow), German and English. He is interested in rethinking identity, the moon, walks and stories. He is trying to write a novella (he’s read too many).