International Students and Scholars
About Davis UWC at Skidmore
"Davis UWC Scholars have become part
of the fabric of the Skidmore College
community and continue to inspire
fellow students to move the world in
new directions. As these students tell
their stories and make their voices
heard, they encourage all of us to
look beyond regional and continental
stereotypes. Davis Scholars at
Skidmore are engaged in the spirit
of our community in ways that are
both satisfying to them personally
and complementary to our collective
-- Philip A. Glotzbach, President
In 2004 the Davis United World College Scholars Program (DUWCSP) invited Skidmore College to join its growing list of American colleges and universities affiliated with and supported by the foundation of Shelby and Gayle Davis. Colby, College of the Atlantic, Middlebury, Princeton and Wellesley were the five pilot schools in the program that began in 2000; Skidmore was invited as the first expansion group of 47 colleges four years later. The DUWCSP encourages colleges to internationalize their study body by supporting need-based scholarship awarded to matriculated graduates of any one of (now) 12 United World Colleges (high schools) around the world.
Suxin Cheah ’08, Joseph Kaifala ’08 and Kipsy Ndwandwe ’08, made up the inaugural class of Davis Scholars. In the 2014-2015 academic year, 38 Davis Scholars are now enrolled at Skidmore across the four classes. United World Colleges themselves have a common mission of making "education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future."
Skidmore Davis UWC Scholars share collective gatherings at different moments of the year and through the campus liaison, Darren Drabek, are notified of special program and fellowship opportunities. As a result of Skidmore’s participation in the DUWCSP, Skidmore students can apply for The Davis Projects for Peace grants.
At the time Skidmore College applied to participate in the Davis United World College Scholars Program, fewer than ten international students were studying at the College, and only a few graduates of United World Colleges joined our community. Today that number is much larger and represents nearly ten percent of our student body.
Davis UWC Scholars at Skidmore have a wonderful track record of student engagement. Working hard in our classrooms and laboratories, Davis UWC Scholars have received departmental and College honors; earned Filene Scholarships and Davis Projects for Peace grants; been selected for dual-degree programs; implemented SEE (Summer Educational Experiences)-Beyond Awards; and participated in faculty-student collaborative research. In the co-curricular community, Davis Scholars emerge as club and class leaders. Several have also been selected to serve as Peer Mentors for our First-Year Experience Scribner Seminars. Their post-graduate experiences include a Lantos Fellowship; serving as an ESL instructor for Skidmore’s Teach in China program; enrolling in Ph.D., law, and master’s degree programs; participating in the Monterey Institute; and engaging in various employment opportunities.
As more and more students from around the world find their way into Skidmore’s classrooms, the conversations both in and out of the learning community become more diverse, more global, and more inclusive. Resulting first from their experience living and learning in the global community of the UWCs, Davis UWC Scholars bring a distinct, expansive perspective to their academic dialogue at Skidmore. This exchange of idea is beneficial to our student community which comes from across the United States and around the world.
Skidmore’s Davis UWC Scholars enthusiastically engage in the city of Saratoga Springs. For instance, Davis Scholars participate in Skidmore’s Friendship Family Program, a sign of the Scholars’ interest in personal and cross-cultural relations that augments their college experience. These relationships often lead to a deeper understanding of the Saratoga Springs community for our students, all the while expanding the world view of our hosts.
The Davis Project for Peace grants, generated by the philanthropy of Kathryn Wasserman Davis, continue to inspire a spirited, annual competition among Skidmore students to develop creative, grassroots programs with the aim of waging peace in the world. These projects catalyze Davis UWC Scholars to bring sustainable ideas back to their homelands and offer their American classmates a rare opportunity to put their peace-promoting ideas into action. All of which makes creative thought happen while manifesting students’ concern for others in the spirit of Mrs. Davis.
Skidmore’s Davis UWC Scholars work to further the mission shared by all UWCs around the world, which is to make education a force to unite people, nations, and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.