U.S. Selection Committee

U.S. Selection Committee

UWC-USA works closely with the U.S. Selection Committee to select students to represent the United States as Davis Scholars at UWCs around the world. This dedicated and talented group of volunteers meets every month to discuss issues related to the UWC movement and to shape the application process.

The U.S. Selection Committee reads nearly a thousand documents, teacher recommendations, and applications from students across the country, and they conduct personal interviews with about 150 semi-finalists over the course of the year. In February, they gather on campus to observe students in small group activities and conversations at our finalist weekend. Their commitment is a demonstration of their enthusiasm for the UWC mission.

Anyone interested in volunteering for a three-year term on the U.S. Selection Committee should submit an application by July 17 for a term beginning early the following year. Please contact admission@uwc-usa.org with questions.

“The optimism, energy, and conviction that prospective UWC students convey in their applications reassures me that our world will be in good hands as they continue to develop their talents and interests across the spectrum of human endeavor as future artists, scientists, policy makers, and citizens of the world.”

Amalka Jayasundera

Amalka Jayasundera graduated from Pearson College UWC-Canada in 2009 and joined the UWC as an ambassador from Sri Lanka. She is currently a Senior Software Product Manager at HP (Hewlett-Packard) responsible for leading Product Strategy and Execution, User Experience design, and Business Planning for HP’s Mobile and Cloud platforms. She has been with HP for six years, in various roles in Product Marketing, Program Management and Business Strategy.

After completing her IB Diploma at Pearson College, Amalka moved to Boise, Idaho, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology from the College of Idaho in 2013. Later on, she earned a Master of Business Administration from Boise State University in 2017.

Beyond her career at HP, Amalka serves on the Board of Trustees for the College of Idaho and previously served as a Board Member on the Boise-based non-profit Women Innovators, where she helped create new partnerships to advance women and girls in STEM fields. During her time as a student at Pearson College UWC, Amalka participated in various programs
including the Outdoor Wilderness program, Community Service, Theatre, and Dance. Her UWC experience exposed her to multicultural education and international perspectives, which she values in her personal life and professional career. Amalka is passionate about bridging people and cultures and promoting authentic leadership and communication in the corporate workplace. She is honored to serve in the U.S. Selection Committee, where she can represent and nominate diverse student ambassadors from the United States, to continue driving the UWC movement across the globe.

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After completing her IB Diploma at Pearson College, Amalka moved to Boise, Idaho, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology from the College of Idaho in 2013. Later on, she earned a Master of Business Administration from Boise State University in 2017.

Beyond her career at HP, Amalka serves on the Board of Trustees for the College of Idaho and previously served as a Board Member on the Boise-based non-profit Women Innovators, where she helped create new partnerships to advance women and girls in STEM fields. During her time as a student at Pearson College UWC, Amalka participated in various programs
including the Outdoor Wilderness program, Community Service, Theatre, and Dance. Her UWC experience exposed her to multicultural education and international perspectives, which she values in her personal life and professional career. Amalka is passionate about bridging people and cultures and promoting authentic leadership and communication in the corporate workplace. She is honored to serve in the U.S. Selection Committee, where she can represent and nominate diverse student ambassadors from the United States, to continue driving the UWC movement across the globe.

Bev Morse

Bev Morse recently retired as associate dean for research and information management and director of international admissions at Kenyon College in Gambier. Prior to Kenyon, she was the assistant director of admissions at Oberlin College, also in Ohio. Bev studied music, mathematics and psychology at Wilson College, Hartt School of Music, Yale University, and City University of New York.  

 

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Her experience as a foreign exchange student to Finland broadened her outlook on the world. Bev’s appreciation of the UWC movement stems from her work in admissions, which allowed her to visit nine UWC campuses repeatedly, interview hundreds of UWC students, and befriend those who chose to attend Kenyon College.

Carla Bass

'87

A 1987 UWC-USA graduate, Carla went to college in her hometown of Lima, Peru. She chaired the UWC alumni network and worked with the Peruvian National Committee, promoting outreach efforts and fundraising. 

Carla is founder and president of Communication Solutions, a translation and interpreting services company in Lima. 

 

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A UWC enthusiast, she believes that now, more than ever, the world needs people who believe in peace and international understanding and for whom acceptance and respect are life-guiding values. At UWC, Carla made lifelong friends who are an important part of who she is. Carla wants more young people to enjoy this unique opportunity and make the world a better place by living and sharing the UWC values.

She and her husband and twin daughters live in Texas.

Dory Streett

Dory Streett’s has worked as a university guidance counselor for schools in her native Maine as well as international schools in Milan, Italy; Munich, Germany; Shanghai, China; and Ontario, Canada. Dory most recently completed a long-term university counseling consultancy with the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg.

As an international admissions officer at Colby and Bennington colleges, she made multiple visits to 16 United World College campuses. Through her admissions experience, Dory has worked with hundreds of UWC students and has served as a host family for a number of UWC graduates at Colby College.

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These experiences, together with her thorough familiarity with the International Baccalaureate curriculum, make her a strong proponent of the UWC mission and values.

Dory earned a bachelor’s in literature from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and a master’s in education from Harvard University.

Dr. Celene Ibrahim

'02

Dr. Celene Ibrahim ‘02 teaches in the department of religious studies and philosophy at Groton School. Celene is a public voice on issues of religious pluralism and has written numerous publications in the field of women’s and gender studies, religion in America  and Islamic studies. She is the editor of One Nation Indivisible: Seeking Liberty and Justice from the Pulpit to the Streets, and her second book is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. 

 

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Celene has a bachelor’s with highest honors from Princeton University, a master’s of divinity from Harvard University and a doctorate in Arabic and Islamic civilizations from Brandeis University. She is a frequent speaker and a diversity consultant to educational and civic institutions. Celene is passionate about multicultural education and sees the UWC movement as a pathsetter in exposing young minds to a wider world.

Gavin Powell

UWC Costa Rica '15

As a 2015 graduate of UWC Costa Rica, Gavin Powell is grateful to serve the movement that granted him a life changing experience. He is excited to join the UWC Selection Committee, and assist in guiding tomorrow’s leaders through the next step in their educational journey.

Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, Gavin obtained his Bachelor’s in Financial Economics from Columbia University. He is a Public Sector Product Manager at J.P. Morgan. Gavin is passionate about creating education platforms that modernize learning experiences.
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Harry Lambert

'12

A 2012 graduate of UWC-USA, Harry Lambert is an investigator with the NYU Vaccine Center and studying at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York. Prior to that, Harry worked in community development, managing a portfolio of development projects for a local company in Tanzania.

Born in the United Kingdom, Harry grew up in Raleigh, N.C. He has a bachelor’s in leadership studies and philosophy, politics, economics and law from the University of Richmond.

While a student at UWC-USA, Harry took wilderness first aid as part of his training to be a wilderness leader. This exposure resulted in his desire to enter medicine.

 

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His UWC experience also opened his eyes to many issues in society, while instilling a desire to challenge the status quo and work toward improving the lives of others. Harry is passionate about the potential of medicine to improve humanity and create understanding across peoples, nations and cultures.

He is excited to serve on the U.S. Selection Committee and continue the committee’s work of nominating ambassadors for the United States to UWCs around the globe.

James Austin Whittaker II – Co-chair

Li Po Chun '10

A 2010 graduate of Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong, James Austin Whittaker II works at the intersection of Analytics, Marketing, and Strategy in the San Francisco Bay Area across Tech sub sectors and Political Campaigns. A certified Product Manager, he holds a BA in International Relations-Political Economy from Brown University and is pursuing the Sustainability Program at UC Berkeley. 

Growing up in Memphis, TN, he credits his UWC experience and the movement with expanding his horizons resulting in the further cultivation of the service-oriented spirit and impact initially fostered by his DOAS family and community. He enjoys paying forward this opportunity by helping youth to pursue education, careers, and entrepreneurship in Sustainable Technology.

He is excited to serve on the UWC Selection Committee, and work to expand the opportunities of the UWC movement to even more students.

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Justine MacWilliam

'02

A 2002 graduate of UWC-USA, Justine has over 15 years of experience managing global health programs and partnerships across Africa and the Middle East. She currently works in HIV and global health policy advocacy in New York, partnering with a network of health and human rights advocates across Africa and North America to ensure communities most affected by global health inequity have a leading voice in shaping national and global health policies, programs and funding.

Justine holds a B.A. in History from Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany and an M.A. in International Affairs from the New School in New York City, and was a U.S. Dept. of State Critical Language Scholar for Urdu in Lucknow, India.

Growing up, Justine split her time between Massachusetts and Wisconsin. Her UWC experience helped broaden her worldview and ingrained in her a lifelong commitment to social justice and community service. She still keeps in touch daily with the friends she made at UWC.

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Keith Todd – Co-chair

Keith Todd is director of college counseling at the Greenhill School in the Dallas, Texas, area. Prior to that, he spent 20-plus years in selective college admission and international education.

Keith was previously dean of admissions at Reed College and held senior admission roles at Rice and Northwestern universities, having started as an admission officer at Stanford University.

With a focus on international admission, Keith has visited several UWC campuses and evaluated college applications from most UWC campuses. He has served on the international Advisory Board for the TOEFL.

 

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He was a member of the national review committee for the Coca-Cola Scholarships and the editorial board of The Journal of College Admission. In his role with the Institute of International Education , Keith was the director of the U.S. State Department’s Gilman Scholarship Program funding study abroad for lower-income U.S. undergraduates, director of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program for the greater Houston region, and regional director for 300-plus international Fulbright Scholars studying in 11 Southern states.

Keith has a master’s in English literature from Stanford and a bachelor’s in English and German from SMU, studying abroad during college in Austria and the United Kingdom. In 1987 he was a Fulbright Scholar in German literature at the University of Augsburg, Germany.

Michelle Trimpe

Michelle Trimpe is the Director of International Admissions at the University of Chicago, a partner institution with the Davis UWC Scholars Program. At UChicago, Michelle oversees current UWC on-campus programming and manages UWC Global Academy, a pre-college summer program specifically for UWC students. Prior, Michelle worked at the University of Colorado Boulder in international student recruitment and at the American University of Phnom Penh developing the institution’s newly-formed student affairs division and programs.

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While studying and interning abroad in Mexico and Bulgaria as a student, Michelle became passionate about international education and its ability to facilitate transformative learning experiences and student development. Michelle obtained an MA in Student Affairs Administration at Michigan State University and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education at Johns Hopkins University where she researches factors influencing international academic mobility.

Mitchell Thompson

Mitchell Thompson is Dean and College Counselor at Avenues School, New York City. He has worked in education for thirty-five years; most recently as Dean of Students at Scarsdale High School. Prior to that he spent almost seventeen years at The Cooper Union in New York City as an Associate Dean for Admissions and Records as well as the Foreign Student Advisor. Additionally, Mitchell has served on a wide range of boards and organizations such as The Common Application, The College Board, and the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Mitchell earned his B.A. from the State University of New York at Oneonta and his M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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