UWC-USA is in the final months of a pilot program designed to give alumni a new way to engage substantively with the school. The new Alumni-in-Residence (AIR) Fellowship Program provides alumni "an opportunity to share the breadth and depth of their experiences with our community," according to Jose-Pablo Salas Rojas '06, director of alumni engagement and giving. "It also gives our students a chance to really get to know alumni, learn from their expertise and experiences, and feel inspired by their generational commitment to our school."
Fatymatou Dia '09 (Senegal) has been serving as the first fellow for most of this academic year. Fatyma has been instrumental in bringing her own experience as a consultant to the strategic leadership of many of the school's departments - including academics, admissions, advancement, experiential education, and finance and operations. She has also been busy leading an African dance group and working with students on projects. Fatyma just returned from a Project Week in Denver where she and IB dance teacher Judi Ruprecht led students through a rigorous week of dance instruction at several dance studios. "One of my favorite Senegalese proverbs roughly translates as follows: 'When you no longer know where you are going, go back to where you came from.' I cannot think of better words to summarize why I came back to UWC-USA. I am so grateful to count this place as one of my homes and I am grateful for the opportunity to come back. After this year as a fellow, I am ready to move forward, inspired, and motivated to live my dream."
Most notably, however, Fatyma's analytical skill and insight were useful as she worked with UWC-USA president Victoria Mora on UWC-USA's strategic long-range plan. "Fatyma's perspective has been invaluable," Victoria claims. "She has been a helpful, positive force in a complicated process."
Based on the success of the pilot program, UWC-USA is actively seeking a new fellow for the fall. Applications for the AIR Fellowship Program for the 2018/19 academic year are open and will be considered on a rolling basis. The opportunity for this fall is open to all UWC-USA alumni who have graduated before 2011. More information about visas, compensation, and responsibilities is available here.