Interview with former students Trevor Marimbire and Daryl Mifsud – Future Nobel Laureates
December 13, 2022
Please introduce yourself to those who do not know you and tell us what you have been up to since graduation from UWCM.
D: My name is Daryl and I come from the European island of Malta. I went to UWC Maastricht from 2016 to 2018. After UWC, I studied Peace and Conflict studies at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. In spring of my freshman year, I went to Semester at Sea. Although I graduated last May, I am able to do another semester focusing on understanding the border region between the US and Mexico. I now live in Tucson, Arizona, with a host family and just recently I went for a field trip to Mexico with the aim to better understand this particular location and its indigenous people.
T: I am Trevor. I am from Zimbabwe. I am also from UWCM Class of 2018. Just like Daryl, I also attended Earlham College where I spent four years studying economics. Now I work in public policy consulting in Philadelphia.
What comes to your mind when you think of UWCM?
D: For me the first thing that I see is the moat. I think it is because a lot of things happened around the moat, it has seen it all, it was this one thing that was always there.
T: True! I remember during Holi people were thrown into the moat, there was a boat on the moat, I remember walking on it with Isaac when it got frozen.
D: It’s not really the physical things that come to my mind, it’s more the atmosphere, the laughter, the friendships. And of course, the residence mentors. I was with Pooja and Satya and looking back, it was incredible how much care they provided to the 24 boys on the floor.
In what way have you been living the mission?
T: I think that I have been definitely living the mission academically. Back at UWC Maastricht, Cassie was my geography teacher and it was in her class when I heard about inequality and disparity studies for the first time. This sparked my interest in studying economics at university. I initially wanted to go to a medical school but that geography class completely changed my focus. After completing my studies, I continue to live the mission through my consulting work here in Philadelphia, a city with a lot of issues in terms of transport, homelessness and much more.
D: I think I definitely took the UWC mission to heart. I remember going to UWC, not knowing what one could do after. So I went to Maastricht thinking that I am going to go back to Malta. I had no idea that most students end up going to the US or the UK. I really went to UWC strictly for the mission and the values. It was only later in my first year at UWCM that I got to know about the university options. I continued to honour the mission also in my studies, I studied Peace and Conflict Resolution with a minor in African American studies and I’m currently interning with an organisation called Honoured Peace. I keep living the mission because it is something I am genuinely passionate about. Also during our time in Earlham, Trevor and I started the Interfaith house which was a place for people from different religious and spiritual beliefs to come and live together. It was a lot like UWC.
Just recently you received the Future Nobel laureates scholarship. Please tell us more about it and what it means to you.
T: It is a scholarship programme that was awarded to me last year and to Daryl this year. This programme has two different components. The first is a course on intercultural competencies including a group project for which you pick a social issue and then with a team of 4 or 5 students you describe the issue and come up with a solution for the issue.The second part is the conference in Sweden, the Nobel Dialogue, which a part of the Nobel events. They bring together different experts to discuss various issues and this year’s theme is “The Future of Life”. We get to spend a week in Sweden, attend the Nobel Dialogue discussions and events and meet and talk with Nobel prize laureates.
D: We will also get to visit the Nobel Museum where a lot of the discussion of the Dialogue will take place. I also want to add that I see some similarities between this course and my UWC experience. While I got to live and experience intercultural understanding in person at UWC, this course covered more of the theory which helped me to further reflect on my time in Maastricht.
T: The UWC experience definitely gave us an advantage when studying the intercultural competencies and concepts.
In what ways have you been giving back to the UWC movement? Or in what ways do you plan to give back?
T: I must say that I am not very active but I try to support the national committee of Zimbabwe. I attend their yearly meeting and I occasionally help current and prospective UWC students by answering questions. And sometimes I donate to the movement, more specifically to the national committee because the economic situation in Zimbabwe is pretty difficult.
D: I am also mostly active with my national committee, so with UWC Malta. I became the contact person and information source for Maltese students who think of studying in the US or doing the Semester at Sea just as I did. I enjoy supporting these Maltese students and helping them navigate some of the bureaucracy related to studying abroad.
Would you have recommendations for (young) alumni regarding their way of living the mission and values of UWC in their lives?
D: It is important that everyone finds their own way. It is never too late to reconnect with the UWC mission, there is always time to get into it. I now clearly see, after my study trip to Mexico, that being an actor of change can have a huge impact on a local community. There is so much that can be done in every sector and every section of society, with your heart in the right place, with gratitude and humility.
T: There will always be time and space to spread the UWC mission, there are so many issues in the world but also so many communities where the spreading of the mission and values is needed. You do not have to be in the forefront of it, you don’t have to be the CEO of a large corporation. You can work in finance, education, healthcare, really anywhere. You can find your own way no matter where you are and what you do.