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Davis United World College Scholars


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Finding Stories the World Needs to Hear

Catherine Cartier (USA, Pearson UWC, Davidson ’20) keeps on building up adventures and experience in the Arab world.

She did a high-school year in Morocco, then spent the summer after her first college year at an intensive Arabic language program in Jordan. She returned there as a sophomore, studying at the Middlebury School in Amman and interviewing Syrian refugee women to collect their folktales.

“The displacement of Syrian communities to Jordan has transformed the themes and content of these stories, as well as how they are told,” Catherine wrote in an article published by The New Arab in 2018.

The next summer, Catherine was in Lebanon as an Abernethy Fellow, interviewing artists about how art can play a role in healing from war’s trauma. Last summer she hiked through Lebanon as a fellow with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, talking with religious leaders and others about how religion connects with forest conservation efforts. She won a 2019 scholarship from the Harry S. Truman Foundation.

“She pushes herself out of her comfort zone because she loves knowledge,” says Rebecca Joubin, a Davidson associate professor of Arabic studies. “She’s also a very humble, genuine, good person. Her research has always been very connected to service.”

Catherine wonders if she can build a future in journalism work that “could elevate the ability of people to be their own storytellers.”

“I do see there’s a need, not only for telling stories that aren’t being heard in the United States, but also for rethinking how these stories are told.”