BEX HICKS '11
USA / Costa Rica | Board Co-Chair and Alumni Affairs Member
Enthusiastic | Creative | Third-Culture Kid
Bex is Board Co-Chair of the Alumni Association and a member of the Alumni Affairs working group.
She grew up in Santa Ana, and was one of the first guinea pig day-students to attend UWCCR. During her time at UWC, you could find her taking every dance CAS she could, drinking smoothies, and having long conversations in hammocks outside of Hermosa. She feels invested in the school because it was the space where she first sharpened her critical thinking skills and, where she expanded her understandings of identity, solidarity, and global sisterhood. She met some of her dearest friends, including her partner, at UWC.
After UWC, Bex went to Middlebury College in the US, where she majored in Sociology and Environmental Studies, with a Minor in French. She studied abroad in Yaoundé Cameroon, and worked in various countries in West Africa and Central America, before ending up back in the US of A. She currently lives in Berkeley, California and is working at a women’s community clinic. She cares deeply about gender equity, reproductive rights, sexual education, and young women’s empowerment. She is always down to connect with fellow alums, and is happy to meet up if you find yourself in California or Santa Ana!
HUGO CERVANTES '08
Mexico | Board Co-Chair and Financial Transparency Group Member
Dame | Mas | Gasolina
Like many of you, Hugo still partakes on several activities he first embraced in el cole. He listens to Manu Chao on a constant basis, cheers for Costa Rica in sports (with the obvious sentimental dilemma whenever they play his own country), and loves meeting new UWCCR people.
He was elected to serve as co-chair, where he expects to open new spaces of participation and involvement for UWCCR Alumni. This is the first UWC Alumni Association of its class, and as a pioneer himself, he hopes that the work done serves to make the school and the UWC movement more participative, open and democratic.
Like many UWC kids, he did International Studies and Economics in university. He currently spends his days juggling between his printing studio, some consultancy jobs, and reading Ernest Hemingway’s complete works. He nowadays lives in Mexico City, where you’re always welcome to visit and eat the best tacos in the world :)
OJIUGO UCHE '10
Nigeria | Secretary
Curious | Dance lover | Goofy
Ojiugo is the Board Secretary of the Alumni Association and is a Nigerian.
While at UWCCR, some of her favorite memories were choreographing for and dancing at the Mosaic of Dances, and midnight birthday parties.
After UWC, she attended both the Santa Fe and Annapolis campuses of St John’s College in the USA and graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts. She currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria where she works as a management consultant at a top firm.
BILSANA BIBIC '09
Montenegro | Mentorship
Bibliophile | Polymath | Venturesome
Bilsana is a member of the Alumni Association, currently working in the Mentoring Project Group.
While at UWCCR, some of her favorite memories were the sleepless nights and conversations on the hammocks and at Ramiro’s.
After UWC, she graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in the USA (Santa Fe campus) and went on to pursue a double Master’s degree in the political science field at the University of Glasgow, Scotland and the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. She currently lives in Podgorica, Montenegro where she works as an advisor at the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs.
JASON WEE '16
Malaysia | Financial Transparency and Fundraising
Direct | Ponderer | 4loko
Hailing from Malaysia, Jason is a member of the Financial Transparency and Fundraising Committee of the Alumni Association. Having been president of the Student Council in his time at UWCCR, he feels personally invested in helping this magical pocket of Santa Ana. If not in the library or in Mal Pais, Jason could probably be found in the Santa Ana field.
Jason is currently an undergrad at Princeton University majoring at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He also volunteers with the Malaysian UWC National Committee and is involved in the Malaysian nonprofit scene.
LOTTA KLEIN ‘11
Germany | Campus Affairs
Conscientious | Theatre-Enthusiast | Lively
Lotta is a member of the Campus Affairs Committee and involved in the editing of this website.
With wide open eyes Lotta came from Germany to UWC Costa Rica and grew to love Tim Tam Slams and sleeping under starry heavens.
After graduating UWCCR in 2011, Lotta did her Bachelor’s programme in History and Cultural and Social Anthropology at Münster University and recently got her Master’s diploma in Arts and Media Management from the Academy of Music and Theatre, Hamburg. She is involved in arts projects and cultural politics around Northern Germany.
ESTEFANÍA MORERA-MÉNDEZ ‘08
Costa Rica | Mentorship
Charismatic | Empathetic | Jovial
Estefanía is a member of the Alumni Association, working in the Mentoring Project Group.
She is proud to be part of the UWCCR pioneer generation. It has been almost 10 years since her UWC graduation, and even though some memories’ details are now a bit blurry, she well remembers how much she enjoyed showing and sharing her own country with the rest of the community; from making Costa Rica tamales for Christmas, to organising a rental bus-excursion to “Las Fiestas de Palmares,” where around 20 students camped outside of her family’s houses.
After UWCCR she graduated double major in Political Science and Transnational Science from Westminster College, Missouri, USA. Later on she completed a BSc in International Development from University of Bristol, UK.
Since then, she has been working in the charity sector in the UK. Currently, she is working as Programme and Community Projects Co-ordinator at Sailors’ Society, a charity that works with seafarers around the world—at home, in port and at sea.
MAX VON HIPPEL ‘15
USA | Campus Affairs & Communication
Logical | Eccentric | Alaskan
Max graduated with a Bilingual IB Diploma from UWC Costa Rica in 2015 on a Shelby Davis Scholarship. Now pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (Comprehensive Option) at the University of Arizona in Tucson, he is primarily interested in Computability, Number Theory, and big-data informatics, and hopes to pursue a career in cybersecurity (i.e, computer hacking). It’s not all arithmetic logic-gates and Laplace transforms, though - Max is also a member of the University of Arizona Archery Team, an avid cross-country runner, and a lover of philosophy (especially Popper, Nietzsche, and de Beauvoir). Max’s favorite book is Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, and his favorite theorem is the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic.
RICHARD BLASER‘ 13
Costa Rica / Canada | Communications
World traveler | Ultimate frisbee-er | Empathic communicator
Richard grew up fifteen minutes away from the United World College Costa Rica campus, but was not aware of its potential and benefits until becoming one of the few day students in the school’s history.
After succeeding the IB and graduating from UWCCR, Richard attended McGill University, where he completed a Bachelors of Commerce with a focus in International Business. During this time he completed part of his studies in China and Mexico in order to perfect his Mandarin and understand the Latin American business market.
As of May of 2017, Richard co-founded a Costa Rican audiovisual production startup called BE Latinoamérica that was started in conjunction with another UWCCR classmate, and a UWCRCN and a UWC Adriatic graduate.
STIJN WILBERS ‘13
Netherlands | Alumni Affairs
Conversationalist | Runner | Organiser
Stijn was born and raised in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, as the third of four brothers. After leaving that bustling home to join yet another warm and even bigger family in Santa Ana he became a regular at Cachiburguer’s, an avid runner and a sunset fanatic.
After graduating from UWCCR in 2013, Stijn completed a Bachelor of Arts as International Relations and Economics major at Amsterdam University College in 2017 and is due to finish his LLB at the University of Amsterdam by summer 2018. Currently, he is interning with the Dutch embassy in Lima, which offers him yet another, albeit very different experience in Latin America.
Stijn enjoys cooking and loves to organize gatherings with UWC alumni wherever he is – two things that go well together. Other things on top of his list include hiking and attending the UWCCR European Reunion
ROANNA VAN DEN OEVER '11
Netherlands | Mentorship
Open | Warm | Spontaneous
As a 17-year-old Dutch girl Roanna was super excited for this adventure and loved every bit of it! She did her Bachelors at Amsterdam University College in public health and biomedicine. Together with her best friend from UWC she lived in the coolest apartment in Amsterdam for 3 years. For her Masters, she wanted to live with her other UWC bestie and so she moved to London and studied Reproductive and Sexual Health Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Living together with UWCers for the 5 years after UWC was incredible. Roanna now lives in Amsterdam again where she works as a programme officer at Aidsfonds, working on HIV and AIDS related projects in Uganda.
Her favourite memories from UWCCR are living in Hermosa residence, making limonada from the lime trees on campus, conociendo Costa Rica trips, lying in the sun in the grass in between the residences having picnics with friends.
Nilsa Gonzalez '09
Panama | Alumni Affairs
Humble | Kind | Positive
Nilsa is from Chiriqui, Panama, raised in SOS villages since she was 8 years old, attended CISOS, Colegio Internacional SOS Costa Rica, which in May 2006 became United World College Costa Rica. She is one of the 13 people who joined the school in 2005 for their 9th grade and graduated from 12th grade in 2009.
Nilsa was well known for helping around school, from welcoming student to campus, taking part of multiple service activities, volunteering in the library “sargent” , selling cookies and giving massages.
After graduating in 2009 she joined Hood College and completed a Bachelors of Arts in Social Work, graduating in 2013. After college she returned to Panama and took an active role in the Panamanian UWC National Committee, later on becoming the president of the committee in 2017.
Currently Nilsa works juggling a full time job as a sales assistant, social media manager, President of the Panama UWC National Committee, Framing my Future an SOS Village support initiative and a member of the UWCCR Alumni Association. Nilsa lives in Panama city, Panama and is planning on joining a Masters in social work in Maryland by fall 2018.
Laura Hensel '12
Germany | Mentorship Program
Analytic | Spontaneous | Creative
Laura is a member of the Alumni Association, currently working in the Mentoring Project Group.
During her time at UWCCR, Laura enjoyed sitting on roofs, strolling through the vineyard, and long pseudo-philosophical conversations in the amphitheatre. During her second year probably about 80% of her time (including class time) were taken up by directing the musical (Danzas of the Lion kingdom).
After graduating from UWCCR in 2012, she started a BSc in Psychology at the University of Glasgow. Apart from a year abroad in Hong Kong, she remained at Glasgow Uni and is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology with a special interest in social robotics and face perception. Besides the study of human behaviour, she also has a passion for the theatre – both as an audience member and as an active participant, and believes that exercise and meditation are essential for a happy life.