Ask a Wildcat
Summer Admission Interns Update
Our Senior Admission Fellows have ended their time with the Office of Admission as they prepare for graduation, but we encourage you to check back in June as our Summer Admission Interns take over.
Hearing perspectives from students who are living and breathing the current Davidson experience is one of the best ways to get to know this community. Sign up for an Ask a Wildcat conversation with some of the students profiled below. These 30-minute student-to-student Q&As are designed for high school juniors, seniors, and transfer students.
You are also welcome to send questions to email@example.com for a student-oriented perspective on life at Davidson.
Senior Admission Fellows
Zoe Bock '22
Hometown: Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Minor: Hispanic studies
Extracurriculars: Planning team for SiDES (Spanish in Davidson Elementary School), Data Collector and Communications Team for College Crisis Initiative (C2i), trained facilitator through the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative, Warner Hall Eating House, spring musical, former vocal student, Sociology research
#WhyDavidson: After completing an overnight visit at Davidson, I canceled two other overnights I had scheduled because I knew that Davidson made sense for me not only on paper but also in practice. The character of the students at Davidson is unmatched. The fact that everyone chooses to commit to the Honor Code speaks to the caring, honest, accountable, and collaborative character of Davidson students. I also love the informal social interactions at Davidson that come from knowing many different types of people—Davidson is a place where you will run into multiple people in a walk across campus with whom you’ll stop to chat and where someone will remember your name and say hello after only meeting you once.
Fun Fact: I’ve performed during halftime at an Eagles game!
Favorite Bite to Eat in the Davidson Area: Carrburritos in Davidson followed by Whit’s! I recommend mixing the vanilla and chocolate custard at Whit’s as the base for your Whitser.
Madeline Buitendorp '22
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Major: Political science
Minor: Educational studies
Extracurriculars: William Holt Terry Scholarship Fellow, Communications Director and Founding Member of the College Crisis Initiative, Center for Political Engagement, Davidson College Democrats (President 2020-2021), Davidson College Presbyterian Church, Orientation Team
#WhyDavidson: When I first visited Davidson, I was struck by the beauty of campus and how friendly everyone I met was. I fell in love with the campus, and quickly the people and the community I found. The Davidson community is like no other. From getting to babysit for professors to running into alums in the airport, and supporting my friends at athletic events, the Davidson community shows up for each other. The wealth of opportunities that Davidson has given me has pushed what I thought was possible for my life. I have been challenged academically, built phenomenal alumni resources, and found some of my closest friends. I am grateful for the support and relationships that I have found at Davidson and I know that those relationships will continue on beyond my time on campus.
Fun Fact: I am a proud leftie! In my family, both my Grandfathers and I are the only left-handed writers. I also have run three half-marathons and am training for a full marathon.
Favorite Bite to Eat in the Davidson Area: I love the Pickled Peach (especially their white bean hummus sandwich!) and The Egg has the best comforting, homey breakfast food. You can’t go wrong with any spot in Davidson!
Arihana Figueroa '23
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Major: Political Science
Extracurriculars: Organization of Latin American Students, Hall Counselor, Questbridge, Charles Scholars
#WhyDavidson: The community at Davidson has always been so welcoming! As a first-generation student, I remember being so nervous at my overnight visit and feeling much better after meeting some of the students. Everyone was so enthusiastic to learn what I was interested in and offered to show me around campus. At one point, one of the tour guides gave my mom and I a tour in Spanish even though we were the only ones there! To this day, I still speak to the students who I met on that visit.
Fun Fact: I had a pet duck when I was younger!
Favorite Bite to Eat in the Davidson Area: A burrito from Carrburritos or a Whitty Wildcat from Whit’s
Macy Lawton '22
Hometown: Trumbull, Connecticut
Majors: Anthropology & environmental studies
Extracurriculars: President of the Nuances (a cappella), Davidson College Chorale, Social Chair of Rusk Eating House, Public Relations Chair of Patterson Court Council, Data Collector for College Crisis Initiative (C2i), Head Orientation Team Leader for New Student Orientation, Lead Senior Admission Fellow, Front Deak at Carnegie Guest House
#WhyDavidson: Davidson people are incredibly supportive of one another. While this can certainly be a challenging academic environment, it is by no means a competitive one. Davidson students, professors, staff, alumni, families, and community members care about each other’s success and well-being on such a high level.
Fun Fact: I carry at least two chapsticks on my person at all times.
Favorite Bite to Eat in the Davidson Area: The coconut chew cookie from Pickled Peach or a breakfast sandwich from The Egg!
Margo Naifeh '22
Hometown: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Minor: Educational studies
Extracurriculars: President of Rusk Eating House, Cheer Team
#WhyDavidson: Ever since my admissions counselor Meredith visited my high school and talked to me about flickerball, a first-year tradition here, I knew that Davidson had to be a special place; when I toured here, that was just further emphasized and demonstrated. Every little tidbit that my tour guide, Caroline, shared with the tour group further proved that Davidson is a one-of-a-kind community that uplifts and supports each and every member of the campus. Everything at Davidson is done with intention and care, and that is shown everywhere from the Honor Code to how first-year roommates are assigned to Eating House recruitment to how Union Board plans out their programming. That kind of intentionality was very important to me during my college search and I still love it now!
Fun Fact: One time I won a cotton-eyed joe dance contest at an NBA game
Favorite Bite to Eat in the Davidson Area: Kung Fu Noodle in Birkdale Village is fab!
Nick Nguyen '22
Hometown: Salisbury, Maryland
Major: Anthropology on a premedicine track
Extracurriculars: Senior Admission Fellow, Honor Council Defense Advisor, Resident Advisor, Equity Advisor and Co-recruitment Chair on the Student Initiative for Academic Diversity, William Holt Terry Scholar, President of Davidson College Bhangra
#WhyDavidson: In high school, I never imagined receiving a world-class education at a college/university, let alone at Davidson College. But with the help of a high school teacher and QuestBridge, I was able to apply to Davidson. When I visited, my dad and I were lost trying to find the Office of Admission. We asked a student to point out the building, but then he walked us there! I was in awe; it showed that the Davidson community is kind, welcoming and uplifting. The connections you make at Davidson was the biggest reason why I chose Davidson. Being surrounded by people passionate about pursuing their curiosities and making meaningful change pushes me to become a better and thoughtful person. In the end, Davidson forces me out of my comfort zone to become a more well-rounded person, ready to take on the world after graduating.
Fun Fact: I was featured on a Regal Cinemas short film trailer that aired nationally in theaters in 2017.
Favorite Bite to Eat in the Davidson Area: My go-to lunch on Main Street is the Picked Peach. I order the white bean hummus, avocado, mozzarella, and balsamic panini with their tomato soup every time. That lunch order always brightens up my day.
Ruby Nguyen '22
Hometown: Gaithersburg, Maryland
Minor: Hispanic Studies on a premedicine track
Extracurriculars: Spanish Apprentice Teacher, STRIDE Peer Leader, Student Researcher in Biology, Timmy Global Health, Turner Eating House
#WhyDavidson: When I was a prospective student, I sat in on two Davidson classes—both of which I have now officially taken! The students were so engaged in discussion with each other and their professor. I could just feel that people here have a lot of passion for what they do (still true!), and I wanted to be a part of such an environment.
Fun Fact: Sophomore year, I traveled to Ecuador with other Davidson students on a weeklong medical service trip. I got to engage with primary care firsthand and tried guinea pig, a local delicacy!
Favorite Bite to Eat in the Davidson Area: Davidson Ice House for dinner, Whit’s Frozen Custard for dessert!
Ben Sempowski '23
Hometown: Durham, NC
Minor: Neuroscience on a premedicine track
Extracurriculars: Junior Admissions Fellow, Infectious Disease Chair of the Health Justice Committee, Member of the Davidson Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research, Developmental Neurobiology Research, You’re Not A Stranger Here (YNASH) LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, Lighting and Scenic Designer with Department of Theatre
#WhyDavidson: I had the opportunity during my senior year of high school to come and do an overnight visit at Davidson and it was this experience that largely allowed me to realize that Davidson was the place for me. During that visit I was welcomed into the campus community and got to meet and interact with so many amazing students who were so eager to tell me about all the amazing things they do on campus and were so genuinely excited that I was considering coming to Davidson. They loved hearing about my interests and were always so excited to connect me with their friends or professors that had similar interests. I knew in that moment that if I were to come to Davidson, I would be welcomed into a kind, supportive community that would push me to become the best version of my self!
Fun Fact: I love to cook and am often the chef of my friend group; I even cooked a full four course meal for 12 people over parents weekend last year!
Favorite Bite to Eat in the Davidson Area: I love going out for brunch and getting classic eggs benedict from Toast!! You also can’t go wrong with a toasted turkey sandwich with voodoo chips from Pickled Peach!
Zach Villamin '22
Hometown: Baar, Switzerland
Extracurriculars: Senior Admissions Fellow, Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society Secretary, Research Mentor, Chemistry Lab Assistant, Residence Life Office
#WhyDavidson: I attended several international schools growing up and something that I valued at each of those institutions were the relationships I made with the students and teachers. As a result, I had a very intentional approach to my college search where I looked at a variety of schools that not only catered to my academic and extracurricular interests, but also embodied those values of community. In visiting Davidson, I found that all members of the community from the professors and administrators care about personal student development just as much as their academic.
Fun Fact: I grew up learning 5 languages
Favorite Bite to Eat in the Davidson Area: My favorite meal at Davidson is Sunday brunch at The Famous Toastery where I order the same thing each time I go: the Classic French Toast with a side of Candied Bacon.