PiA Fellow Facebook

2007-2008

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Max Jacobson

Dalian, China

Max is a math nerd who is trying really hard to gain social skills and the ability to tell stories. Forever scared of being boring and predictable, Max has shunned his corporate future in hopes of finding more adventure and better stories in Dalian. Max studied operations research with a concentration in Lebanese geography during his time at school, and hopes to explore exotic cheeses (editor’s note: good luck) and equally exotic places during his time in Asia.

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Caroline James

Bangkok, Thailand

Entering her PiA 2nd year, Caroline has enough Japanese-pop group names up her sleeve to convince naive students that she’s hip. It’s true that in teaching, you learn more from your students than they learn from you. The meaning of life IS embedded in the lyrics of “Shanghai Honey…” or in the space between the lines. Alas, while she is wistful to leave her Jr. High munchkins, she is pumped is for the new adventure in Bangkok at KEEN publishing. She’ll trade the quiet of the rice paddies and the Japanese simplicity for the buzz of the traffic and the bright and glittery colors in Bangkok. As she’s writing this blurb, Caroline is increasing her stamina for Bangkok by making visits to “Pachinko,” or the Japanese gambling halls, where deafening noise creates silence and blinding lights beget bliss.

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Caitlin Kelly

Dalian, China

Caitlin has spent the past four years of her life curbing world hunger and effecting world peace while studying International Politics at Georgetown University. Occasionally, to kick back from these stressful, consuming pursuits Caitlin enjoys working out with friends--she has been known to run marathons, row on the Potomac with the Georgetown crew team, and dance like her name is Shakira. While Dalian is a far cry from her native Pittsburgh, Caitlin hopes that the Yellow Sea will remind her of the three rivers, making this Chinese tourist destination slightly reminiscent of her beloved ‘Burgh.

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Meredith Kleiner

Khon Kaen, Thailand

Meredith is excited to be teaching in Khon Kaen this year. A lover of the outdoors, she hopes to use her experience guiding Princeton Freshman through the woods to help guide her Thai students over the rough terrain of the English language. An English major, Meredith also likes metaphors. She can’t wait to fall in love with Thailand and travel all over Asia. She hopes these experiences will finally provide her with a response to all those clever people who ask “What the hell do you do with an English degree?”

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Judith Le

Hanoi, Vietnam

Judith Le is a pesca-vegetarian from Sacramento, CA. After spendingfour years at NYU, where she studied history, sociology, and AsianPacific America studies, Judith moved to yuppie Brooklyn with somefriends and got a job doing human rights work at a philanthropic level.Despite her sadness at having to leave her book club, B-Unit, Judith islooking forward to moving to Hanoi, Vietnam (aka the Motherland) andassisting in communications work for TRAFFIC—the wildlife trademonitoring network.

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Jacqueline Leahy

Kunming, China

Jacqueline really hopes that her post in Kunming, China will come through soon. She has been in rural Hunan teaching for the last year. She is a champion fencer, an incredible teacher, and is learning to cook creatively in China.

Ben Lennertz

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ben will be graduating from Vassar College with a degree in math and philosophy and with no skills, unless you count yapping about Ludwig Wittgenstein as a skill. His mom told him that English was a skill. He was skeptical - as are many philosophers - but someone in Asia with a not so generous endowment of Thai Baht agreed. Ben will be teaching (another skill he doesn’t possess) English in Chiang Mai. Ben now knows where Thailand is. He hopes to learn something else about Asia while he is there.

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Mary Lewine

Taichung, Taiwan

Mary is a Chinese & Asian Studies major at Vassar. She first started learning Chinese because it seemed like the heftiest windmill at which she could possibly lunge. While she is still failing miserably at the endeavor, all sorts of passions for the Far East have sprung up in the meantime. She moves to Taiwan in eager anticipation of finally whipping her Mandarin into shape and can’t wait to learn the names of her 200 million students. With any luck Taiwanese pop will lure her away from her music snobbery (a foible solidified, alas, by her stint as a WVKR deejay), and she hopes to take many trips involving extremely long train rides.

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Katie Matlack

Bangkok, Thailand

In July of 2006, Katie moved to Hanoi to work for the World Conservation Union. One year later, she is a proficient newsletter-story-writer (British Englishisms aside) and can also explain to anyone who is interested how to promote turtle conservation by dancing to karaoke music around a bonfire. When she moves to Bangkok for a post at International Consultants, Europe, she will surely miss Hanoi’s cafŽ sua da and the little boy on her street who runs into her house every time she unlocks the door. It will be some consolation to her, however, that she won’t have to break off her torrid affair with sticky rice just yet. A proven expert in Driving Up Waterfalls, while in Thailand Katie hopes to travel frequently, laugh often, and continue to learn from and about our human race.

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Erica McGibbon

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Erica is ever grateful to PiA for saving her from her awfully predictable post-grad plans for law school or a boring job in NYC. She will be teaching for the next year at The Prince Royal’s College. Erica will be also dedicating herself to a one-woman mission to bring Asia’s latest dance moves to the western hemisphere. Upon graduating, she will be leaving behind a legacy at Princeton as a respected contortionist in training and a highly skilled procrastinator. Erica currently holds the crown for the tallest PiAer under 5’1’’ and after four years of college, is understanding the difference between knowledge and wisdom. “One helps you build a career the other helps you build a life.” She is excited to be spending the next year in Thailand doing the latter.

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