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Chris McLaughlin

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Chris has spent the last couple of years summering in Iraq and wintering in Afghanistan. He can’t wait to live and work in Vietnam, a foreign location where body armor is no longer in fashion. After finishing Princeton in 2001, he moved to Costa Rica, taught English and made a valiant but failed attempt at becoming a surfer. Eventually, he decided to put his Comparative Literature skills to use and joined the US Air Force. Chris is very excited about this amazing opportunity in Ho Chi Minh City, but is having difficulty right now writing about himself in the third person.

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Greer Meisels

Beijing, China

Greer has been told by her fellow PiAers that she doesn’t look as old as she is, and at the ripe old age of 31, she’s happy to hear it. After spending time in the private sector and two and a half years in the think tank world, she is excited to have this year in China to “do” instead of only to “think.” She has an unwholesome love of MTV and VH1 reality shows, the Der Blaue Reiter movement, everything ever written by Italo Calvino, and a perfectly dry martini. She has studied Mandarin for three years but still freezes up when giving directions to a taxi driver and hopes a year in Beijing will cure her of this phobia. Last, but certainly not least, she is leaving her husband, Brian, behind in Brooklyn. And yes, before you ask, he is the most supportive man in the world.

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Katya Melkote

Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China

Katya Melkote is an ‘05 graduate of the University of Michigan and a recent alumna of Teach for America in which she taught high school history in Brooklyn.  Katya looks forward to teaching in Hong Kong where she will hopefully no longer have to clarify to her students that she is Indian and not Native American (dots, not feathers!) and also looks forward to the mountain of dumplings she will consume on a daily basis.

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Meghan Morrissey

Wuhan, China

Meghan Morrissey graduated from Hamilton College, class of 2007, majoring in Asian studies with a minor in education studies. Her thesis involves reform policies in Chinese higher education. Meghan likes: China, small books (usually in red), the vow of the Bodhisattva, Saturday night pizza, Nashville Skyline, and teatime. Meghan dislikes: negative Orientalism, alarm clocks (usually in red), Saturday night fever, and Steven Seagal. Meghan is originally from Concord, Massachusetts and aspires to impart her transcendentalist thinking onto the Chinese students of Wuhan University of Technology.

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Paul Mozur

Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China

Paul was raised in suburban Philadelphia, and in spite of his undying love for all things Pennsylvania, has always had a flair for that which lies outside of the Keystone State. It was this flair that led him to attend Dartmouth, study Chinese art and history, and ultimately travel to Beijing to begin the long journey to Mandarin fluency. Fatigued and humbled by the hardships of his linguistic crusade, Paul took a hiatus from all things Asian after graduating in ‘06, and has spent the past year hiking, exploring, and working any job he found appealing. Refreshed and with a newfound passion for journalism, Paul is thrilled to be heading to Hong Kong to work at FEER for the year. He intends to find a charmingly squalid garret above a noodle restaurant in Hong Kong and extends a warm invitation to any PiAers who want to stay on his hopefully not so squalid couch.

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Jeffrey Noethlich

Chiba, Japan

Noethlich Sensei hails from the itty bitty Swedish school of Augustana College. There he learned about entomology, exchange rates, and En. Unfortunately, all that really transpired was that Jeffrey just became more and more confused about what he wants to do in life. However, one thing is pure hard fact; Jeff (or Mr. Omanju to his campers in Zushi) loves to work with kids and kids in Japan in particular. Utilizing his six-year old mindset, he refuses to allow children to live their lives without belting out the “Missouri Milk Song” or some “Freeze Dance.” Aside from desiring to be pathetically tired at the end of the day, Jeff wishes to continue to fence, learn a tid bit of Shin Kendo, and study the mysterious ways of the Iron Chef.

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Dan O'Connor

Singapore, Singapore

Also cannot, lah

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Elena Olivi

Vientiane, Laos

There are a number of things that may bode poorly for Elena during her stay in Vientiane, Laos. She aggressively scoffs at Midwestern cubicle office life where people don cheesy ties with snowmen on surfboards wearing sunglasses to “express themselves,” only to find out that PSI-Laos has a “casual Fridays” policy which is almost as funny. She also regularly struggles to walk properly, but finds it exponentially (or maybe just geometrically, but certainly more than arithmetically) more difficult to do so in a skirt. However, she can do a mean air-guitar.

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Michael Parks

Taichung, Taiwan

Though currently sleeping on a futon in San Francisco, Michael hails from West Texas, which means his friends think he talks about where he is from way too much. He is also a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and loves, amongst other things, adventure, animals, and good fiction. Heading into his experience in Taiwan, Michael knows little more than that the island is regularly described as being shaped like a “sweet potato.” This is quite enough. He’s excited, super excited, and then some. He looks forward to being mind-boggled by his students and new home, and is grateful to PiA for giving him such an awesome opportunity.

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Catherine Peff

Rach Gia, Vietnam

Growing up in Philadelphia and attending Princeton University, Catherine has been complaining about the heat and humidity of east coast summers for years. So you can imagine the shock when family and friends learned she would be moving to southern Vietnam. Catherine was an anthropology major at Princeton and also earned an associates degree from the Culinary Institute of America. A self-proclaimed foodie, she can’t wait to sample Vietnamese cuisine and visit some of the places she has seen in the pages of National Geographic. She’s looking forward to meeting new people, new cultures, and new experiences…all without giving up dark chocolate.

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