PiA Fellow Facebook


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Manuela Zoninsein

Beijing, China

Manuela graduated from Harvard University in 2005 with an Honors degree in Social Studies (yeah yeah, the same thing you studied in 4th grade), where she convinced Harvard to pay for a 2-month trip to Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval to study dance (!?) for her thesis. Since then, she has been working as a Brand Planner at mcgarrybowen, New York’s largest independent ad agency, developing creative strategy for such hip brands as Chevron, JPMorganChase and the U.S. Olympic Committee. She’ll spend this summer writing for NYMag.com, The Wall Street Journal, and ImpactoWeekend while also working at the Council on Foreign Relations, undoing any hipster tendencies inculcated by living in the East Village. To ensure a spot on this one’s couch, come bearing baozi or be willing to teach Manuela to cook your host country’s national dish. Giddy-up.


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Michi Abe

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Michi Abe attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, but his home is in the Bay area, although his parents live in Tokyo. Evading any career oriented decisions, he is fleeing to Chiang Mai, Thailand where he will eat lots of food from street vendors and get his money’s worth for Hepatitis and Typhoid shots. Having a degree in Asian Studies and English & Comparative Literature he knows where Chiang Mai is and even how to spell it. He enjoys scuba diving, eating leftovers, and stretching after a nap. He is debating bringing cans of refried beans and New England clam chowder.

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Nick Alexsovich

Guangzhou, China

Nicholas Sean Alexsovich is going to Guangzhou to shall teach English and the brilliance of Southern pseudo-culture: Coca Cola, the Braves, Peaches, Allman brothers, "the ATL.," seersucker, steeplechases, ad infinitum. As a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Nick will herald a new age in cultural understanding as no other UNC grad has ever done (and without the Nike sponsorship--take that, Michael Jordan). Actually, the idea of "cultural understanding" is completely foreign to Nick, and he’s only interested in promoting the 18th Amendment--just because the U.S. of A. gave up doesn’t mean it’s too late for China). Basically, Nick’s ardor for General Tso’s chicken could no longer be contained by Panda Express.

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Steve Andrews

Beijing, China

When Steve’s not hiking the tallest mountain in Ethiopia, he’s schmoozing with the Kennedy’s in Addis Ababa. After a year interning with the IRC in Africa (through PiAf), he’s excited to return to China, his true love.

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Benjamin Applegate

Seoul, South Korea

Ben Applegate is originally from Burbank, CA, and he will graduate in June from Northwestern University with a degree in Political Science and International Studies. He spent his junior year abroad at the Stanford Japan Center in Kyoto, Japan, where he acquired a peculiar addiction to CC Lemon. In December, 2004, Ben went to Okinawa for a research project on Japanese domestic politics and development money. He also got some interesting liquor from the ex-governor. Ben is the reviews editor at the online animation news site, ToonZone.net. His dad is currently performing in The Producers in London, his mom is a Catholic liturgist, his sister’s a freshman at Northwestern and his little brother makes a mean chocolate souffle.

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Nick Barr

Vientiane, Laos

Nick Barr was a religion major focusing on Tibetan Buddhism at Columbia University, and spent the last seven and a half months working for a small travel company in New York. Nick studied in India and did a fair bit of traveling in Asia but has never been to Laos, and relishes the opportunity to delve into the Lao countryside. He is excited about the prospect of being the tallest kid on the basketball court, as well as the close proximity of his favorite tattoo artist in Bangkok. Nick gets along well with animals and small children and plans to make his apartment the home of the funkiest Saturday night super soul countdown this side of the Mekong, with special guest performances. Nick promised his mom to stay off motorcycles and managed to hide the scars from the last trip with some magic Thai juju potion, and still has some left over for you.

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Juliana Bennison

Fellow of the Fortnight

Manila, Philippines

PiA second year Juliana Bennison '05 was a History and East Asian Studies major at Princeton. She is thrilled to extend her stay for a second year in Manila and continue her work with Save the Children. She welcomes any PiA'ers to crash on her couch and come see the Philippines.  

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Alison Berliner

Bangkok, Thailand

Allison Berliner has terrible taste in television, and will watch absolutely anything, including reality programs spanning across at least 10 networks, which may sometimes feature the likes of Flava Flave and/or America’s next top chef. She hopes to break this addiction by traveling to Thailand, where life seems so vivid and interesting that she imagines TV will pale by comparison.

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Vasco Bilbao Bastida

Yakage, Japan

After growing in up in East LA, Vasco Bilbao-Bastida graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Government. Before he enters the world of finance, Vasco has decided to go to Japan to learn Japanese, gain cultural connaissance, and work with the most deadly of foes-children. From a large family himself, Vasco became a great-uncle last March when his oldest brother’s daughter had a daughter. Good times. When he isn’t riding mechanical bulls or listening to Rihanna’s S.O.S. on repeat, you can expect to find Vasco at the local karaoke bar, deciphering ancient Japanese texts, or off somewhere lost in translation. Vasco is psyched to be teaching in Yakage, and he can’t wait to visit and be visited by other PiAers.

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Will Boothby

Bangkok, Thailand

Will Boothby was a philosophy major at Princeton, graduating in 2006. Originally from New York, Will went to Groton School and played varsity squash at Princeton during his first two years. Although he visited China some 11 years ago he traces his real interest in Asia to his parents, who lived in Tokyo for 4 years before he was born. Will looks forward to spending the next year immersing himself in all things Thai, traveling as much as possible, and doing his best to explore the world beyond the Princeton playground. He’s extremely excited for the year ahead and looks forward to meeting his fellow PiA’ers.

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