PiA Fellow Facebook


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Zach Schweitzer

Vientiane, Laos
Tufts University, ‘15
Major in International Relations
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Zach is an avid squash player and guitarist and tries to go camping or on road trips as often as possible. He spent the past fall and winter working in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and now lives in Philadelphia. He’s excited to move to learn Lao, navigate urban South East Asian traffic, and meet many fel- low PiA-ers this upcoming year!

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Simon (FC) Shieh

Beijing, China
San Diego State University ‘15
Major in Literature
Hometown: Hyde Park, NY
Simon loves teaching English, writing poetry, reading, clean air, taking public busses around Beijing, and eating good food.
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Clayton Shuttleworth

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Northwestern University ‘16
Major in Performance Studies
Hometown: Overland Park, KS
Clayton does research on intimacy and the human body as revealed through performance art. Be careful about bringing it up around him, though, because he can talk forever when he’s nerding out. When he’s not reading or theorizing about bodies, he’s an avid runner and an aspiring performance artist. He’s been living just outside Chicago for the past four years, but he’s looking forward to a change of scenery (and cuisine) next year in Thailand.
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Emily Skovran

Phang Nga, Thailand
University of Wisconsin-Madison ‘16
Major: Economics and International Studies
Hometown: Lakeville, MN
Having never been to Asia before, Emily is beyond excited to begin her adventure in Phang Nga, Thailand. She can’t wait to experience the incredible *spicy* food, soak in the endless sun and humidity, and meet so many cool friends along the way. A Minnesotan at heart, Emily is well accustomed to avoiding conflict (Minnesota nice, eh?) which she is told will work to her favor when dealing with the crazy situations that are bound to arise in Thailand. She can’t wait to meet her students and begin her PiA journey come June!
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Joanna Sobolewska

Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Princeton University ‘16
Major in Public and International Affairs
Hometown: Lawrenceville, NJ

Joanna enjoys consuming Flaming Hot Cheetos until it burns, resulting in a spicy dance to distract away from the pain. She is currently spending her senior spring through failed attempts at yoga, serious binge-watching of How I Met Your Mother, and endlessly hoping that the sun will come out in Princeton, NJ. She cannot wait to start her posi- tion at the Asia Business Council and her yearlong adventure in Hong Kong!

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Ashton Strait

Yangon, Myanmar
Brown University ‘14
Majors in Chemistry and Anthropology
Hometown: Park City, UT

Ashton work in Utah’s thriving (really!) Biotech scene, developing fast molecular diagnostics for infectious disease. She is beyond excited to move to Yangon next year to work on malaria elimination in the greater Mekong sub-region with PSI.

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Lena Sun

Singapore, Singapore
Princeton University ’16
Major: Economics, Global Health and Health Policy
Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD
Where we’re going, we won’t need no stinkin’ radiators.
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Megan Szurgot

Vi Thanh, Vietnam
Georgetown University ‘16
Major: Biology of Global Health
Hometown: Chicago, IL
While at Georgetown Megan became interested in a mixture of biology, education, and public health- related topics... where this will lead her in the future? She’s still figuring that out but is sure spending a year teaching English in Vi Thanh is the right step on that road. She’s excited to engage with the community, improve her teaching skills, and of course eat mountains of dumplings, bucketfuls of pho, and try every new food she comes across.
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Cat Ta

Vientiane, Laos
La Salle University ‘14
Major in Health Studies
Hometown: Philly, PA

In (south) West Philadelphia born and raised in Vientiane
is where she’ll spend 365 days. Catalina, yes, as in “The F-in Catalina Wine Mixer” (she gets paid a finders fee every time Stepbrothers is bought on iTunes), is ready to embark on her adventure to Paradise Laos. She vows to stay upbeat, never say never to new opportunities, challenge her students and to not get laos-y in class. She is excited for the ups and even the downs- cause’ hey you win some you Laos some.

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Joyce Tang

Beijing, China
American University ‘15
Major in International Studies
Hometown: Queens, NY
Ever since studying abroad in China in Fall 2014, Joyce has been itching to go back! She’s so excited and grateful for the opportunity to work at an environmental NGO in Beijing, and to backpack the beautiful sites across the country. A bit clumsy but always adventurous, she is ready to reconnect with the lush sights and warm souls with some pit stops for hard-to-find coffee in between.
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