PiA Fellow Facebook


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Phil Baumgart

Beijing, China
Columbia University '12 
Major in English 
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
One year in the Middle Kingdom with PiA just wasn't enough. For Round 2, Phil is relocating to the capital where he'll enthusiastically resume teaching and (perhaps slightly less enthusiastically) continue the woefully uphill battle that is learning Mandarin Chinese. Aside from gastrointestinal harmony, aspirations for the coming year include: 
1. A visit (finally!) to that one Chinese wall everyone's talking about
2. Eating all of the Beijing roast duck
3. Owning the most technologically advanced smog mask known to man
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Maddie Bavley

Phang Nga, Thailand
Columbia University '15
Major in Hispanic Studies with a focus in Anthropology 
Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri
After spending the past four years immersed in the Hispanophone world, Maddie is beyond excited to head to Phang Nga, Thailand. She is eager to shape some fresh noodles as the fried noodles shape her. And when she's not teaching or eating, Maddie plans to snorkel and dive her way around the peninsula, becoming one with her spirit animal - a torquoise mermaid. 
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Brian Bell

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
 Princeton University ‘15
Major in Computer Science
Hometown: Ponte Verde Beach, Florida
Just a boy in the world. 
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Cliff Bersani

Beijing, China

Princeton University '15

Major in Philosophy

Hometown: Hong Kong, S.A.R.

The prodigal son returns to Beijing to promote microfinance in rural China. Having spent a year in Beijing on a home stay program during high school, Cliff could not be more excited about returning to the city. Cliff is a fluent Chinese speaker and well-versed in Chinese culture thanks to the 16 years he spent living in Hong Kong. The most exciting thing about the post is the opportunity to travel all over rural China. Cliff is fei chang excited!

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Sonya Bhan

Vientiane, Laos
University of Pennsylvania '14
Majors in Political Science and South Asia Studies, minor in International Development
Hometown: New Delhi, India/Milford, Connecticut
Sonya is extremely excited to embark on a life of sinh during her year in Laos. Growing up in India, a tropical baby at heart, she is looking forward to the warm, balmy weather and lots of spicy food! She can't wait to learn more about the local culture & language in Laos and anticipates spending an obscene amount of her salary on traveling around the region {fellow PiAers, consider this a heads-up!}. Sonya loves to cook, and is also a budding photographer, an outdoor adventure sports junkie and a self-proclaimed foodie - she can't stress enough how happy she is to be heading to the land of exotic fruits. Moreover, she has an unhealthy and a dangerous obsession for dumplings and is so excited to be in dumpling heaven super soon! Sonya's couch will be open for business upon arrival in Vientiane and she is beyond thrilled to be a part of the PiA family and to have the opportunity to go on this amazing adveture of a lifetime. 
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Sam Bresnick

Fellow of the Fortnight

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Brown University '15
Major in Comparative Literature 
Hometown: New York, New York
Sam is very excited to be moving to Chiang Mai. He is looking forward to the teaching as much as he is to the eating. An avid foodie, Sam plans on sampling Thailand's tastiest treats (as well as all the off-brand Pepto he can get his hands on). After studying literature for four years, Sam can't wait to not have to write papers anymore. But he's excited to assign them!
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Marcus Budline

Khon Kaen, Thailand
Tufts University '15
Major in English
Hometown: Princeton, New Jersey
Marcus is a soon-to-be graduated English major from Tufts University. Originally from Princeton, Marcus has traveled beforein the form of a semester off from school where he WWOOFed in Italy and Norway and found himself invited to the wedding of some people he met at a bar. Throughout his time at Tufts, Marcus coordinated a 300-person community service-based orientation program, ran on the Tufts Marathon Team and was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity. He's never been to Asia before, but cannot wait to eat so much and travel so much and try his hand at learning his first tonal language. 
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Nicole Byl

Chiang Rai, Thailand
Princeton University '15
Major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
It's been a while, since Nicki Byl, was able to freestyle 
coming at you fresh, Orientation sesh, 20fifteen dreamteam serene,
ridin supreme, live from the scene, eating some mean greens and mangosteens, 
like a the laserbeam struck on a bream,
that's a fishing word. Ya heard?
Freestyle. Byl Out. 
Don't pout. 
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Brenna Cameron

Nan, Thailand
University of Puget Sound '14
Major in Cellular and Molecular Biology
Hometown: Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Greetings! My name is Brenna and I am super stoked to be returning to Nan for a second year. Last year brought some wild and crazy adventures (including winning an Asian themed beauty pageant dressed as a Philippine princess) and I can't wait to see what awaits me this year. After two months back home in the States, I'm ready to experience some more bus routes that make my stomach queazy, seeing elephants on the side of a country road, teaching kids how to dance and sing to Justin Bieber, and feeling like a celebrity being pulled into every picture moment imaginable. I'm looking forward to sticky rice rolled between my fingers, spicy curries that make my tongue fall off, mystery meals I later find out his shrimp poop, and eating my heart out on a bamboo mat with a 2000 yeat old temple in the background. Nan makes me come alive and I can't wait to return to the students who have become my children, coworkers who have beome like family, and a country that now strangely feels like home. 
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Kate Campbell

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The University of the South '14 
Major in Biology 
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Kate is combing off a great year with PSI in Bangcat and is excited to explore Phnom Purr!! She is excated about 12 more meownths of couch scratching and exploration, getting to know all the new felines and discovering a new kitty!
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