PiA Fellow Facebook


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Zachary Schweitzer

Yangon, Myanmar

Tufts University '15
Major in International Relations
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Zach is a spicy boi (give it a quick google) who likes Southeast Asia enough to have been living here for the last 16 months, despite the fact that his stomach can't weather a fully-chilied papaya salad. Two truths and a lie: I'm a fully licensed yoga instructor, I can speak four languages, and I once saw Toby Leaman freak out at a Starbucks barista for spelling his name "Toebe."

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Samantha Serafica

Hanoi, Vietnam

University of California, Berkeley '14
Major in Rhetoric
Hometown: San Francisco, CA

After three years in DC, Samantha was ready to move back west to her beloved SF Bay Area. However, the universe had other plans, and she is moving even farther east to Vietnam for a year of learning, laughing, and really great food. (She'll circle the globe back to California...eventually!) She is hella excited to explore Hanoi, learn Vietnamese, and visit fellow PIAers wherever they may be. As former captain of her high school golf team, she also hopes to squeeze in a round or two in her free time. Hit her up!

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Eaman Shire

Jishou, China

Princeton University '18
Major in Sociology
Hometown: Woodbury, MN

This is Eaman's first trip to China, and she is excited yet she doesn't know what to expect. At Princeton, she does improv comedy, so she thinks she's really funny. Unfortunately that's not true, and she apologizes in advance to her trip-mates.

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Clayton Shuttleworth

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Northwestern University '16
Major in Performance Studies
Hometown: Overland Park, KS

Clayton's friends in Chiang Mai love to remind him that he thinks too much. Little do they know, when he's not studying Thai or reading up on queer theory, he's likely binge-watching Netflix. Eventually, he hopes to go on to get his PhD in Performance Studies and do research forever. Until then, he is trying to become conversationally fluent in Thai and is almost done with season two of Sense8.

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Matthew Silberman

Seoul, South Korea

Princeton University ‘17
Major in Philosophy
Hometown: Lincolnwood, IL

Matthew is relieved to have finally found his dad-joke-cracking kin as a Princeton in Asia fellow…or should he say, Punceton in Asia? He’s still figuring out his long-term Korea trajectory, but for now he’s happy to be Incheon along his path. Luckily, his parents also have his back, recently telling him, “We’re proud of Bu, san.” Matthew can’t wait to spend the Hongdae, every day warming his Seoul with delicious Korean cuisine — he’ll Itaewon place, then try another, and then another…Gangnam-nom-nom! It’s Goyang to be quite the adventure! Whew, okay…I’m Jeonju quit while I’m ahead.

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Dylan Simmons

Shenyang, China

Stanford University '17
Major in Community Health and Prevention Research, and Sociology and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Hometown: Dallas, TX

Dylan is so excited to return to the country where he was born! When he isn't crocheting lumpy hats or watching Steven Universe, he spends time cooking Texan cuisine, trying to read the Twilight books in Chinese (Harry Potter was too hard), and sharing pictures of his cat Glenys. He is passionate about Asian office supplies and can't wait to visit Shenyang's stationery market (and other PiA fellows all over Asia)!

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Catherine Song

Jishou, China

Princeton University '20
Major in Civil and Environmental Engineering
Hometown: Canton, MA

Catherine, or "Cat" for short, can't wait to travel back to China (the land of good food and even better conversation!) When she's not studying, you can most likely find her running, baking chocolate chip cookies, trying to make sustainability cool, or eating too many bagels at the dining hall.

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Jake Speirs

Macau, Macao S.A.R., China

Macalester College '16
Major in International Studies and Chinese Language & Culture
Hometown: Cottage Grove, MN

In the mere year since my graduation from the wonderful little liberal snowflake that is Macalester College, I have bounced between no less than three jobs. I’ve decided it’s finally time to flee the country and hold down a position that actually utilizes my skills and passions. In addition to teaching my students how to pronounce their vowels with a Minnesotan inflection, I hope to learn enough of Macau’s four languages to at least order a beer and make a few friends. Two down, two to go!

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Robin Spiess

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Princeton University '17
Major in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Hometown: Lacombe, LA

Robin is a big fan of all sorts of cuisine and human rights activism. As a lover of good food, she's pumped to be in Cambodia soon! As a lover of the written word, she's beyond excited to be writing for the English newspaper, the Phnom Penh Post, this upcoming year.

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Allison Staumont

Vientiane, Laos

University of La Verne '17
Major in International Studies and Law
Hometown: La Habra Heights, CA

Allison is a music loving LA native, documentary aficionado, and aspiring lawyer hoping to eat her way through Asia. She is ready for the adventures and bad hair days Laos has promised to deliver.

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