Students Chosen for 2014 "Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative"
The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University is pleased to announce its selection of the 2014 cohort of the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI). Established in 2006, SINSI is designed to encourage, support and prepare the nation’s top students to pursue careers in the U.S. federal government, in both international and domestic agencies. The goal of the highly competitive scholarship program is to provide the rigorous academic preparation, language skills and workplace skills needed to succeed and make a difference in the public policy arena.
Sean Andrew Chen of Martinsville, New Jersey, an Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar, is the Class of 2014 Frederick P. Hitz ’61 Scholar in the Nation’s Service. Sean began his Princeton career at the School of Architecture but, after a leave of absence to attend the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London, returned as a Woodrow Wilson School concentrator with certificates in environmental and urban studies. Sean had previously studied music at The Juilliard School before attending Princeton, where he is now a member of the Princeton University Orchestra. This past summer Sean wrote for the Philadelphia-based urban affairs magazine Next American City. For the summer of 2011, Sean received a Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award with which he pursued a photojournalism project centered on contemporary American identity. His key interests are in the idea of place – specifically urban planning, land use, transportation and infrastructure.
Alexandra Kasdin, of Princeton, New Jersey, is a junior in the ecology and evolutionary biology department and the Program in Environmental Studies at Princeton. She focuses her academic studies on conservation biology and environmental policy. Originally inspired by her first grade teacher and an obsession with penguins, conservation of biodiversity has been Alex’s passion for nearly all her life. She has focused her volunteer and internship experiences on environmental preservation; she worked in the Philadelphia Zoo education department for over two years while in high school, helped a Mayan community develop sustainable farming practices with the American Jewish World Service in the spring of 2011, taught conservation biology to primary school children in Kenya in the summer of 2011, and interned at the non-profit Climate Central in the summer of 20121. As the Class of 2014 Gilbert S. Omenn ’61 and Martha A. Darling *70 Scholar, Alex hopes to promote endangered wildlife conservation through service in the federal government.
Kristen Kruger, of Calabasas, California, is a politics major with a concentration in American politics. Her main focus is domestic education policy, particularly in regards to elementary and secondary education, teacher development, and charter school policy. The Class of 2014 Tom A. and Andrea E. Bernstein ’80 Scholar, Kristen has spent much of her time at Princeton involved in efforts to close the racial and socioeconomic achievement gap in urban public schools. She is the head project coordinator for a curriculum-based tutoring program at a public middle school in Trenton, NJ, and spent the summer of 2012 working as an operations intern for a charter school network in Newark. Kristen also has interests in constitutional law and the criminal justice system, particularly as they relate to the problems surrounding the achievement gap.
Elizabeth J. Martin is a Woodrow Wilson School major from Lewisville, North Carolina, pursuing a certificate in South Asian studies. An alumna of the Princeton University Bridge Year Program, Lizzie spent nine months in northern India before her freshman year. During that time, she did service work with an organization that provides rehabilitation, education and vocational training to people affected primarily by polio, cerebral palsy or hearing impairment. In the summer of 2011, she returned to India for an internship with a system of orphanages in and around New Delhi. Lizzie has also worked as a public relations coordinator for an organization that combats human trafficking across the border between India and Nepal and as an intern with a literary agency in New York. Closer to home, Lizzie has served as a teaching assistant and counselor at the North Carolina Governor’s School. Her primary academic focus at Princeton is international development and she is particularly interested in questions of inequality, education and ethnic violence in South Asia. The Class of 2014 Frank C. Carlucci ’52 Scholar, Lizzie works on campus as a residential college adviser and member of the college council in Whitman College, and she is the editor-in-chief of the Nassau Literary Review.
Alisa Tiwari of Chevy Chase, Maryland, is a Woodrow Wilson School major and a certificate candidate in African American studies and urban studies. The Class of 2014 James D. Zirin Class of ’61 and Marlene Hess Scholar in the Nation’s Service, Alisa is interested in promoting social justice, with a focus on civil rights issues, community and economic development and democratic studies. On campus, she serves as a public health adviser, a community service trip leader, vice president of the South Asian Students Association, staff writer for Voices of Change magazine and the executive editor of Business Today magazine. She previously interned at the White House office of Cabinet Affairs, facilitating coordination between cabinet members and the White House; the office of U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (CO), where she analyzed legislative issues; and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, studying civil inequities and the challenges within the American criminal justice system.
SINSI recruits Princeton undergraduates from a broad range of academic backgrounds – not only from the Woodrow Wilson School but also concentrations as diverse as astrophysics, engineering, chemistry, molecular biology, English, politics, and Near East, East Asian, and Latin American studies.