Erin Crossett '11, a recent graduate of the University of Rochester, was selected as a 2011 Princeton in Asia (PiA) fellow. She was chosen from a national pool of applicants to spend 10 months in Vietnam, teaching English as a second language.
PiA, a non-profit organization affiliated with Princeton University, provides graduating seniors or recent graduates the opportunity to engage in service work throughout Asia. Each year, the organization sends nearly 160 fellows to 18 countries, including Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, among others. The program places students in positions in education, journalism, international development, and business fields.
"I've really developed an interest in learning more about Southeast Asia and Vietnam," said Crossett, who is a native of Pittsburg, Pa. "This fellowship provides me the opportunity to become immersed in the culture."
During her undergraduate career Crossett, who graduated with a degree in international relations and a minor in Arabic, has participated in several internships, taking her from Washington, D.C. to Amman, Jordan. In 2009, she worked for the Middle East Institute in D.C, helping to organize conferences and lectures that featured experts on the region. In spring 2010, she spent a semester abroad, taking courses at the University of Jordan and interning at People In Need, an NGO that provides relief aid and promotes awareness of human rights issues in southern Iraq. While there, she conducted research that identified development shortcomings in Iraq's disputed territories. Crossett also has the opportunity to serve as a media intern at the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordon in Washington, D.C., during the summer 2010. Working for the information bureau, she compiled press clippings about Jordan and researched trends taking place in the region.
A perennial Dean's List student, Crossett has spent the last year volunteering as a youth mentor through Compeer Rochester, a local non-profit that pairs mentors with children of incarcerated parents. Additionally, Crossett has been an active member of WRUR, Rochester's radio station.