Twelve Princeton University Students Named to Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative

Feb 11 2019
By Sarah M. Binder
Source Woodrow Wilson School

Twelve students at Princeton University have been selected for the 2019 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. Through rigorous academic training integrated with work experience, the goal of the highly competitive scholarship program is to provide students with the language and workplace skills needed to succeed in the public policy arena.

Princeton seniors and first-year Master in Public Affairs students were invited to apply for the graduate scholarship; four graduate scholars were admitted from the applicant pool. The SINSI graduate program consists of two parts, a two-year MPA program with a full scholarship for tuition and living expenses at the Woodrow Wilson School, and a two-year SINSI fellowship with an executive branch department or agency — usually placed between the first and second year of the MPA program.

In addition, all sophomores and juniors were invited to apply for SINSI internships; eight students were selected to receive funding for 8- to 10-week summer internships with the federal government.

"The selection committee was impressed by the talent, the range of interest in different parts of the federal government, and the breadth of campus majors in this year's SINSI applicant pool," said co-directors Rick Barton and Kit Lunney. "We are delighted with the commitment to federal service that Princeton students continue to exhibit. Through these fellowships and internships, the SINSI scholars are able to make significant contributions to the departments and agencies where they will work."

2019 SINSI Graduate Scholars:

Maya Aronoff ’19, of Mason, Michigan, is a senior in the Woodrow Wilson School and is pursuing a certificate in the History and Practice of Diplomacy. Aronoff has worked for Princeton Tutoring and as a Whitman Residential College Adviser, and spent her freshman summer teaching ninth grade English and public speaking with Breakthrough Miami. Her current extracurricular activities include captaining Princeton Mock Trial as a lawyer and a witness.  

Aronoff has focused on immigration, gender-based violence, and human rights, and intends to supplement her internationally focused undergraduate experience with a domestic policy-focused master’s education to continue working on these problems across and within borders. In summer 2017, Aronoff interned with the Organization of Refuge Asylum and Migration and the Eritrean Women's Center in Tel Aviv, Israel. Her work there contributed to her current thesis research on the international and domestic factors influencing changes in Israel's policies towards African asylum-seekers. Throughout 2017 and 2018, Aronoff worked weekly with the New York City Anti-Violence Project to provide holistic legal representation for LGBT asylum seekers and refugees. Aronoff interned this past summer as a Guggenheim Fellow with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, assisting with case preparation and investigation. She intends to pursue a joint MPA/J.D. degree and become a practicing attorney before entering the policymaking arena.

Julia Herrle ’19 MPA '23, of Wexford, Pennsylvania, is a senior in the Woodrow Wilson School pursuing certificates in Environmental Studies and in Values and Public Life. She is passionate about improving global food security and is particularly interested in the relationships between food insecurity and conflict and between agriculture, climate change, and environmental degradation. In summer 2018, as the SINSI Intern Class of 2018 Frank C. Carlucci ’52 Scholar, Herrle worked in the Secretary’s Office of Global Food Security at the U.S. Department of State. The previous summer, she interned at Bioversity International in Nepal, conducting research on improving resiliency of agriculture in Himalayan villages. In summer 2016, Herrle taught English in Paris, France. Herrle is a recipient of the R.W. van de Velde award for outstanding junior independent work. On campus, she is involved in the Pace Center for Civic Engagement as a project leader and mentor for Community House Big Sibs and as a project leader for Meals on Wheels. She works as a supervisor for TigerCall in the Office of Annual Giving, is involved in Princeton Women in Economics and Policy, and led first-year orientation trips with Outdoor Action.

Jared Lockwood ’19, of Hallsville, Missouri, will graduate in June from Princeton’s politics department with a certificate in Japanese Language and Culture. Lockwood has been involved in various leadership positions on campus, including as a residential college adviser in Rockefeller College, a head fellow with the Scholars Institute Fellows Program for first-generation and/or low-income students, president of the Princeton University Quiz Bowl Club, and as an officer in the Princeton Quadrangle Club. His academic interests as an undergraduate have included security policy, Japanese foreign policy, and the international relations of East and Southeast Asia. In summer 2017, Lockwood travelled internationally for the first time to Cambodia, where he helped design and lead a summer camp focusing on STEM and English education for promising students from all across the country. He returned to Asia in 2018 as Princeton in Asia’s Osawa Fellow and spent that summer refining his understanding of Japanese language and culture while teaching English to employees at several companies in Tokyo. As a SINSI scholar, Lockwood hopes to further expand his understanding of the world to help prepare him for a career in diplomacy and international development.

Parker Wild ’19 MPA '23, of Brunswick, Maine, will graduate in June from Princeton’s computer science department with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. He is the Class of 2018 Terrence A. Elkes Graduate Scholar in the Nation’s Service. Alongside his work in computer systems, Wild developed a passion for international affairs and renewable energy. He is particularly interested in studying information security and foreign policy at the Woodrow Wilson School. As an undergraduate, Wild designed an application that strengthens electoral accountability by enabling constituents to easily contact their representatives, as well as a tool that identified competitive districts in the 2018 midterm elections. His thesis, a distributed application for peer-to-peer energy trading, promotes a cleaner, more reliable electricity grid by incentivizing customers to invest in renewable energy technology. During summer 2018, he developed firmware for Hearth Labs, a startup focused on reducing HVAC energy consumption.

In 2017, Wild received the Martin A. Dale ’53 Award. As a junior, he studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics in Scotland. He was a member of Princeton’s Sustainable Engineering and Development Scholars (SEADS) and the Princeton University Cycling Team. He also managed Outdoor Action’s climbing wall and is certified by the American Mountain Guide Association as an instructor.

2019 SINSI Interns:

Adam Beasley ’20, from Dallas, Texas, is concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School and pursuing a certificate in Urban Studies. During summer 2017, Beasley, class of 2019 Frederick P. Hitz ’61 Scholar, served as a John C. Bogle ’51 Fellow in Civic Service and partnered with a nonprofit in Dallas to produce an awareness campaign documenting poverty and how it affects many who live in northern Texas. This past summer, Beasley worked with Community Access in New York City, an organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for people living with mental health concerns through affordable housing, training, and advocacy. On campus, Beasley is a mentor and the head of operations for Community House Big Sibs, a program that aims to foster relationships between local elementary school students and Princeton undergraduate mentors, with the broader goal of working to close Princeton’s minority achievement gap. He serves as a peer educator, helping facilitate panel discussions around LGBTQIA topics for first-year students, and in the Pace Junior Fellows program, a service-focused faculty and student cohort. Beasley also works as a freelance graphic designer and is the former director of design for the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club.

Leora Eisenberg ’20, from Eagan, Minnesota, is concentrating in Slavic Languages and Literatures, focusing on Soviet and post-Soviet Central Asia, and is pursuing certificates in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies and Persian Language and Literature. Leora is the Class of 2018 Dean's Scholar in the Nation's Service and is passionate about Soviet history and post-Soviet development in Central Asia, where she spent summer 2017 learning Farsi and Tajiki in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. State Department and summer 2018 interning at the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan on a Streicker International Fellowship. She is deeply involved in Princeton's Jewish community and sings for Koleinu, Princeton's Jewish a cappella group. She will be studying at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow in spring 2019.

Micaela Keller ’20, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a politics concentrator pursuing certificates in African American Studies and History and the Practice of Diplomacy. Micaela is the Class of 2019 Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin ’61 Scholar. She is passionate about fighting for equal representation and political opportunity for all American citizens. She studied abroad at la Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she took courses in Spanish and volunteered with a local rehabilitative sustainable farming project. She spent summer 2018 back on campus working with Princeton University Preparatory Program, an intensive college preparation program for low-income high school students in the Mercer County area. While on campus, she works as a Princeton Writing Center fellow to help other students with their academic writing and serves on Center’s outreach committee to better tailor the writing program’s resources to the University’s needs. She has been a coxswain on the men’s heavyweight rowing team throughout her time here, and has remained committed to staying involved with campus organizations and activities.

Hugo Myron ’20, from Daly City, California, is a politics concentrator pursuing dual certificates in American Studies and in Latino Studies. As the Class of 2019 Tom A. and Andrea E. Bernstein ’80 Scholar, his interests lie in the intersection between educational disparities, race, and the government’s role in facilitating educational equality, as well as in the criminal justice system and representation for underrepresented minority communities. Myron’s activities on and off campus and his class work have increased his passion for making sure that all communities have fair and equal access to education. On campus, Myron has focused his coursework on American politics, public policy, inequality, and race. He is a committee member of the Association of Latinx Activism and Service and the Princeton DREAM Team, which primarily focus on educational and health initiatives for minority community members in Princeton and beyond. He also works with the Princeton Office of Disability Services as a thesis reader and research assistant and with Princeton TigerCall. He also is a member of the American Studies Student Advisory Council.

Gabriela Oseguera Serra ’20, of Galloway, New Jersey, is a politics concentrator focusing on international relations. As the class of 2019 Gilbert S. Omenn '61 and Martha A. Darling MPA '70 scholar, she is pursuing a certificate in Global Health and Health Policy (GHP). In summer 2017, Oseguera was the recipient of the John C. Bogle ’51 fellowship, which enabled her to work for the nonprofit environmental organization Climate Central. Oseguera also interned with Princeton In Asia in the summer of 2018, a cultural and language exchange program, teaching English in Jishou, China. On campus, Oseguera is the co-president of the Princeton University Pluralist Society (PUPS), a club that brings people from different perspectives together to discuss current events. She has a passion for health and health care accessibility, and is the campaign co-director of GlobeMed, which raises money to support the COVE Alliance clinic in Uganda and awareness about global health and health care access. Oseguera is also a fellow for the Pace Center Juniors Fellow Program and a mentor for the Service Focus cohort on Health and Healthcare. She is currently one of the three GHP junior student representatives.

James Packman ’21, of Atlanta, Georgia, is a prospective Woodrow Wilson concentrator with an interest in international affairs and relations. As the Class of 2018 Frank C. Carlucci ’52 Scholar, he is also pursuing a certificate in East Asian Studies. Packman is one of the 2018 recipients of Princeton’s Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence and a graduate of Princeton in Beijing’s intensive fifth-year language program. Having achieved near-fluency in Mandarin Chinese and a considerable background in Chinese culture (he performs an excellent tea ceremony), Packman’s ultimate ambition is to bring the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China together to tackle issues that threaten the entire world. In particular, his passion lies in addressing the issues of nuclear weapons, climate change, and human rights abuses. Packman’s big heart is always on display on campus, where he volunteers for CONTACT, a suicide prevention and emotional support hotline, for which he also mentors new volunteers. He serves as Princeton University China Coalition’s assistant director of alumni outreach. Packman is also an avid drummer, fencer, and stand-up comic.

Meghan Slattery ’20, of Bayport, New York, is an Operations Research and Financial Engineering major pursuing certificates in Arabic Language and Culture, Finance, and Technology and Society. Meghan is the Class of 2018 Dean's Scholar in the Nation's Service and prior to enrolling at Princeton, Slattery was named an American Legion National Samsung Scholarship recipient by the Girls State program, and she has been passionate about public service ever since. In summer 2018, Slattery was a research intern at the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She studied the effect of Chinese foreign direct investment on Malaysian small and medium enterprises, and co-authored the policy paper “Impacts of Investment from China in Malaysia on the Local Economy.” Slattery has been president of the Engineering Council since 2017, where she worked with professors to update the annual undergraduate teaching awards, removing implicit biases from the voting format to better represent Princeton’s engineering community. Additionally, she is a member of the women’s varsity swimming and diving team, a leader trainer and canoe trip leader with Outdoor Action, a representative on the Orientation Student Advisory Council, leader of the 2018 Athletes in Action Teams and Toys drive for the Princeton Varsity Club, an Engineering First-Year Interactor, and a coordinator for the Special Olympics swim program. She is thrilled and honored to join the SINSI program.

Alexandra Zalewski ’20, of Orange County, California, is a junior at the Woodrow Wilson School. She is the Class of 2018 Dean's Scholar in the Nation's Service and is passionate about learning languages, with her first language being Polish, followed by English, Spanish, French and German. At Princeton, she is currently taking Arabic and Russian with hopes to specialize in conflict resolution in regions in which those languages are spoken. She was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship for Arabic in 2018 through the U.S. State Department. Through this scholarship, she studied in Amman, Jordan for eight weeks this past summer. On campus, she is a Matriculate Advising Fellow, advising three high-achieving, low-income high schoolers with the mission of helping them gain acceptance to selective universities. She is also a member of Princeton Tiger Challenge’s TeachOn team, which aimed to tackle the teacher shortage crisis in New Jersey; and the co-author of “Red Rocker’s Hairy Day,” a children’s book with 100 percent of the profits going to the Second Harvest Food Bank and more than $250,000 raised to feed hungry children in her home community. She works as a climbing wall instructor at the Princeton Outdoor Action Wall and enjoys surfing and traveling when she is home.

About the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative

SINSI recruits Princeton students from a broad range of academic backgrounds – not only from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, but also concentrations as diverse as astrophysical sciences, chemical and biological engineering, chemistry, molecular biology, English, politics, and Near Eastern, East Asian, and Latin American studies. With support from SINSI, scholars select and apply to a U.S. government agency in their area of interest. The core element of the graduate program is a two-year SINSI-supported fellowship with an executive branch department or agency. In addition, SINSI provides funding for 8- to 10-week summer internships with the federal government each year to selected undergraduate scholars. Internships are available to Princeton undergraduates from all majors and fields of study. 

Since the first SINSI cohort in 2007, student-scholars have pursued opportunities with the Departments of State, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Treasury, Education, Justice, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development; the intelligence community; the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); the Millennium Challenge Corporation; the National Academy of Sciences; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the Environmental Protection Agency; the President’s Council of Economic Advisers; the Office of Management and Budget; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the National Institutes of Health; and the White House. Within these agencies, SINSI scholars have worked on a broad range of issues.

For more information on SINSI, visit the initiative’s website. Princeton students are encouraged to reach out to co-directors Rick Barton and Kit Lunney throughout the academic year to learn more about the program: Applications open in fall.