2012-2013 Peer Mentors

Priscilla Hsu ‘13
Major: International Relations with an Asian American Studies sequence
The Washington Program - Townsend Public Affairs (Spring 2012)
SIT China: Language, Cultures, and Ethnic Minorities (Fall 2011)
Priscilla Hsu spent a full year off-campus: spring semester sophomore year on the Washington Program and fall semester junior year in Kunming, China on the SIT Chinese Culture and Ethnic Minorities program. She hails from Los Angeles, CA and is a first-generation American citizen, as well as a first-generation college student. Priscilla is vegetarian, spent the summer prior to her China experience working with Tibetan refugees in India, and identifies herself as being of Taiwanese descent-- factors that she believes shaped a very unique experience in China. While in China, Priscilla focused her research on bilingual education for the Bai minority, the report of which can be accessed on the SIT website here.
S. Macie Leach ‘13
Major: Government and Leadership Sequence
Washington Program - Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates (Fall 2011)
and Middlebury Paris, France (Spring 2012)
I studied abroad in Paris on Middlebury’s CV Starr Program and lived with a wonderful host family in the 17th Arrondisement. I was enrolled in a language and culture class and a course on the European Union at the Middlebury center and two political philosophy courses at La Sorbonne.  My favorite extracurricular activities included cooking classes, wine tasting, volunteering at École Estienne where I taught English to French students, exploring Paris with friends, and visiting museums. I was also on the Washington Program last fall and enjoyed spending a full year off-campus. Although it can be difficult to be away from CMC for a year, I would definitely encourage those who are interested to take advantage of the opportunity!
Sara Birkenthal ‘13
Majors: International Relations and Middle East Studies (focus area: human rights)
 The Washington Program - Council on Foreign Relations (Fall 2011),
CMC Jordan Program (Summer 2011), and SIT Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights (Spring 2012)
Originally from Westfield, NJ, Sara enjoys attempting to speak in Arabic and getting into heated political debates in her free time. A lover of travel, progressive politics, and the Middle East, Sara boldly went where few CMCers have gone before: she participated in three back-to-back off-campus study programs. First, during the summer after her sophomore year, Sara took part in the pilot CMC Jordan Summer Program. While in Jordan, Sara studied Jordanian Arabic and interned at The Jordan Times, Jordan's English-language daily newspaper. Then, during the fall semester of her junior year, Sara worked and studied in Washington, DC on the Washington Program. While in Washington, Sara interned at the Council on Foreign Relations and worked as a freelance writer and photographer for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Finally, during the spring semester of her junior year, Sara studied abroad in Morocco on the School for International Training's Multiculturalism and Human Rights program. While in Morocco, Sara lived with a homestay family in the old medina of Rabat, practiced her French and Arabic language skills, and conducted field research on regional integration in the Maghreb. Having returned to Claremont for her senior year, you can find Sara drinking iced coffee and working on her thesis in the Honnold Cafe or helping students with their writing at the Center for Writing and Public Discourse, where she works as a writing consultant. Sara is particularly interested in advising those students who are considering living with a homestay family, want to study abroad in the Middle East/North Africa region, or are contemplating spending a full year off-campus.
Shane Kunselman ‘13
Majors: PPE and Government
Washington Program - Constitutional Accountability Center (Fall 2011)
I participated in the Washington Semester Program in the fall of 2011. During the semester, I interned at the Constitutional Accountability Center, a nonprofit constitutional think tank and law firm. I also spent the summer before the program in D.C., interning at the ACLU National Prison Project. D.C. is 24/7 politics, which is great for a political junkie like myself, but during my seven months there I also came to appreciate it as a home; the city has a lot to offer and is very accessible to young people. The Washington Program is intense because you have to balance a full workday with school, but the experience is well worth the challenge. If you have any questions about the program, or just about life in the District, feel free to contact me. I look forward to meeting you!
Lydia Li ‘13
Majors: Government and Economics
Washington Program - Washington International Trade Association (WITA) (Fall 2011)
I was a participant of the CMC Washington D.C. Program in fall 2011 and interned with the Washington International Trade Association (WITA). During my stay in D.C., I attended several conferences related to U.S. international trade policies as a WITA intern. There, I had the opportunity to meet the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Ron Kirk. I also completed an independent research project on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a new free trade agreement among Asian-Pacific countries initiated by President Obama. Both the internship and the research project helped me form better understanding of U.S. international trade policies and further developed my interest in this area.
Carmen Lundell ‘13
Majors:  Government and Economics
The Washington Program - Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (Fall 2011)
With the dream of fostering a healthier America, I chose to participate in CMC’s Washington Semester Program. I wanted my semester off campus to be productive and challenging while furthering my career goals. In DC, I interned on Capitol Hill for the Senate Agriculture Committee. I also volunteered for a non-profit organization on the weekends called DC Greens, where I tended to a school garden and helped manage a farmers market. Combining the politics I witnessed first-hand on Capitol Hill, heated classroom discussions, and the inescapable partisan banter on the city streets, I learned more about politics than I ever expected, and I gained the courage to speak my mind and skills to defend my arguments.