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Our CAPAL Scholar Spotlight is So “Alicia” Lee, a student at American University, and interning this summer at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) where she is working to further her career goals and her understanding of public policy research. 

What are your main responsibilities at your position? What are some of your big projects?

As a Research Intern for CSIS, I monitor current events related to the Korean peninsula and write weekly policy issue briefs on topics including South Korean domestic politics, trade, and economics, U.S.-Korea alliance, North Korea, and global relations. I also research and author brief biographies of important individuals related to current events. A major part of my position includes conducting policy-research and writing for articles, conference reports, event summaries, grant proposals, and data collection. Moreover, I assist in preparing and planning international public conferences with senior opinion makers, policy makers, and officials to frame the agenda for U.S.-Korea relations going forward in advance of the visit by President Park Geun-hye to the United States.

How does this internship/scholarship fit with your professional and career goals?

As an International Relations major hoping to pursue a masters in global health public policy, CSIS has exposed me to the work of public policy research and writing. As a Research Intern for the Korea Chair, I have learned how to write in different styles as well as how the process of providing research materials for policy makers works. Due to the MERS outbreak in South Korea, I have been doing research focusing on global health and the main actors who are involved with helping to prevent the pandemic.

What do you hope to achieve this summer through your scholarship/internship experience?

I am grateful to be a part of such a great organization that emphasizes on giving back to the community. I hope to make valuable and genuine relationships with the other scholars/interns and board members. Through the WLP sessions, I hope to learn more about the different topics that we discuss and be able to share with others about what I learned.

What does public service mean to you?

Public service, to me, means giving back to the community and creating equality for all. I believe there are many different ways to help others. We have politicians, policy makers, community service organizations, people on the field, and more. There is no one “right” way or “best” way to help others. It is about where your heart and mind is, and whether you act upon what you believe will help others. For me, I am not exactly sure how I will be giving back to my community in the future. However, I do know that I want to be changing people’s lives for the better and will do whatever I can to achieve that.

photo 3 e1439309245378 225x300 CAPAL Scholar Spotlight So Alicia Lee 15What do you consider to be the most interesting thing about you?

I believe my experience in growing up surrounded by impoverished families and learning the importance of community service at an early age has shaped who I am today. I am grateful to be able to have an education that I can use to help others who are suffering.

What are you most excited to do in Washington D.C. this summer?

I am most excited to build genuine friendships with the people I work with as well as the relationships I build with the people I meet throughout the summer. I am excited to learn and teach what I learn to others.

So ‘Alicia’ Lee is a rising junior at American University pursuing a major in International Studies with a focus in International Development. During her undergraduate studies, Alicia has focused on studying education and global health development and has interned at various places such as NASPA, Teach for America, and United Nations Foundation in order to gain more practical experience in her field of study. Interested in learning more about public policy, Alicia is interning at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) this summer as a Research Intern in the Korea Chair. In the fall, Alicia will be studying abroad at Yonsei University in South Korea. In her spare time, Alicia likes to play the violin and explore new coffee shops in DC.

Meet all of our 2015 CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.

IMG 7976 108x150 CAPAL Scholar Spotlight So Alicia Lee 15Posted by Taylor Huang-Boutelle

Taylor is an incoming Senior at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is double majoring in World Literature and Feminist Studies, with a concentration in Law, Politics, and Social Change. Taylor is in the D.C. cohort for the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (www.causeusa.org) and is currently a summer interns at the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership, where she is focusing on development and fundraising, and will be developing the blog content for this summer. Taylor is passionate about issues of representation, coalition between underserved communities, and creating spaces for strength and solidarity around injustices through community activism and public policy. taylor.boutelle [at] capal [dot] org