Her work with ‘the empowering nature of language’ will help prepare her for a career in policymaking

EASTON, Pa.(www.lafayette.edu), February 17, 2010 — Ting Chiu ’11 (Bedminster, N.J.) has received a fellowship for the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) program’s Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University.

The intensive academic program, which will run from June 10-July 30, is designed to introduce or strengthen skills in economics, statistics, policy analysis, writing, and public speaking, and focuses on training future leaders for government service and other public service careers. Chiu’s fellowship covers expenses for all courses, textbooks, transportation, housing, and meals.

As an English and psychology double major, Chiu’s work with the program will focus on how language can improve the efficiency with which stakeholders from different disciplines and backgrounds can work toward a common goal.

“Of particular importance to the study of language is recognizing the empowering nature of language,” she says. “Good public policy is effective communication between the governed and governing such that policies reflect the best interest of the governed. The study of language is indispensable as it is the medium through which needs are communicated and expressed, and being an active part of this aspect of policymaking is my goal.”

PPIA fellowships are typically awarded to economics and international affairs majors, which makes Chiu’s selection even more distinctive.

“Ting’s fellowship is a clear example of the growing appreciation, especially under the increasingly globalized world community, of the use of language to bridge divides and foster common understanding on often contentious issues,” says Gladstone Fluney Hutchinson, associate professor of economics and Chiu’s adviser in her work with the College’s Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project (EEGLP).

EEGLP is an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty who work on projects in communities in rural Honduras, the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, and locally in Easton.

As the new captain of the New Orleans team, Chiu is responsible for working with the community’s residents on numerous arts, culture, and economic-based initiatives meant to rebuild the area as a sustainable community after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The project’s faculty advisers are Hutchinson; Ed Kerns, Eugene H. Clapp II ’36 Professor of Art; and David Veshosky, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.

“Ting and I have often discussed the relation between being an English major and its concrete application to some future inspiring endeavor,” says Chiu’s academic adviser, Ian D. Smith, associate professor and associate head of English. “Her commitment to the New Orleans project comes from a place of total integrity that gives fresh urgency to the conviction of making a difference in her society. She interacts wonderfully with her peers and professors, and her authenticity is as compelling as it is admirable.”

Chiu also has been a member of Lafayette Activities Forum, a business affairs intern with the College’s Experimental Printmaking Institute, and a calculus tutor. During the summer of 2009, she conducted a case study as an EXCEL Scholar with Sharon Jones, professor of civil and environmental engineering, on a rural water system to better understand the role of culture and society in rural water access.

For information on applying for scholarships and fellowships, contact Julia A. Goldberg, associate dean of the College, (610) 330-5521.