McGinnis, Messing, McPhee and Sanchez-Eppler are Wilson School concentrators, and Crooks is majoring in astrophysics.
The SINSI program, which is open to all Princeton juniors who are American citizens, enables students to spend the summer after their junior year in a federal internship, according to a Wilson School statement. After graduating, students are admitted to the Wilson School’s two-year MPA program, and after completing their first year of graduate study, students work for two years in the federal government and then return for a second year at the Wilson School. The program also offers an optional summer of intensive language training.
SINSI scholarships are also offered to up to five graduate students each year.
Past scholars have held many different positions in the federal government, including jobs in the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Treasury, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the White House.
Messing said that she was most interested in working for the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State or USAID, adding that her future career goals include getting a law degree and spending her life working to “make positive differences in the world.”
“I’m especially interested in human rights issues in the Middle East and in immigration detention reform in the U.S.,” Messing said in an e-mail. “The federal government has a sizable amount of leverage to push for political reform in the Middle East, and it certainly has the power to alter our immigration detention system, so working for the federal government is, I think, a good step to take in order to do some good.”
Crooks plans to use his technical background “to deal with issues of foreign and domestic science policy, national security issues and development of alternative energy,” according to the Wilson School statement.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime, for truly it has always been my dream to combine my passion for science with my determination to make a significant impact in the world,” he said in an e-mail. “I feel so strongly that science can change the course of our Nation, whose overwhelming majority have a misconception of what benefits science and the scientific process can do.”
McGinnis is considering internships at the Department of State, USAID and the Department of Justice, while McPhee is looking to work at the Department of State or USAID to combine her interests in international affairs with her love of music and art. Sanchez-Eppler is hoping to pursue a career in the Foreign Service, according to the statement.
All of the SINSI scholars will have traveled abroad during their undergraduate years. McPhee studied abroad for a semester in Argentina and interned for a summer in Bolivia. McGinnis went to Ethiopia with Princeton’s Engineers Without Borders chapter and will study abroad in Cuba this spring, while Sanchez-Eppler lived in Costa Rica, Spain and Chile. Messing will be studying abroad at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, this spring.
The application process for the program was very difficult, Messing said.
“It was very hard to craft essays that demonstrate my personal qualities, commitment to public service and thoughtfulness about the issues I care about and simultaneously avoid sounding self-centered, arrogant, vague and overly passionate without enough hard facts,” she explained.
Ambassador and SINSI director Barbara Bodine praised the students’ academic prowess and enthusiasm.
“This year saw a particularly rich pool of applicants for the SINSI Scholarship program,” Bodine said in the statement. “Those selected represent the best that Princeton has to offer — academically strong, deeply committed to public service and enthusiastic about the opportunities to apply their talents, skills and ambitions to the most daunting challenges facing us as a country, people and a government going forward in the years ahead.”
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2010/01/06/24831/