Angela Meng '12
Hometown: Danville, CA
High School: San Ramon Valley High School
Major: Honors economics, course major/honors minor in sociology and anthropology
Possible Career: Lawyer
Angela has been active in the Swarthmore Asian Organization (SAO), Student Council, and the Daily Gazette. She has also done research in the Economics Department and graded for the Mathematics/Statistics Department. Currently, she is a Senior Admissions Fellow and a director for the Social Affairs Committee. She has used her Evans Scholarship support her travel to Ghana the summer after her freshman year, where she spent two months as an intern at the Projects Abroad Human Rights Centre in Accra. The organization's objective is to work for the practical realization of human rights in fields such as constitutionalism, women's rights, and access to justice. Her main duties were conducting independent research, writing articles for newspapers, and awareness-raising.
The following summer, Angela interned at the Amnesty International USA office in San Francisco where she provided logistical support and grassroots outreach for members and activists. This past summer, Angela interned at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Philadelphia. She worked with SEC attorneys on conducting securities fraud investigations and helped design a new program to better detect insider trading at larger institutional firms.
In Her Own Words
Describe yourself in five words or less.
"I'm a passionate, energetic Swattie!"
What has been the most valuable Evans Scholars program experience for you?
"When I went abroad to Ghana for a human rights internship, I really loved how the experience pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to explore so many different aspects of the world. I never imagined myself in West Africa riding in crammed vans on bumpy roads for hours, eating fried plantains and fufu everyday, taking cold bucket showers, playing football with school kids, and so many more small, but meaningful parts of my life there. It was so incredible living there and it was a lot different from just touring any place for just a week or so. I actually adapted to the Ghanaian lifestyle and by the end of the trip, I knew Accra better than any city in the United States."
What was the most transformative class you have taken?
"I took a class in the Economics Department called Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in Economics; it delved into aspects of discrimination in the labor market. We took traditional economic models and transformed them into ones that incorporate aspects of gender, race, and ethnicity. I am a double major in sociology and anthropology and economics so this class combined my passion for social justice with practical perspective and solutions for these issues. While I still have much more to learn in these respective departments, this class gave me an insight on how these topics could work very much in synchrony together."
What subject do you want to explore deeply?
"I want to explore the role of economic development in developing countries around the world. Economic development can be easy to quantify in terms of numbers such as GDP per capita, infant mortality rate, etc., but I want to delve deeper into the nuances of economic development, such as do traditional economic models work for these countries' unique economies, does economic development create more class inequalities, etc."
What impact do you want to have on the world?
"I want to help mitigate and ultimately, eradicate poverty and its sources in the world, but focusing on the United States. Poverty serves as a barrier to so many different aspects of our society, such as job markets, education, social networks, and so many other opportunities important in succeeding in one's life."
Name a person you most admire.
"I admire Michelle Obama for her strength, elegance, individuality, and her strong mind. In the political world, it is difficult to survive in the scrutiny of the media, balance personal and work life, and still be strong and as independently-minded as she is. I love her for her ability to stand her own and still be her own person, even in the shadow of her husband's presidency."
What are you proudest of in your life so far? Why?
"Going back to my experience in Ghana, I am really proud of the fact that I was able to live in Ghana for more than two months and adapt to the lifestyle there. At first, it was difficult to be away from the luxuries and comfort of home in the U.S., but once I fully embraced living in Ghana, it was such an amazing experience and I loved every moment of it."