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Ivana Ng '12

Ivana Ng

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
High School: Stuyvesant High School
Major: Computer science, minor in Chinese and education
Possible Career: Journalism, programming, nonprofit work

Ivana is currently a senior and is still decompressing from her junior year abroad. During her junior year she spent her fall semester in Buenos Aires and spring semester in Hong Kong. Now that she is back States-side, she is busy being a productive member of the Swarthmore community. She is currently an intern at the Intercultural Center, where she acts as a liaison for the Swarthmore Asian Organization (SAO). She also bakes desserts at Paces, the student-run cafe, and blogs about it.

During her Swarthmore career she has directed the jazz department at WSRN and organized two musical performances on campus. She is also passionate about working with youth, especially around the issues of college access and digital literacy. She was involved in developing ChesTech, an after-school computer literacy/programming lab for youth in Chester, PA, and High School Conversations, a SAO initiative to mentor Asian/Pacific Islander high school students in Philadelphia.

As a Philip Evans Scholar, Ivana has had the opportunity to see the world and work on interesting projects. The summer after her freshman year, Ivana spent two months in Thailand, volunteering at an elephant camp and teaching English in a village near Chiang Mai. During her sophomore year, she returned to Cambodia for spring break with SwatCambodia to help build houses in a rural village near Phnom Penh. The summer after sophomore year she studied intensive Spanish and held two internships, one at 1010 WINS and another at BreakThru Radio. This past summer, she lived in Bangalore, India and interned at the second largest technology company in the country. Ivana has a severe case of wanderlust and hopes to continue exploring the world after college.

In Her Own Words

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.

"Sophisticated, quirky, passionate, laid-back, mellow"

Ivana Ng

What have been the most valuable Evans Scholars program experiences for you?

"I spent last summer in Thailand, and it has had a lasting effect on me. I've fallen in love with Southeast Asia, and was lucky enough to be able to go back over spring break. Last summer, I volunteered at an elephant camp for six weeks. It was really a summer of firsts — my first time on an international flight, my first time in a foreign country, my first time traveling alone, my first time around elephants. I had such an amazing experience getting to know the staff at the elephant camp as well as interacting with the elephants. After my six-week stint, I traveled around Thailand, Singapore, and Cambodia, mostly alone, and that was really a great experience. Knowing that I could be so independent was really empowering and liberating. This spring break, I was able to return to Cambodia with a student group called SwatCambodia, and we built houses with the nonprofit Tabitha Foundation. Like I said before, since last summer, I've really become enamored of Southeast Asia, and as a result, I've become more interested in the culture, politics, and religions of the region."

A "music video" from the elephant camp featuring Ivana, another volunteer, and their mahmout

What was the most transformative class you have taken?

"In a way, Introduction to Computer Science was most transformative for me, because it turned me on to computer science as a major. Before I took that class, I never thought I'd ever take another math class ever again after graduating from high school. I also had never considered taking a CS course, and I really got into it by chance. It counted as a natural science distribution requirement, and I thought it might be more interesting than some of my other options. I ended up having a lot of fun in that class, and now I'm a CS major. Which is pretty unexpected, I think, considering that I came in as a potential English literature and film and media studies major."

What subjects do you want to explore deeply?

"Bilingual education, Buddhism and other Asian religions, documentary film making and ethnography"

Name a person you most admire.

"My mother. She has sacrificed a lot for her family, and her strength, passion and love is inspiring."

What are you proudest of in your life so far?

"Getting into Swarthmore"