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Jessup student spends spring at Oxford, summer at Princeton

Roseville native accepted to fellowship program
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Although junior Vanessa Ruiz recently finished unpacking her things from her spring semester abroad at Oxford, she is repacking in preparation to spend the summer in an internship program at Princeton, one of the eight universities of the Ivy League. Ruiz will head to New Jersey on June 13.

Currently a public policy student at William Jessup University, Ruiz was accepted to the PPIA Fellowship Program structured to introduce or strengthen student’s skills in economics, statistics, policy analysis, writing and public speaking.

The program is part of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and trains future leaders for government service and other public service careers by cultivating the development of leaders equipped to interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds in an era of globalization.

The seven-week program provides a mixture of both academic coursework and extracurricular activities, such as lectures and off-site visits to observe public policy in action.

The 20-year-old plans to attend law school when she completes her undergraduate work at Jessup next year.

“I anticipate pursuing international policy and international law, and later work as a human rights advocate,” Ruiz explained. She is currently involved with the university’s International Justice Coalition on campus and also had the opportunity to work with local organizations such as Courage Worldwide.

Ruiz’s interest in advocacy began in high school, when she worked with her uncle, who attended the same internship at Princeton when he was in college. He is now the executive director of Mission Asset Fund, a nonprofit organization that helps financially excluded communities – particularly low-income and immigrant families – become visible, active and successful participants in the U.S. financial mainstream.

“The experience really inspired me to follow in my uncle’s footsteps and apply to the program at Princeton,” Ruiz shared.

While at Oxford, studying in the Best Semester Scholars Program, Ruiz had the opportunity to work with academic tutors and hone her skills delving into the areas of study that interested her most, which were formal logic and philosophy of the mind. She also took a British Landscape course that enabled her to take field trips and attend lectures with the student body and learn more about the historical elements of the United Kingdom.

When she is in town, the Roseville native also works as a lifeguard at the Mike Shelito indoor pool in Roseville, an environment that her background as a competitive swimmer has made second nature for her. She also teaches swimming lessons and helps in the children’s ministry program at Adventure Christian Church.