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Summer internship takes UNG student to Defense center in Hawaii

Ethan Crosby, left, talks with Maj. Gen. (promotable) Syed Najam Ul Hasan Shah, who served more than 30 years in the Pakistan army and currently serves as commandant of the National Security College at the National Defense University in Islamabad.

Ethan Crosby, a senior at the University of North Georgia (UNG), put off graduating for a semester so he could spend the summer in Honolulu, Hawaii, but he's not relaxing on the beach. Instead, Crosby is gaining invaluable experience as an intern at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, which is funded and operated through the U.S. Department of Defense.

The center addresses regional and global security issues, inviting military and civilian representatives of the United States and Asia-Pacific nations to its comprehensive program of executive education and workshops in Hawaii and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr. Dlynn Williams, head of the Department of Political Science & International Affairs at UNG, suggested Crosby participate in the internship program.

"Ethan has taken advantage of every opportunity presented as he worked his way through the degree. He has studied at the prestigious Tsinghua University, interned in China and now taken on this additional internship," she said. "He is a wonderful example of a student who shows promise in the classroom and then translates those skills into the career-building opportunities that internships provide."

Crosby, a native of Canton, Georgia, plans to graduate in August with a degree in international affairs and commission into the U.S. Army as an armor officer. During his internship, Crosby assists professors, conducts personal research and helps facilitate discussion.

"The center is a leading contributor to diplomacy in the Indo-Asia Pacific region by making political connections and facilitating discussions through transparency, mutual respect and inclusion — the three guiding principles of the center," Crosby said. "Being here gives me exposure to international relations studies at work and in action. I will be leaving UNG with a conceptual understanding of international affairs and relations, but more importantly with a practical understanding of how that knowledge can be applied in diplomacy and policy formation." 

Crosby's advice for other students who may be considering international internships? "Do it."

"Getting to sit down face to face and talk with someone who has walked down the pathways that you only dream of walking down is a great experience," he said. "For me, it was sitting down with Lt. Col. Ian Francis, who is a foreign area officer for China. Previously, he was an infantry officer in the U.S. Army Special Forces and he overflows with knowledge and practical experience in both fields." 

This summer, Crosby also has taken part in two courses: Transnational Security Cooperation and Asian Pacific Overview.

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