Abyssinia "Abby" Lissanu '16 MPA '21 of Somerset, Kentucky, a Politics major, graduated in 2016 with a concentration in international relations and a certificate in Spanish Language and Culture. As an undergraduate, Abyssinia focused on education and human rights in coursework and community service. She volunteered domestically, leading a mentorship group for local middle school students and overseeing student education groups at the Pace Center for Civic Engagement. She was a Student Volunteers Council Education Board Member, a Princeton Faith and Action Service Team Leader, and a half-marathon charity runner with Princeton’s Team U. During her study abroad program she volunteered as an English teacher in Barcelona, Spain, where she returned to conduct research for her senior thesis.
During the summer of 2015, as the Frank C. Carlucci ’52 Scholar, Abyssinia interned in the U.S. Department of Education at the Office of English Language Acquisition. While at OELA, she concentrated on implementation and development of materials, such as a monthly webinar series, for the White House Task Force on New Americans for English language learners (ELLs).
Abyssinia spent a year in Costa Rica as a Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) fellow. She completed her first year as an MPA in June 2018 and started her SINSI fellowship in July 2018 at the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs. Her second rotation, also at the State Department, was in the Population Refugees and Migration Bureau, followed by a stint with the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels in the fall of 2019. Currently she is at the Embassy in London and will complete her fellowship at the Consulate in Barcelona.