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Institute for Emerging Issues

Meet Crystal, IEI’s New Graphic Design Intern

NC State University undergraduate student Crystal Leung joins IEI’s staff as a graphic design intern through the Provost’s Professional Experience Program.

Major: Bachelor of Graphic & Experience Design (BGXD)
Graduation year: 2026
Hometown: Morrisville, NC
Hobbies: I like drawing, painting, and makeup (which is just drawing and painting but on my face!). Once in a blue moon, I’ll become obsessed with jewelry-making for a week. Newest favorite thing? Decorative glasses chains.

What interests you about working with IEI as a graphic design intern?
IEI’s mission statement to connect North Carolinians across the state for collaborative work on key emerging issues affecting our state’s future economic competitiveness resonated with me. I’m no public policy or political science student, but it is satisfying to see your work being able to contribute to the advancement and betterment of someone’s life. In my opinion, it is very helpful to start locally with the real people who live around you.

What do you believe is the biggest emerging issue facing our state? 
I believe that the loss of engagement in our workforce is a formidable ongoing issue in our state, and it is one that has a ripple effect in our cities and towns. Due to the immobilization of workers due to various reasons, businesses are more difficult to sustain, the closure of businesses leads to fewer jobs, fewer jobs lead to ongoing financial issues and poverty, and lastly, increases the number of people who become homeless, which can easily be defined as a nationwide crisis by this point. As important as it is to take care of the outright needs of unhoused people, especially during seasonal changes and extremes, I find it also important to confront the root causes of homelessness so that together we may find a way to relieve the economic hardships of our fellow North Carolinians.