American Philatelic Society

Previous Fellows:

List of YPLF Alumni

YPLF Class of 2016
Ethan Chiu
Austin Foo, Exhibitor Track
Senior Fellow (Howard Hotchner Fellow)

Foo, 20, attends the Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil Engineering in Atlanta, Georgia. His collecting interests include Malaysia/Malaya, recent issues of Latin America, Trucial States/British Gulf and the topical of mail conveyance, mail carriers, post office, mail boxes, etc. He is a member of the Cobb County (Georgia) Stamp Club. He wants to follow the Exhibitor Track.

Foo’s first interest in stamps came as a child when he sneaked peeks at his father’s extensive collection of Malaya/Malaysian first-day covers. Then, he attended a water puppets show in Malaysia. Right after, he visited a stamp dealer and saw postage stamps depicting water puppets. He bought them and was hooked as a collector. Foo soon became a customer and friends with local dealers, became involved in a school stamp club and organized two stamp shows.

Foo was born in Kansas, but returned with his parents to their native Malaysia when he was 3. Since moving back to the U.S. to attend college in 2012, Foo joined several philatelic organizations, including the APS, the American Topical Association, and the Philatelic Society of Malaysia.

Foo has a great interest in philatelic literature; he owns more than 100 catalogs that have helped him build his collection and hopes someday to edit a catalog for Malaysian stamps. He wants to become more involved in American philately and the philatelic culture in the United States, and has also branched into other international areas. He also includes mail services and Malaysia as his main topics.

“I collect anything that has to do with Malaysia,” he wrote in his Fellowship application essay. “I got involved in Trucial States/British Gulf area material, but it’s too expensive. Recently, I have been showing interest in Latin American new issues as they are in scarce supply, which makes them desirable to me.”

Foo also enjoys stamps depicting action.
“My favorite items are always items that feature postal service in a lively way,” wrote Foo in an e-mail in which he attached an image of a whimsical 1997 stamp from the Dominican Republic that shows a small dog yanking on a mail carrier’s pants leg. “This is because they bring my thematic collection to life.”

He says there are good reasons for young people to consider the hobby.

“What attracts a young person to philately is the nostalgia of the hobby,” wrote Foo. “Philately [can] connect the world … with a human touch, [as opposed] to e-mails and social media.”

Charles Epting
Truth Muller, Dealer Track
Junior Fellow (Donald and Bonnie Lee Fellow)

Muller, 15, is home-schooled and is in his junior year of high school. He plans to study marine biology, particularly ocean life, in college. Muller is a member of the Collector’s Club of NYC and counts among his collecting interests the topics of birds, aquatic wildlife, assorted covers, full sheets, revenues, commemoratives and oddities. He wants to follow the Dealer Track.

Muller started collecting when he was 6 after an uncle gave him a packet of 100 worldwide stamps and a stock book for Christmas. He spread the word that he was a collector. A volunteer at the New York Public Library where his mother works stepped forward with guidance for Truth.

“Mr. Allen Hoffman, was himself a stamp collector, and a member of The Collector’s Club of NYC,” wrote Muller in his YPLF essay. “He taught me many of the basics of stamp collecting, invited me to join the YSCA, and had me attend my first stamp show. … There were so many millions of stamps in that building. [My collection of 500 stamps] could have vanished into the incredible multitude … without a rustle.”

Muller quickly connected to the hobby. “I soon saw that stamps were more than just a way to mail a letter,” he wrote. “They were snapshots of dozens of currencies, hundreds of nations, thousands of people, places and events from all corners of the globe and parts of history.”
Muller has chosen the Dealer Track, not necessarily because he plans to become a dealer, but so he can learn more about the hobby. He explained his choice in a phone interview.

“I have already done a lot of research and writing, both fiction and nonfiction, including long journals on nature and, naturally, on stamps. Dealers know a lot about how to take care of their stock and how to properly identify stamps.

“I am never confident in identifying stamps, even when descriptions are written out very clearly. I have inherited some large collections and I want to know how to store these stamps and how to properly identify them.”

Muller has a growing topical collection of birds on stamps and also enjoys collecting unusual items.

Owen Chun
Evan Schlosser, Author Track
Junior Fellow (U.S. Philatelic Classics Society Fellow)

Schlosser, 15, is in his sophomore year at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. His collecting interests include French colonies, British Commonwealth, and philatelic history. Schlosser is interested in following the Fellowship’s Author Track.

Schlosser also started collecting at age 6. “From an early age, I was a kid who loved to collect and organize things — rocks, shells, bugs, and most anything else that I could contain and display,” wrote Schlosser in his essay. Some stamps that arrived in a Christmas stocking had him hooked on this new collecting interest.

“Stamp collecting has served as a gateway to my interests in history, geography, and politics,” wrote Schlosser in his essay. “As I have collected stamps from different countries, I have noticed how world governments change, which in turn has inspired me to question the merits and drawbacks of different forms of government and economic systems.”

In his relatively short time as a collector, Schlosser has prompted friends and relatives to find stamps for him, learned from fellow collectors and stamp dealers, attended stamp shows, learned how to soak, sort and store stamps and how to use catalogs, and, at age 13, started an online stamp business.

His Fellowship application included 17 pages of material related to the business, including information about descriptions, pricing, shipping, insurance rates, and a guarantee. He had to close the store before he started high school due to educational commitments.

“I had a lot of fun doing it and it was never a burden,” Schlosser said in a phone interview. “I was not happy that my parents asked me to close the store at the time. But considering the amount of extracurriculars and coursework I had, it was the right decision.”

He is especially interested in African colonialism and hopes to study economics and political science in college. He has started considering what he will write about in philately.

“I am fascinated by the history behind the stamps,” Schlosser said. “I like to see how a stamp or set of stamps relates to the economic and political history of a place.

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