Elected ISAB Leaders

Academic Year 2016-2017:

Graduate Chair: Fangming Li, China/Canada

Undergraduate Chair: Chhavi Aggarwal, India

Vice Chair: Mitchelle Matesva, Zimbabwe

  • Chhavi Aggarwal - Undergraduate Co-Chair
  • Chhavi Aggarwal - Undergraduate Co-Chair

    Chhavi is the current ISAB Undergraduate Co-Chair and is a junior in Wharton studying Finance and Management. She was born in India, but spent majority of her life moving around South East Asia. She has lived in six cities other than Philadelphia and went to seven schools before coming to Penn. Having had to constantly adapt to changing environments, Chhavi understands the challenges that come with being an international student and hopes to better the international student experience at Penn, through ISAB. 

  • Fangming Li - Graduate Co-Chair
  • Fangming Li - Graduate Co-Chair
    • After finishing my high school in China, I went to Canada for undergraduate in economics and human biology at University of Toronto. I am currently studying at University of Pennsylvania Dental Medicine.

      Being an international myself, I understand the academic, cultural and social challenges that we face everyday. A student mentor at my university helped me tremendously to transition into a different culture, which I was truly grateful for. Now it is my turn do the same for other international students. During university, I was the president at International Student Center. I organized field trips, dinner with professors, sporting events, musical Fridays, academic and language workshops, and cultural events etc. to bring students closer. I also helped improve communication between student body and school, advocate rights and advised to make changes in school policies to create a more international student-friendly environment.

      At dental school, I participated in organizing cultural events, such as a Mid-Autumn Festival, Indian Bollywood dances, Vietnamese spring roll-making workshops etc. I enjoy making friends with people with different backgrounds, and am always enjoy learning about different cultures.

  • Mitchelle Matesva - Vice Chair
  • Mitchelle Matesva - Vice Chair

    Mitchelle Matesva is an international student from Zimbabwe. She is majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Economics. She is serving her fourth year in ISAB and enjoys working with colleagues in solving issues involving the international community on campus. Being an international student, she has first hand experience of going through culture shock and the challenges of transitioning into a foreign education system. Through ISAB, she hopes to work on projects mainly aimed at academic integration of international students.

ISAB Members 2016-2017

  • Mustafa Akben
  • Mustafa Akben
    • Mustafa is a graduate student in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania. He focuses on leadership studies and human side of businesses. He was born and grew up in Turkey. Before attending his graduate program at Penn, he has spent four years in a company in Antalya, a popular vacation spot in Turkey among European tourists. As a General Coordinator, he witnessed life from various perspectives, experienced and welcomed different cultures and diversity. During his mandatory military duty in Turkey, he also had the chance to meet people from all over the countrty. He later decided to change his career from a manager to an academic; then he applied for a scholarship program and was awarded the full scholarship for Master & Ph.D. by the Turkish Ministry of National Education.

      Some of his interests are systems and design thinking in organizations and resolving ill-structured problems by using modern problem-solving techniques. Also, he likes meeting new people as well, so definitely come say “hi” when you spot him around. He is looking forward to getting more connected to the international community on campus and helping international students in every possible way.

      He is excited to deal with issues involving the international community and is looking forward to working with his colleagues to improve the international experience at Penn. Mustafa wants to address any affairs that international students have, especially those students who come to Penn with no prior international experience.

      Feel free to contact him if you have any questions, suggestions or comments as an international student on campus.

  • Danielle Goh
  • Danielle Goh

    Danielle is from Auckland, New Zealand and is in the Class of 2020. She is really passionate about social justice issues, namely youth advocacy, feminism and supporting marginalized cultures. She hopes to merge these passions with her contribution to ISAB, and is eager to help improve the experience for international students at Penn. Experience wise, Danielle was the international committee leader at her high school, a representative in youth governance groups and a representative on the Youth Advisory Board for Auckland. In her spare time, Danielle loves to read, travel and go thrift shopping. 

  • James (Zuo Min) Goh
  • James (Zuo Min) Goh

    James is a freshman from Singapore, studying Economics at the College of Arts and Sciences. He served about two years in the military as an Infantry Lieutenant before coming to college, having trained in jungle and urban warfare missions in Singapore, Brunei, and Taiwan. Having to adjust from the military to school life, he understand the difficulties of adjusting to a new culture and making new friends. Through ISAB, he hopes to make student life more enriching for all international students, through the organization of more social activities, more interactions between different cultural groups and raising awareness about the cultural diversity at Penn. In addition, he is also interested in economics, public policy, and international development, and is actively involved in numerous social impact consulting clubs at Penn, serving clients that range from Cambodia to Nigeria.

  • Mahvish Ilyas
  • Mahvish Ilyas

    Mahvish is a student of Masters in Environmental Studies (MES) with concentration in Environmental Policy at School of Arts and Sciences. She was born and brought up in Pakistan. Before joining UPenn she was working with WWF-Pakistan as the head of Green School Programme which is one of WWF-Pakistan’s largest environmental education and youth engagement initiatives. She was also working on an international assignment in a multicultural setting as the WWF Asia Pacific Growth Strategy (APGS) Information and Knowledge Management Coordinator. Her role at APGS required close coordination with a network of 23 Asia Pacific countries as well as communicating with other WWF Network offices. Mahvish is passionate about traveling and exploring new cultures and cuisines. 

  • Karishma Nanwani
  • Karishma Nanwani

    Karishma is a sophomore studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She comes from Indonesia and is very excited to be able to help other international students at Penn with problems that she personally faced in order to make their transition as easy as it can possibly be!

  • Shreyas Puranik
  • Shreyas Puranik

    Shreyas is a graduate student of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Originally from India, he has lived at as many as 13 different places including several years in Saudi Arabia and attended 11 schools over the course of his education. This has inculcated in him curiosity about different cultures and how exposure to diversity associates with personal development. Being part of the Intercultural Leadership Program at Penn he was impressed by the immense student diversity and saw differing perspectives as an opportunity to collaborate and find long lasting solutions. Through ISAB he is confident of making positive contributions in the international students' experience, through policy, advocacy and social and cultural activities. He is focused on establishing conversations between various student and administrative groups at Penn to identify solutions to existing problems and continually improve international students' life. 

  • Karim El Sewedy
  • Karim El Sewedy

    Karim El Sewedy is a freshman studying in the Management & Technology dual degree program, where he hopes to major in Systems Science and Engineering, and Entrepreneurship. Karim was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, but moved to the disparate culture and climate of Toronto, Canada at the age of 14. Immigrating inspired Karim to look at the world of international students from a different perspective, and from there, he developed a passion and love for advocating for such issues. Karim is greatly also interested in the fields of entrepreneurship, technology, and philanthropy, hoping to someday amalgamate the three into a business of his own. In his free time, Karim loves eating, watching TV, photography, and talking to his friends. In addition to his other commitments such as being Class of 2020 President, Karim can't wait to accomplish great things with ISAB.

  • Rahul Goel
  • Rahul Goel

    Rahul Goel is a graduate student from New Delhi, the capital city of India.  He got his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Currently at Penn, he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Chemical Sciences with a concentration in Organic Chemistry. In his free time, Rahul likes to practice singing, cook, read books, watch movies and spend time with friends. He also loves to travel to new places, explore difficult cultures, talk to people and take lots of photographs.

  • Lina Qostal
  • Lina Qostal

    Lina Qostal is a member of the International Student Advisory Board since Fall 2015. She is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, intending to major in Philosophy, Political Science and Economics. She was born and raised in Morocco, coming to the United States for the first time her freshman year. Her native languages are Arabic and French and she enjoys learning about new cultures. Before coming to Penn, Lina's commitment to Tennis allowed her to travel to many countries, especially in Europe and Africa, and compete against some of the best junior tennis players in the world. She is now representing Penn on the Women's Varsity Tennis Team. Her passion and dedication to helping others have led her to engage in activities such as tutoring and mentoring. Now, she wants to use her own experience as an international student to help bring Penn's international community closer together and to improve the transition of international students to life at Penn and in the United States.

  • Eric S Y Tse
  • Eric S Y Tse

    Eric is currently a junior studying Finance in The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Seattle, he attended primary school in Beijing, secondary school in Hong Kong, and now is back in the States for university. During his time at university, he decided to devote his time and energy to promote U.S. - China relations, and as a result, he founded the Penn Wharton China Summit. He hopes the Summit will become the platform that connects students from the two countries and foster next-generation leaders. He believes the stories told by speakers at the Summit will enlighten and inspire students, aspiring leaders, and people from all over the country. Eric is honored to join the ISAB board. He is excited to work with these motivated peers to improve welfare of the international students and to design solutions for various concerns.

  • Youssef Yacoubi
  • Youssef Yacoubi

    Youssef is an international student from Morocco. He is majoring in Economics and is serving his second year in ISAB. Youssef went to a French school in Morocco and is familiar with the challenges of adapting to new environments and education systems. Through ISAB, he hopes to provide impactful feedback and recommendations to International Student Services and develop effective and successful programs for international students. At Penn, Youssef is involved with Wharton Middle East and North Africa and the Penn Consciousness club. During his free time, he also enjoys talking about film and theater.

  • Jenny Zhang
  • Jenny Zhang

    Jenny Zhang is an international student from China studying Intercultural Communication at the Graduate School of Education. As a future intercultural communicator and educator, Jenny sees the engagement in multicultural conversations as an overarching theme in her life and hopes to bring that intercultural agility and effectiveness into the ISAB family. Jenny obtained a BS in Psychology from Drexel University. She is greatly fascinated by the interrelationships among language, culture and cognition.  She strives to use her knowledge, her international-student experiences and her ties with the Philadelphia community to help produce effective and successful programing at ISSS.

    • ISAB Team Members
    • ISAB Team Members
    • ISAB Team Members
    • ISAB Team Members
    • ISAB Team Members
    • ISAB Team Members
    • ISAB Team Members
    • ISAB Team Members
    • ISAB Team Members 2009-2010
    • ISAB Team Members 2009-2010
    • ISAB Team Members 2008-2009
    • ISAB Team Members 2008-2009
    • ISAB Team Members 2007-2008
    • ISAB Team Members 2007-2008

Past Leadership

Academic Year 2015-2016

Graduate Chair: Fangming Li, China/Canada
Undergraduate Co-Chairs: Valerio Imperatore, Italy
Bill Ding, China 

Academic Year 2014-2015:
Graduate Chair: Benjamin Partridge, UK
Undergraduate Chair: Erica Aduh, NigeriaVice Chair: Jussi Lundstedt, Finland

Academic Year 2013-2014:
Graduate Chair: Benjamin Partridge, UK
Undergraduate Chair: Frederick Jiacheng Ding, Canada

Academic Year 2012-2013:
Graduate Chair: Kwadwo Tettey, Ghana
Undergraduate Chair: Sofia Bernier, Chile

Academic Year 2011-2012:
Graduate Chair: Qiwei Shi, China
Undergraduate Chair: Lorenzo Beacco, Italy

Academic Year 2010-2011:
Graduate Chair: Phoebe So, United Kingdom
Undergraduate Chair: Trixie Canivel, Philippines

Academic Year 2009-2010:
Graduate Chair:  Manisha Joshi, India
Undergraduate Chair: Amal Rahuman, Sri Lanka

Academic Year 2008-2009:
Graduate Chair: Anne Katrin Arnold, Germany
Undergraduate Chair: Annabelle Hache, Dominican Republic

Academic Year 2007-2008:
Graduate Chair: Zehua Li, China
Undergraduate Chair: Alexander Giannakakis, Egypt