2018 Graduation Reception for International Students

May 23, 2018
By Penn Global

On Friday, May 11, Penn Global, represented by the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS), and Perry World House, hosted a graduation reception for international students, friends and families. Over 300 attendees came together to enjoy the mild spring weather, good food, and good company, and to celebrate the achievements of the graduating Penn students.

Dr. Amy Gadsden, Executive Director for Penn Global, kicked off the reception with a few opening remarks, congratulating all students for their numerous contributions to Penn.  Dr. Gadsden was followed shortly thereafter by Dr. Rudie Altamirano, ISSS Director of Immigration and Integration, who recognized graduating student leaders Dhruv Agarwal, Chhavi Aggarwal, Mahvish Ilyas, Jiayun Ji, Sola Park, and Lina Qostal for their leadership roles with international student advocacy groups within the Penn community.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, concluded the program with a presentation of the Penn Global Student Citizenship Award, conferred to those who have prioritized global engagement and best exemplified a spirit of global citizenship during their time at Penn.  This year’s undergraduate and graduate award winners were Ms. Mariana Repsold França (Bachelor of Science in Economics, Wharton) and Ms. Mahvish Ilyas (Masters in Environmental Studies, School of Arts and Sciences), respectively. As president of Penn Brazil, Ms. Repsold França demonstrated a sustained commitment to promoting global enrichment on and off campus by launching a variety of initiatives to foster engagement with all things Brazil – including a Carnaval celebration and barbecue that attracted over 200 students, and the Brazil Undergraduate Student Conference in 2017. Ms. Ilyas, who was born and raised in Pakistan, established herself as a leader within the international student body and Penn community, seeking opportunities to generate innovative solutions and promote discussion around critical environmental issues from the local (contributing to a campaign to equip Philadelphia homeowners with solar power) to the global stage (serving as a student representative at the COP 23 Sustainable Innovation Forum in Bonn, Germany).

Penn is home to well over 5,000 international students from more than 130 countries. Throughout their time at Penn, the international students who graduated this year have excelled in every corner of campus life and have contributed immeasurably to Penn. Penn Global congratulates them as they set out to bring Penn to the world.

View photos from the event here.

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