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Academic Year 2019-2020
Undergraduate Chair: Derya Yavuz
Undergraduate Vice Chair: Efe Ayhan
Graduate Chair: Handerson Mwandembo
Graduate Vice Chair: Joo Hyung Park
Derya is a sophomore in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She is from Turkey. As a computer engineering major, she is planning on going to law school after college. You can find her at Starbucks enjoying her coffee or at the library studying, or working out. As an international, she has faced a lot of challenges coming to Penn so would love to help anyone out with their own experience.
Handerson Mwandembo is a first-year MBA student at The Wharton School, majoring in Finance and Business Analytics. A native Swahili speaker, Handerson was born and raised in Kenya and has occasionally, had the experience of moving and settling in a new city. Prior to joining Wharton, he worked in Management Consulting across Africa and the UK, specializing in modelling and data analytics. Handerson is a great fan of Verdi’s operas and is also working to build a collection of African classical music from 60’s to the 90’s. Handerson looks forward to the year ahead, working with ISAB to enhance the experience of international students and strengthen the community.
Joo Hyung is a 2nd year graduate student in the Chemistry department. His current research is focused on using chemical probes and semi-synthetic insertion of post-translational modifications to understand their role in the physiology and pathology of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). He was born in South Korea but was raised across USA and South Korea before attending Denison University to get his B.S. degree in Biochemistry. During his free time, Joo Hyung loves to read, listen to music, play soccer, and hang out with friends. He is devoted to help other international students integrate into the Penn community and hopes he can improve the Penn experience for both international and domestic students.
Efe Ayhan is a sophomore in the School of Engineering and Applied Science majoring in Computer Science and Economics. He was born in Izmir, and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. His academic interests include machine learning, AI and big data. In his career he wants to focus on the applications of such technologies in medicine and decision making. His involvement in windsurfing allowed him to visit many countries in Europe and the Middle East for a variety of competitions, and through his volunteer work in South India, and research internship project in Aachen, Germany, he got to live in extended durations in different countries and experience different cultures. He loves learning about new cultures and is passionate about helping international students. On campus he is involved with ISAB and AIS, aiming to help international students find their new home in the US, at Penn, in any way he can.
Julia was born and raised in Malmö, Sweden with a Swedish mother and French father. She is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in PPE with a minor in Consumer Psychology. My hobbies include playing piano (started at the age of 3), cooking, painting and drawing. Before coming to Penn, she took a gap year and worked with multiple NGO's. She was also Head Coordinator for EducationUSA Student Corps in Scandinavia where she organized college fairs, provided one-on-one counseling with students looking to apply to US universities and handled the relations between high schools and US college representatives. She has also worked with the European Youth Parliament since 2012 and have met and discussed various political issues with delegates and officials from all over the world. She is looking forward to gathering all my experiences with international influences to help contribute to a positive and supportive environment for all international students at Penn!
Gergely is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences planning to major in Economics. He was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, however, he also studied at a boarding school in Pittsburgh. Gergely has attended various international conferences (for debating and Model UN) so he has experienced the positive impact a strong international community has. He is committed to making sure that all international students at Penn are successful while having a great time. He would especially like to address issues that first generation low-income international students face. Outside of school, Gergely is passionate about all things water-sport related, having been a competitive kayaker himself. He also enjoys listening to all kinds of music from classical through pop to rap, and would never turn down a good Netflix marathon.
Rina is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, planning on majoring in biochemistry. She was born and raised in Japan, and was enrolled in an international school in Aichi Prefecture. Outside of school, she swims on UPenn's varsity team, and love to play/perform music.
Being the NHS president and the student council communications director during high school, she talked to many international students and worked to nurture a welcoming environment, and would like to continue doing so by joining ISAB. She is looking forward to working with ISAB to encourage a positive setting where everyone can reach their full potential, personally and professionally.
Rishubh is a first year graduate student from Edinburgh, in the United Kingdom. He is in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences studying materials science and engineering. Prior to joining Penn, he studied at Imperial College London. During his free time he enjoys cricket, football and music. Rishubh is looking forward to helping international students, graduate students in particular, to settle in and thrive at Penn.
Christopher is a Junior from Singapore studying Finance and Real Estate in Wharton. After high school, he was conscripted into the military and served as a First Lieutenant in the Republic of Singapore Air Force for 22 months after undergoing basic military training and officer cadet school training. During his time with the military, he served as a Platoon Commander in a counter-terrorism anti-aircraft artillery unit and subsequently as a military diplomat, travelling to Brunei, Thailand and Taiwan. Christopher enjoys learning about disparate international cultural norms, and is especially passionate about helping international students thrive both professionally and socially in America. During his free time, he enjoys swimming, freediving and attending plays.
Stefan Tzvetanov is a junior studying Mathematics and Economics. Originally from Bulgaria, he has studied in a boarding school in the United Kingdom, and this experience has helped him understand the power of diversity and the problems international students face. Stefan likes problem-solving and is interested in the way the economy shapes financial markets. He loves playing football (soccer) and skiing.
So Yoshida is a second-year MBA student at The Wharton School. He was born and mostly grew up in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to Wharton, he worked for a Japanese financial institution for 12 years. He pursued his undergraduate degree at the University of Tokyo where he majored in economics. During free time he loves to travel around and enjoy music, especially classic rock music. As a member of ISAB, So is excited to work hard for enriching UPENN's diversified experience for all international students.
Vivien Yiu is a PhD student at the Graduate School of Education studying Child Development. She is interested in studying how culture shapes children's relationships with their parents and peers, and how culture influences children's psychological, social, and academic outcomes. Vivien grew up in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and went to high school in Oxford, England. She received her B.A. in Psychology, Education, and Child Development from UCLA and graduated summa cum laude. She loves traveling, painting, reading, and doing yoga.