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Academic Year 2020-2021
Undergraduate Chair: Derya Yavuz
Undergraduate Vice Chair: Efe Ayhan
Graduate Chair: Vivien Yiu
Graduate Vice Chair: Rishubh Palaniappan
Derya is a senior 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.
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.
Rishubh is a second 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.
Efe Ayhan is a senior 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.
Kimberly grew up in rural Jamaica, WI, before migrating to the United States to pursue a higher education. After graduating college, she worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where she developed a keen interest in molecular imaging. She is now a PhD candidate, at the School of Medicine, developing probes for a similar purpose in the lab. Throughout her training, she’s crossed paths with foreigners from various cultural and educational backgrounds who have faced similar struggles while pursuing their careers in the United States. As a result, in addition to her passion for helping to foster a home away from home for international students at Penn, she’s also interested in helping them accomplish their dreams and aspirations, academically and professionally, in a system fraught with challenges and limitations. In her free time, she draws, sings, propagates plants, hikes, runs, and enjoys the great outdoors.
Kim Fernandes is a fourth year joint doctoral student in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development at the Graduate School of Education and Anthropology at the School of Arts and Sciences. Prior to coming to Penn, they worked with the Ministry of Rural Development (Government of India), the Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and Teach For India. They earned their Ed. M. in International Education Policy from Harvard's Graduate School of Education and their B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar. Kim enjoys reading, writing, traveling and teaching, and is excited for the collaborations that ISAB will foster this year!
Gergely is a junior 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.
David is a Freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences at Penn. He is Rwandan. David is intending to major in Neurosciences, but aside from that, he is interested in other forms of Academia ranging from political sciences, International relations to philosophy and ethics and loves engaging in or listening to conversations centered around these knowledge domains. Aside from that, David enjoys volunteering and staying engaged in the community. When relaxing, David likes spending time with friends, listening to music, or visiting a nearby cake shop.
Rina is a sophomore 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.
Giulia is a sophomore in the College, planning to major in PPE with a minor in Consumer Psychology. She is from Italy but was born in France and also lived in Japan, China and Indonesia. Having lived in so many places, Giulia is committed to making sure that all international students at Penn feel fully welcomed and integrated. She would especially like to focus on extending support to all types of international students, be it third culture kids or students who have only lived in one place. Outside of school Giulia enjoys going on long walks, cooking and trying new foods and also enjoys all sports, including volleyball, swimming and boxing.
Christopher is a senior 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.
Aishwarya is a third-year PhD candidate in the Cell and Molecular Biology program under Biomedical Graduate Studies. She was born in India and was brought up in multiple cities across the country. She joined Penn for a Masters at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences after going to college in Pune, India.
Aishwarya is currently a student representative for her graduate group in BGS, a writer and editor for her program newsletter, and a peer mentor for URM undergraduates. As an ISAB member, she wants to help international students build a vibrant community and a second home at Penn. In her free time (a rarity) Aishwarya likes (loves) to read, solve puzzles, and binge-watch true crime shows on Netflix.
Yao Qi is a third-year dental student at Penn Dental Medicine. She was born and raised in Beijing, China, and finished her college degree in Neuroscience at Duke University. As an international dental student, she has faced some unique challenges because of the lack of information and companionship. Outside of school, she enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, biking, and traveling. As an ISAB member, she is aiming to help international students with similar backgrounds to improve their experience and thrive in their career, as well as encouraging a positive and supportive environment at Penn for all international students to feel welcomed to their new home.
Pedro is a sophomore from Ecuador in the Wharton School studying Finance and Business Analytics. He enjoys learning from different perspectives, playing the guitar, doing community service, playing sports, and spending time with his friends and family. He hopes that one day either from the private sector with a company, which generates decent and well-paid jobs, or from the public sector, fighting and creating new transparent policies that favor general economic growth and reduce social inequality, make the world a better, fairer, and more balanced place. As an international student himself, he knows how hard things may be for people like him. Therefore, he has tried and will continue trying to support all the people around him.
Andre is an LLM Candidate at Penn Law. Originally from Singapore, he was raised internationally and attended schools in England, the Philippines and Singapore. Andre completed his undergraduate studies at the National University of Singapore and University College London. Prior to Penn Law, he was practicing as a capital markets lawyer in Hong Kong. He was also previously an academic tutor at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law and a tutor/facilitator at the Singapore Institute of Legal Education. Andre is keen to help international students better integrate into the wider Penn community, particularly during this period of remote learning.
Quinten is a master's student at the Penn Graduate School of Education. He is from Canada, where he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alberta serving as the undergraduate representative on the Committee on the Learning Environment. Quinten has experience working with secondary students, coaching debate, and in international education. Prior to his matriculation at the University of Pennsylvania, he was completing a placement as a secondary teacher in France. Quinten looks forward to working with ISAB to support the integration of international graduate and undergraduate students at Penn.
Stefan Tzvetanov is a senior 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.