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Academic Year 2021-2022
Undergraduate Chair: Rina Nagatani
Undergraduate Vice Chair: David Kato
Graduate Chair: Yao Qi
Graduate Vice Chair: Aishwarya Pawar
Rina is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, planning on majoring in neuroscience and minoring in design. 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, sings with Keynotes A Cappella, and loves to be on stage and perform music.
During her time at Penn so far, she had opportunities to talk to students during New Student Orientation, Forerunner Global, and the Admissions Panel which opened her up to so many different perspectives on international student life. She is part of ISAB because she enjoys working to nurture a welcoming environment and would like to continue doing so by leading ISAB. She is looking forward to working with ISAB to encourage a positive setting where everyone can reach their full potential, personally and professionally.
David is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences at Penn from Rwanda. David is intending to major in Political Science and also on the PreMed Track, but aside from that he is interested in other forms of Academia ranging from Neuroscience, international relations to philosophy and ethics and loves engaging in or listening to conversations centered around these knowledge domains. David enjoys volunteering and staying engaged in the community. When relaxing, David likes spending time with friends and listening to music.
Yao Qi is a fourth-year student at Penn Dental Medicine. She was born and raised in Beijing, China, and finished her college degree in Neuroscience at Duke University. Yao enjoys volunteering and serving the community either as a dental student or as a community member. Outside of school, she enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, biking, and traveling. As the graduate chair of ISAB this year, 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.
Aishwarya is a 4th 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 BGS students. She joined ISAB to represent and amplify the voices of international students regarding their life at Penn. 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.
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.
Gergely is a senior 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.
Alexandar is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences and is considering majoring in Mathematical Economics. He grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria but he attended an international school in the UK for three years. There he encountered many of the difficulties and challenges international students face – from traveling and logistics to integration and culture shock. Alexandar is passionate about bringing internationals closer together and has been on the organizational teams of many cultural events at his school aimed at highlighting the uniqueness of different cultures. He joined ISAB because he believes that the best way to aid international students in their academic and cultural journey at UPenn and beyond is through advising and working with institutions to make lasting change. Apart from academics Alexandar is an avid “Star Wars” fan, likes to hike and loves listening to classical music and rap.
Carl is a first-time international student from the Philippines. Having initially worked in the academe, he shifted to managing educational development projects for international organizations like UNICEF, USAID, and World Vision. His diverse experiences in international development led him to Penn GSE’s International Educational Development Program as a UNESCO Fellow. Outside of school, Carl regularly practices yoga and he is also certified to teach it.
Carl chose to be part of ISAB because he wants to help international students to have better opportunities and maximize the resources available to them.
Yuka is a Brazilian sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a Robotics concentration. She was born in Komaki, Japan, where she lived for 10 years before moving to Santo André, Brazil. Yuka is very passionate about education and foreign cultures, and some of her hobbies are learning foreign languages, playing video games, and getting involved in community service.
At Penn, she wants to participate in robotics research to learn how technology can improve education quality and promote equality of opportunities in her home country. So far, she has been involved in Penn’s community as a peer mentor in the PennCAP Prefreshman Program, a student leader in the Intercultural Leadership Program, and a board member in iFGLI (international first-generation and low-income student program). Being a FGLI student herself, Yuka joined ISAB’s ISSS Services and Website subcommittee to help all international students thrive in university regardless of their backgrounds.
Giulia is a junior 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.
Giulia is a freshman in the Wharton School of Business. Although she is undecided on her concentration, she is interested in management and Business Economics, and Public Policy. She was born in Itu, a small town in São Paulo, Brazil. Outside of school, Giulia enjoys outdoor activities such as running and hiking. She also loves to read and spend time with her family and her dogs. She joined ISAB to advocate for international student wellness in the Penn Community. As a new ISAB member, she hopes to bring some new perspectives on issues surrounding mental health and community building.
"I am a graduate student in the Graduate School of Education, majoring in intercultural communication. I was born in Beijing, China. Before studying at Penn GSE, I studied Architecture for six years and graduated from Penn Weitzman School of design with a master’s degree. For me, Both Architecture and Language are media of expression and communication. As an international student, I am so happy to embrace the different cultures and people with various backgrounds. I like traveling, painting, swimming, and cooking which help me meet friends and enrich my life. As a member of ISAB, this platform provides me with more chances to help international student groups. Offering advice, listening to others’ difficulties, and standing in others’ positions to solve problems is my mission here. I join the ISAB since I want to help more international students feel warm like home in the new city."
Terhi is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences exploring the intersections of natural and social sciences. She grew up in rural Finland, and spent two gap years on an island in Sweden - a perfect location during the pandemic.
Terhi joined ISAB to make the Penn experience the most wholesome international student experience in the Ivy League, and is currently working on the transition period to college life. She is very much into post-its, and will probably ask you to write your best integration tip on one. Other times you can find her drinking too much bubble tea as it does not exist in Finland :( or buying books she doesn't have time to read (maaaybe during the winter break?).
Victor is a senior studying Mathematical Economics. He is Finnish and Brazilian, though was born in France; he has lived in Finland, Brazil, France, and now the United States as a student. Attending highschool at an international school in Europe, he would travel across the continent for Model UN and debate conferences, giving him exposure to diverse international cultures.
Victor is a member of the Undergraduate Economics Society, spent his junior year working on an internet startup (Berri) with fellow Penn students, and loves interacting with the student body at Penn, being of course especially keen to meet fellow Brazilians and Europeans! Being exposed to the many different cultures at Penn, as well as understanding the professional and personal needs of international students, Victor joined ISAB hoping to assist in making their experience at Penn fulfilling and to provide international students with more tailored career opportunities.
Yuwan is a third-year PhD student at Penn bioengineering department. She was born and raised in China and came to Philadelphia when she was 16 years old for high school. Following high school, she completed her undergraduate study in chemical engineering at University of California, Los Angeles. She enjoys travelling, outdoor adventures, exploring great restaurants in Philly, and watching films outside of school. She was an active advocate for international students during her undergraduate study and as an ISAB member, she would like to continue supporting international students in their transition and integration to the U.S. academically and professionally. She is particularly interested in enhancing new international student experience, bridging the gap between domestic and international students, and making sure that international students have easy access to various resources on campus.
Tim is both French and Italian, he grew up in between both countries and then studied in the UK where he was awarded a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He now is a first-year Master student in Bioengineering at Penn whilst being involved with research at the McKay Lab in the School of Medicine. Currently a member of GAPSA (the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly), Tim joined ISAB to help build a strong community of international students that support and challenge each other. He hopes to better the international student experience by creating a safe environment where individuals are given the tools they need to thrive personally, academically and professionally. In addition, he always enjoys learning about new subjects, especially History, be it through reading, discussions or documentaries. Tim also is a very keen tennis player and is passionate about cooking.
Dawn Adrian is a first year graduate student in the International Education Development Program at Penn GSE. She was born in Sarawak, Malaysia and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. She graduated in 2019 from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom with a Bachelors in English Literature. On top of classes, she is also the GAPSA representative for the GSE student government.
Outside of school, Dawn enjoys watching horror movies, singing and spontaneous travel. During her time in high school she was leading the international student body there overlooking their academic and home life. She hopes to continue her work by helping in the international student adjustment to the American college life and she aims to create strategies to ease that transition and settling!