ISAB Members

ISAB

    ISAB Leadership

    Academic Year 2023-2024

    Undergraduate Chair: David Kato

    Undergraduate Vice Chair: Naseebullah Andar

    Graduate Chair: Aishwarya Pawar

    Graduate Vice Chair: Andrés Mondragón 

    David Adam Kato
    Undergraduate Chair
    David Adam Kato (Rwanda)

    David is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences and is from Rwanda. He is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Chemistry. Being on the PreMed track, David is interested in pursuing a career in medicine. At Penn, David is also involved in Renewal College Fellowship, Christian Union, Full Measure, and the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT). David is also a Perry World House Student Fellow where he joins other students interested in global affairs to talk about public policy solutions. David is driven to create an equitable environment for all students, but in particular, highlight the individual experiences of international students which, more often than not, tend to be an afterthought in most high-level administrative spaces. Outside of the board, David enjoys serving in his church fellowship, hanging out with friends, and taking a good nap!

     

    Naseebullah Andar
    Undergraduate Vice Chair
    Naseebullah Andar (Afghanistan)

    Naseebullah Andar, born and raised in Afghanistan, is a junior at the College of Arts and Sciences, considering majoring in economics and biology. A Penn World Scholar, he is involved, among others, in the Penn Debate Society, TEDx Penn, and Afghan Student Association and plays for Penn’s Cricket Team. He is also a peer advisor and a student leader for the Intercultural Leadership Program.

    His hobbies include playing chess, watching movies, learning new languages, and memorizing random numbers. He likes reading different genres, from philosophical writings to historical narratives and science fiction, and he likes to write and do poetry in different languages.

    Believing that a united world makes a better world, he also strives to make long-lasting connections and voice the sounds of the silent masses. He cherishes being part of ISAB to advocate for youth empowerment, social justice, and collective progress.

    Aishwarya Pawar
    Graduate Chair
    Aishwarya Pawar (India)

    Aishwarya is a 6th-year Ph.D. candidate studying Cancer Biology in the Cell and Molecular Biology program at the Perelman School of Medicine. 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 Science after going to college in Pune, India.

    She joined ISAB to represent and amplify the voices of international students regarding their experience 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 dream about being a writer.

    Andres Mondragon (Peru)
    Graduate Vice Chair
    Andrés Mondragón (Peru)

    Andrés is both, a 4th-year undergraduate majoring in Economics and minoring in Data Science and Statistics, and a 1st-year accelerated Master’s student studying Computer Science. He is involved in research at Penn where he enjoys tackling Machine Learning tasks in several fields.

    He grew up in Lima, Peru, and attended the same British-Peruvian school for 16 years. Due to this, he experienced the difficulties of transitioning from his safe space back home to the unknown world of U.S. college life. Ever since he started college, he has seen it as his duty to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health in the international community and leave behind a legacy where no international student feels helpless or alone.

    Outside of academics, Andrés enjoys visiting new restaurants, practicing French, and discovering new indie artists on Spotify.

     

    Dorothy (Pheobe) Ayitey (Ghana)
    Board Member
    Dorothy (Phoebe) Ayitey (Ghana)

    Phoebe is an international human rights lawyer and is currently an LLM student at the Carey Law School at the University of Pennsylvania. She was born and raised in Ghana. Passionate about human rights advocacy, she worked as a senior associate at a highly regarded law firm in Ghana, and on a part-time basis, volunteered with several reputable NGOs. Providing legal advice, representing victims of human rights abuses, and dealing with a wide variety of complex and sensitive cases have trained her to be diligent, resilient, and compassionate. Phoebe’s humble background inspires her empathetic approach to dealing with victims of human rights violations. At Penn, she is an international associate editor of the Journal of International Law, one of the oldest and most prestigious journals in Penn. She joined ISAB because she believes in the mission of ISSS and hopes to use her experience to support international students struggling with transitioning. In her free time, Phoebe loves to pause, breathe deeply, and marvel at the beauty of nature.

    Daira Natalia Povez Gamboa
    Board Member
    Daira Natalia Povez Gamboa (Peru)

    Daira is a Master of Public Administration student at Penn. She was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She has spent the last 3 years studying for her undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Warwick in the UK (England) where she worked in several clubs and organizations focused on women’s professional development and international students. After graduating this past July, she is back to “her side of the world” and she is very excited to contribute to Penn’s international community. If you are on campus, you might see her studying at the Grad Center, organizing the next Latin American Graduate and Professional Assembly (LAGAPSA) event, or running to her next meeting/commitment.

    She loves traveling, shopping, dancing to Latin American music, writing, and watching soccer games (especially when Peru plays or any premier league game).

    Manya Gupta
    Board Member
    Manya Gupta (India)

    Manya (she/they) is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying economics and political science. She is from Jaipur, India, and is interested in global health and development. At Penn, Manya is involved with the Penn Debate Society, the Philomathean Society, and the International Development Club, and they work part-time at the Center for Advanced Study of India. She cares deeply about improving the experience of international students here, who often have unique personal and logistical struggles in transitioning to life at Penn. In her free time, Manya likes to read, foster cats, and people-watch in cafes.

    Nick Kioko
    Board Member
    Nick Kioko (Kenya)

    Nick was born and raised in Kenya. He is ambitious, enthusiastic, curious, diligent, and self-motivated with interests in the intersection of business, economics, education, renewable energy, and politics. He is particularly passionate about community service as a way of improving the lives of the underprivileged and advancing social and economic empowerment in developing countries. He has his prospects set on venturing into government, business, and the nonprofit sector.

    Currently, he is a first-year student at the Wharton. In his words, he is looking forward to an education that will further refine his interests and lead him into a career of transformative leadership. In addition to improving his technical knowledge in areas like renewable energy, infrastructure financing, and international financial transactions, a Wharton education will help him develop business and leadership skills that will enable him to address economic and social challenges at home and across the globe.

    Headshot of Alexandar Krastev
    Board Member
    Alexandar Krastev (Bulgaria)

    Alexandar is a junior 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.

    Qiushuo Li (Louis) (China)
    Board Member
    Qiushuo Li (Louis) (China)

    Louis is a sophomore at the College studying political science. Born and raised in Beijing China, Louis later moved to Auckland, New Zealand, and studied there for 7 years before coming to the US. At Penn, he is involved with the Penn Political Journal and Penn Undergraduate Law Journal. Besides that, Louis enjoys playing amateur violin and tennis, as well as occasionally going to a Philorch concert.

    Having lived and studied in a new country twice, Louis knows the struggles international students face when transitioning to a new environment, and he wants to use his efforts to improve the experience of Penn international students.

    Gaurav Mangal
    Board Member
    Gaurav Mangal (India)

    Gaurav is a second-year graduate student pursuing a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering, born and raised in India. He is also an active member of GAPSA where is serves as director of International Student Affairs. He is passionate about the issues affecting the international student community at Penn. He is also part of the executive board of Rangoli - the association representing the South Asian graduate and professional students at Penn. He is also the founding member of a nonprofit in India- Rapid Action Kinsfolk Team (RAKT), that helps create awareness about blood donation. In his spare time, he loves exploring Philly, watching movies, and stargazing.

    Nicole Matukutire  (Zimbabwe)
    Board Member
    Nicole Matukutire (Zimbabwe)

    Nicole Matukutire is a freshman student and is from Zimbabwe. She is currently looking to concentrate on Entrepreneurship and Finance at Wharton, and she is hoping to pursue a career in consulting. She is also excited about studying abroad and is potentially looking at Europe, specifically Denmark. Her hobbies include reading, tennis, hiking, and the gym. Her favorite thing about Penn so far has been the community and her professors; she looks forward to meeting new people and creating stronger bonds. Nicole hasn’t lived in the northeast and thinks 60 degrees is cold, so she might not be ready for the Philadelphia winter. Wish her luck!

    Nhlanhla Mavuso (Eswatini)
    Board Member
    Nhlanhla Mavuso (Eswatini)

    Nhlanhla Mavuso is a dual degree student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) class of 2026, studying Computer Engineering at the School of Engineering, and Physics at the College of Arts & Sciences. His current research is on designing self-healing computer chips that reconfigure themselves for better energy usage. Nhlanhla is also passionate about education access and equality and serves as a computer science coordinator on the Moelis Access Science (MAS) Board. In his role, he helps to design initiatives to improve STEM education at Penn and in Philadelphia public schools. In his free time, he enjoys running along the serene Schuylkill riverbanks.

    Anh Ngo (Vietnam)
    Board Member
    Anh Ngo (Vietnam)

    Anh is a senior majoring in Economics with a minor in Consumer Psychology. Born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam, she joined the College of Arts and Sciences as a Penn World Scholar and is also part of the Benjamin Franklin Scholar program. Beyond academics, Anh serves as the Vice President of the Wharton Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Club. She is passionate about supporting the entrepreneurial community on campus and is a fellow of the Wharton Venture Initiation Program, specializing in the food innovation track. Outside the classroom, Anh can be found playing the violin, practicing karate (fun fact: she holds a black belt), and hunting for fun restaurants in Center City.

    Terhi Nurminen on Perelman Quadrangle
    Board Member
    Terhi Nurminen (Finland)

    Terhi is a junior 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?).

    Yamin Phyu Phyu
    Board Member
    Yamin Phyu Phyu (Myanmar)

    Yamin is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, intending to major in Mathematical Economics with a minor in Consumer Psychology and Statistics. She was born and raised in Mandalay, the second-largest city in Myanmar. At Penn, she is involved in the Daily Pennsylvanian and the Association for Women in Mathematics. Outside school, she loves watching mukbang videos, learning languages, cooking, and solving puzzles.

    Yamin joined ISAB to help international students transition and acclimate to life at Penn. She hopes to bring her experiences and suggestions on integration-related issues.

    Zuobing Qian (Judy) (China)
    Board Member
    Zuobing Qian (Judy) (China)

    Zuobing (Judy) is an Education Policy student at Penn. Hailing from Wenzhou, a small city in China. She went to Cornell University as an undergraduate. With a background in personal training for weightlifting, she is passionate about promoting health and wellness among the international student body as an ISAB member. If you are on campus, you might see her doing research with CRPE, coaching clients at Pottruck Center, and singing with her a cappella group, Penn Enchord. Till now she was snowed in over the last four months every year in Ithaca. Philly winters might give her a break.

    Bona Lee Sungay (Philippines)
    Board Member
    Bona Lee Sungay (Philippines)

    Bona Lee is a proud Igorot from the Cordillera region of the Philippines. This fall she started her M.S.Ed in the International Education Development Program at the Graduate School of Education. She is also a new fellow at the Family Service Center. Before moving to Philadelphia, she taught in Vietnam for 13 years and in China for two years. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, singing, watching and playing board/card games, traveling, and socializing over coffee even though she believes herself to be an introvert!

    She is an ardent advocate of equality and equity, particularly in education. Coming from a marginalized background, she would like others not to go through the pain of discrimination and prejudice due to one’s nationality. She is aware that adversaries are inevitable, but she believes that if we can make situations of humanity better, why not?! This conviction serves as her overarching compass for getting involved in organizations such as ISAB.

    Temitayo Andrew (Andrew) (Nigeria)
    Board Member
    Temitayo Andrew (Nigeria)

    Temitayo Andrew, a graduate student at Penn Dental Medicine. He hails from Nigeria and holds a degree in dentistry from the University of Ibadan. Over the past decade, he has actively engaged in community-based health promotion and advocated for stronger multidisciplinary collaboration in healthcare.

    Temitayo's interests span world history, economics, and soccer, reflecting his multifaceted nature. His cherished life goal is to build friendships with individuals from every country, fostering a global network of connections and sharing this experience to foster a safe and inclusive community on campus.

    Honored to share the world stage with remarkable individuals like you, his journey through academia and community service reflects his unwavering commitment to societal improvement and healthcare advancement. His boundless curiosity, compassion, and dedication make him a valuable asset to the global community at Penn.

    Lucia Espina Vazquez (Spain)
    Board Member
    Lucia Espina Vazquez (Spain)

    Born and raised in Spain, Lucía moved to the US to study for her undergraduate degrees in Neuroscience and Health and Societies at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently in her second year, she is involved with multiple on-campus organizations such as the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, and the Penn Museum, or clubs like Doublespeak, a literary translation magazine.

    Lucía is very passionate about using languages to improve education accessibility, working on eliminating language barriers to knowledge while learning more languages herself. Because of this, she has been working as a TED Talks translator for over 5 years to raise awareness on this issue. She is also involved in the public health and healthcare accessibility field and is excited to work with ISAB creating healthcare navigation initiatives for international students in the US.

    Yihan Zhang (China)
    Board Member
    Yihan Zhang (China)

    Yihan is a first-year master's student at the Graduate School of Education. She is from Shandong, China. After her undergraduate education in a small liberal arts college, Yihan understands the unique challenges international students face and is passionate about bringing changes to promote an amicable atmosphere for international students at Penn. Pursuing a degree in psychology, she hopes to facilitate a nuanced approach to support the well-being of international students. In her free time, Yihan likes to hike, swim, and go to karaoke and she is currently exploring more fun stuff in Philly!