Penn Global Student Citizenship Award
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Penn Global is committed to honoring international students who have prioritized global engagement by bringing the world to Penn and Penn to the world. The Penn Global Student Citizenship Award is presented to a graduating international student who has best exemplified a spirit of global citizenship during their time at Penn. One undergraduate and one graduate student are selected as recipients of the award.
During his tenure as president of the Assembly of International Students, Hugo Leo was a tireless advocate for international undergraduates, working diligently with a large portfolio of student groups and University administrators to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on campus life. Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, he has been described as an “exceptional leader” and an “impassioned ambassador” who “delivered a range of valuable programming that connected Penn’s global student and alumni community through one of the most challenging times” in the University’s history.
As Graduate Chair of the International Student Advisory Board, Yao Qi served as a bridge between the international graduate student community and key Penn administrative offices. But her global impact has not been limited to the confines of Penn’s campus – Yao is committed to using her skills as a dental care professional to improve the health of the communities to which she belongs, both at Penn and in the wider world.
Hailing from Jaipur, India, Sarthak Jain promoted global citizenship through his work in Penn Student Government, the Undergraduate Assembly, the Greenfield Intercultural Center and various other centers on campus. He was a founding member of two organizations for first-generation, low-income (FGLI) students on campus. He has been described as an “outstanding student activist,” a “thoughtful Penn citizen,” and a “role model” with a dedication to the wellbeing of others.
During her time at Penn, Amisha Shahra lived out her passion for community impact and global development by designing green infrastructure solutions for the West Philadelphia community, becoming a founding member of Penn’s first student water club, and representing the University at the World Water Forum in Senegal. Her work at Sayre High School in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She came to Penn with an extensive background in global development, having spearheaded global leadership initiatives around the world.
Maher Abdel Samad dedicated his entire Penn experience to international student advocacy and peer mentorship, serving on the Undergraduate Assembly (UA) and leading a variety of cultural and professional organizations on campus. Maher built bridges to integrate the efforts of different student organizations and offices at Penn, and acted as a voice for Penn’s international student community.
As the Graduate Chair of the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) and through her work at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Vivien Yiu used her storytelling and data visualization skills to advocate for international students' mental health and for a more inclusive campus climate.
2021 Honorable Mentions
Nyasha Zimunhu’s passions for innovation and community service have inspired her to make impacts on Penn’s campus, in her home country of Zimbabwe, and beyond. As a Penn student, she participated in a variety of service learning projects while also serving as a Weingarten Learning Ambassador and Vice President of the Society of African Internationals at Penn (SAIP).
Through his leadership in the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) and Rangoli - The Indian Association at Penn, Sasidharan Ravikumar was deeply involved in local and national efforts to create a welcoming environment for the graduate international student community.
A Canadian citizen who grew up in Thailand, Melisande McLaughlin (College; BA, Cinema and Media Studies) is passionate about using film as a medium for generating social impact. She has played a key role in executing a number of film projects that have had tangible impact on communities worldwide, including a documentary about life at Kenya's Kakuma Refugee Camp that has been used by the UN to educate thousands of new arrivals to the camp.
A native of the Philippines, Anthony Gokianluy (Wharton) has been a tireless advocate for cultural diversity and international student integration on Penn’s campus. During his time at Penn, he served as the Vice President for International of the Wharton Graduate Association and a leader of Wharton’s Southeast Asia Club. He is also the founder and CEO of a startup that helps international students achieve their academic and professional goals.
2020 Honorable Mentions
Arya Akal graduates with a BA in Economics from the School of Arts and Sciences. Arya developed a drive for creating social impact during her childhood in Trinidad and Tobago. At Penn, she was heavily involved in Penn Engineers Without Borders as the organization's Vice President of International Projects and as the leader of service trips to Guatemala in 2018 and 2019. She also volunteered as a tennis coach for autistic children, held fundraisers to benefit refugee communities, and interned with the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City.
As a Wharton MBA candidate, Handerson Mwandembo served as the Graduate Chair of the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB), acting as a liaison between Penn's international graduate student community and University administrators. A member of the Wharton Africa Students Association (WASA), he helped organize the 27th-annual Wharton Africa Business Forum, and in Spring 2019, he led a group of 40 MBA students to Ethiopia and his home country of Kenya as part of the Global Immersion Program.
Ransford Antwi graduates with a BSE in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the School of Engineering and Applied Science. A native of Ghana, he served as the President of Penn's Society for African Internationals and played a key role in orchestrating events such as the Penn Africa Summit. He was also a Perry World House Student Fellow in the 2019-20 academic year and a Wharton India Fellow in 2018-19.
A first-generation student from Jamaica, Louis Charles Davis served as the Social Media Chair and Public Relations Officer of the Caribbean-American Student Association (CASA) since his freshman year at Penn, overseeing the organization's growth from 30 to over 250 student members. While pursuing a BA in Communication at the Annenberg School, he was also a Residential Advisor at Kings Court English College House, where he was "instrumental in helping create a culture of learning and self-help," according to House Dean Dr. Krimo Bokreta.
After graduating from the University of Missouri, Sam Lin returned to his home country of China to found an education consultancy that provides mentorship services to students who aspire to study in the United States and promotes cross-cultural awareness. As a student of the Graduate School of Education's Education Entrepreneurship Program, he initiated a number of collaborations with Chinese educators and entrepreneurs to promote technological innovation in education. Sam states that his mission is to "cultivate and empower global citizenship in [his] community through world-class entrepreneurial solutions."
Joo Hyung Park is pursuing a Master's of Chemical Science in the School of Arts and Sciences. A native of South Korea, he served as the Chair of International Affairs for the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) and the Graduate Vice Chair of the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB). In these roles, he spearheaded various initiatives to enhance the visibility of international student issues on Penn's campus and in the US Congress.
Undergraduate Winner: Liqhwa Ncube
- Undergraduate Honorable Mention: Adamseged Abebe
- Undergraduate Honorable Mention: James Goh
Graduate Winner: Macy Fang-Hsuan Chang
- Graduate Honorable Mention: Christina Cheung
- Graduate Honorable Mention: Ángeles Ortega Luque
Undergraduate Winner: Mariana Repsold França
Graduate Winner: Mahvish Ilyas
Undergraduate Winner: Mitchelle Matesva
Graduate Winner: Jenny Qianying Zhang
Winner: Leah Davidson
- Honorable Mention: Mahalatchmi Subramaniam
- Honorable Mention: Ting Zhang