Penn World Scholars Class of 2025

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Naseebullah Andar
Afghanistan
Naseebullah Andar

Academic Areas of Interest: "I am planning to be a Pre-Med Economics major with a minor in Philosophy. I have been fascinated by the mutual influences of Science on the economic landscape of our society. Also, realizing that Science is underpinned with philosophical underpinnings without which the accuracy of Science as a truth standard is incalculable, I plan to integrate the understanding of Science, philosophy, and economics to discover the hidden actualities of our reality."

Personal Interests and Hobbies: "Memorizing random numbers, names, facts, etc. Doing poetry across languages. Reading books, articles, magazines, and anything readable. Writing books, and compiling my thoughts. Playing cricket (I am good at it). Playing chess (I am just about average). Watching movies – DC Comics (No Marvel!). Discussing ideas."

Future Plans: "I plan to utilize the education I would receive and the Alumni Network I would develop at the UPenn to actively unify the divisions from which humanity suffers. Also, believing that Medical, Scientific, Economic, and Philosophical advances can make the world a slightly better place, I will strive to contribute to the intellectual landscape by attempting to unravel the mysteries around and above us."

Majd Ayyad
Palestine
Majd Ayyad

Academic areas of interest: "Architecture, sustainable design, bioengineering, economics, languages, photography, and fine arts."

Personal interests and hobbies: "Civic engagement, Photography, baking desserts, learning new languages, badminton."

Future plans: "After completing my undergraduate degree at Penn, I would like to pursue a master’s degree in sustainable design and enhance the research and design sector in my country. I see myself working in Academia to empower young women to get involved in research and innovative practices."

Image of Fadel Batal
Syria
Fadel Batal

Academic areas of interest: "I am planning to major in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in cell and tissue engineering on a pre-med track. I am also interested in Computer Science, and Political science."

Personal interests and hobbies: "In my free time, I enjoy playing sports like Basketball, Soccer, and Ping Pong. I am also into tutoring, learning foreign languages, exploring different cultures, civic engagement, and listening to music."

Future plans: "I am currently planning to participate in chemical and biomedical research, especially in nanomedicine research. Honestly, I am not sure what my dream career is, but I hope to pursue it in the medical field either as a neurosurgeon or as a research Scientist in Biotechnology."

Headshot of Omar Ben Kaddour
Tunisia
Omar Ben Kaddour

Academic areas of interest: "They’re all over the place–economics, public policy, legal studies, statistics, and computer science."

Personal interests and hobbies: "Advocacy and social justice; theater; music; watching classics, reading theory; cooking; thrift shopping."

Future plans: "After graduating from Penn, I want to pursue a dual JD/MBA program and eventually work on economic development in the MENA region."

Headshot of Ariana Bedoya Mansilla
Bolivia
Ariana Bedoya Mansilla

Academic areas of interest: "I am a member of the dual-degree Huntsman Program, majoring in Business at Wharton and International Studies at the College of Arts and Sciences. My two target languages are Portuguese and French. Some of my additional academic interests are reading and learning history."

Personal interests and hobbies: "I have competitively practiced horse-back riding and showjumping for over ten years. In high-school I was in the track-and-field varsity team, and still continue to run and work-out on a daily basis. My hobbies include watching great movies or documentaries, advising students on the college application process, and going out with friends or family."

Future plans: "I plan to study abroad in Portugal or France for a semester. In the future, I would like to work for a consulting or insurance company. Eventually, I plan to return to my home-country Bolivia, and continue my professional pursuits there."

Andrea Espósito-Rubio
Panama
Andrea Espósito-Rubio

Academic areas of interest: "I’m planning to pursue a double major in Economics and Political Science with a minor in Law and Society on the Pre-Law Track in the College of Arts and Sciences." 

Personal interests and hobbies: "I’m passionate about civic engagement, and volunteer work. I also enjoy learning languages, brewing and trying different blends of coffee, going on coffee runs, reading, debating British Parliamentary style, organizing debate tournaments, and listening to Christmas music."

Future plans: "I see myself working in the Economic field after my undergraduate studies at Penn before pursuing Law School both in the United States and in Panama. I plan to advocate for equal access to quality education for Latin American Women, and to raise awareness on the importance of civic engagement and political change and involvement."

Headshot of Ondrej Gonzor
Czech Republic
Ondrej Gonzor

Academic areas of interest: "I have always been interested in the intersection of business and technologies therefore I am majoring in Computer Science and I plan to get a minor in economics or entrepreneurship for engineers."

Personal interests and hobbies: "I love to explore new places, taste new food and learn new things. In my free time, I exercise, take care of my mango trees, or fly gliders."

Future plans: "I plan to test the new knowledge in real life by building projects with people I will meet here at Penn. After graduation, I would like to travel the world and use my skills to help communities to grow and eventually I want to return to the Czech Republic where I hope I will contribute to positive changes in our society."

Headshot of Manya Gupta
India
Manya Gupta

Academic areas of interest: "I’m interested in global health, biology, economics, anthropology, and international development!"

Personal interests and hobbies: "I really enjoy reading (contemporary fiction and memoir), spending time with my younger sister, and going to random events in Philadelphia. I’m also very involved with debate."

Future plans: "I care deeply about global health, poverty alleviation, biosecurity, and gender justice, especially in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. In the future, I see myself working at the intersection of health and development, and will continue exploring what the specific role might look like."

Headshot of Lachlan Heywood
Australia
Lachlan Heywood

Academic areas of interest: "I currently intend to pursue a double major in Economics and Physics. Beyond that, I am also interested in political science, international relations and entrepreneurship."

Personal interests and hobbies: "I’m interested in debating, youth advocacy, community service and social impact, particularly as it relates to business. I also enjoy playing and watching basketball, listening to music, reading, travelling and exploring new restaurants." 

Future plans: "Whilst I am unsure of where my professional life may lead, I hope to pursue a career in business, hopefully in an organisation that utilizes my interest in physics. Above all else, I hope to work for an organisation which employs the levers of business to enact social change." 

Headshot of Reyhan Jamalova
Azerbaijan
Reyhan Jamalova

Academic areas of interest: "I am planning to major in Computer and Information Science with a concentration in Data Science and minors in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Entrepreneurship."

Personal interests and hobbies: "I am really interested in fields like Renewable Energy, Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, Data Analysis, and Psychology, and I enjoy getting involved in community service, tutoring, reading, drawing, watching mystery/sci-fi movies, and solving Rubik's cube."

Future plans: "After successfully completing my undergraduate studies, I plan to pursue a master’s degree in Data Science to strengthen my expertise in the field while working on Rainergy part-time. After I complete my studies, I plan to bring my experiences and knowledge back to my country and use them for the good of my community and the development of my country.

"Overall, I want to be one of the bests in the field I will be working in, a thoughtful and one of the most powerful leaders who is changing our world into a better place, and a humanitarian who thrives a positive impact on people's lives."

Photo of Margarita Mnatsakanyan
Armenia
Margarita Mnatsakanyan

Academic areas of interest: "I'm pursuing a career in Business Economics and Public Policy at Wharton School of Business. Being passionate about change, I want to examine pressing global issues while helping the world take a step towards a more sustainable and peaceful future."

Personal interests and hobbies: "I love baking traditional desserts from all over the world, biking, and skiing in the mountains."

Future plans: "Even though I am uncertain about what the future holds, I am envisioning a career in global politics."

Headshot of Faith Murima
Kenya
Faith Murima

Academic areas of interest: "I'm interested in exploring cognitive science, economics, artificial intelligence, global health and mathematics."

Personal interests and hobbies: "I enjoy getting involved in social impact activities such as community service and women empowerment initiatives. I also love travelling, reading, and listening to podcasts. I also recently got into photography."

Future plans: "Upon completion of my undergraduate studies, I hope to proceed to graduate school and study public policy. I hope that my Penn education and beyond will equip me with more knowledge that will put me in a better position to help make substantial change in the healthcare system in my home country and Africa at large upon my return."

Headshot of Dea Rrozhani
Albania
Dea Rrozhani

Academic areas of interest: "I plan on majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Electrical Engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. I am also very interested in Entrepreneurship."

Personal interests and hobbies: "I love programming, building robots, playing the piano, reading classic literature, learning new languages and travelling!"

Future plans: "My dream is to work on software and robots that incite social change all around the world."

Headshot of Alejandra Soria Andrade
Ecuador
Alejandra Soria Andrade

Academic Areas of Interests: "I am part of the Huntsman Program in Business and International Studies, with Portuguese as my target language, for the next four years at the Wharton School and the College of Arts & Sciences essentially because I am really interested in economics, public policy, business and international affairs."

Personal Interests and Hobbies: "Traveling, language learning, outdoor activities, watching movies, meeting new people, getting to know cultures from around the world, getting out of my comfort zone, coffee, braiding, and learning about indigenous civilizations." 

Future Plans: "I hope to become an agent of change for my country to help solve the economic problems, but I also hope to become a global citizen who is constantly involved in leadership engagements and inclusive initiatives, at the same time of travelling all over the world."

Michał Wyrębkowski
Poland
Michał Wyrębkowski

Academic areas of interest: "I currently intend to major in Economics. My other interests include: Energy Policy, Economic History, Political Science, Russian and Eastern European Studies as well as French Studies."

Personal interests and hobbies: "Environmental activism; debating and Model UN; youth engagement; science-fiction literature; poetry of Russian and French singer-songwriters; film classics; philosophy of dialogue; baking pastries and playing video games."

Future plans: "I intend to work on the pathways of the green energy transition, as I consider energy the most fundamental element of human civilization, one so omnipresent that often overlooked. I would like to work on that in academia through economic research, in the field of business by fostering innovation in the field, and one day in the public policy itself, helping Poland to phase out coal."

Headshot of Dina Zhanybekova
Kazakhstan
Dina Zhanybekova

Academic areas of interest: "Cinema and Media Studies, Political Science (College of Arts and Sciences)"

Personal interests and hobbies: "Making movies, playing the piano, dancing, singing, debating, playing chess, and swimming."

Future plans: "Right now, I anticipate working in the film industry either as a director or an actress. In my opinion, people from the media and entertainment carry a huge responsibility to the audience. Therefore, I find it necessary to stay knowledgeable about the issues that are present in society and use my voice sensibly. In the long future, I’d like to get involved in politics more because I believe that the key to solving socio-economic problems in a country lies in its governmental policies."