International Student Table for Advocacy & Relations

ISTAR

The International Student Table for Advocacy & Relations (ISTAR) works closely with ISSS and is a partnership of different student organizations, both undergraduate and graduate, with a mission to advocate and provide a unified voice for all international students at Penn.

ISTAR comprises representatives from the following student organizations:

  • International Student Advisory Board (ISAB)

  • Assembly of International Students (AIS)

  • Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) International Affairs

  • Undergraduate Assembly (UA)

ISTAR is coordinated by ISSS. For any questions about ISTAR, please contact:

Rudie Altamirano, Director of ISSS

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International Student Advisory Board
Efe Ayhan

Efe is a junior studying Computer Science and Economics in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He was born in Izmir and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. He is interested in software engineering and data science. At Penn, he is heavily involved with the international community, being a part of both Assembly of International Students and the International Student Advisory Board. He is also part of the WPS Dance Troupe, and enjoys sailing, social dancing and traveling in his free time.

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International Student Advisory Board
Joo Hyung Park

Joo Hyung is a 2nd year graduate student in the Chemistry department. His current research is focused on using chemical probes and semi-synthetic insertion of post-translational modifications to understand their role in the physiology and pathology of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). He was born in South Korea but was raised across USA and South Korea before attending Denison University to get his B.S. degree in Biochemistry. During his free time, Joo Hyung loves to read, listen to music, play soccer, and hang out with friends. He is devoted to help other international students integrate into the Penn community and hopes he can improve the Penn experience for both international and domestic students.

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Undergraduate Assembly
Yisheng Edward Jiang

A proud native of Sydney, Australia, Yisheng is a junior studying Economics and Political Science, minoring in Statistics. Yisheng is an elected representative of the Penn Undergraduate Assembly and is deeply passionate about expanding resources for Penn's diverse international, exchange, and transfer student bodies. At Penn, he is involved with the Wharton Public Policy Initiative, serving as Executive Vice President, and Phi Chi Theta. In his spare time, Yisheng enjoys kickboxing, cycling, and following the 76ers.

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Assembly of International Students
Wendy Qian

Wendy is a Junior majoring in Psychology and Fine Arts. Although she was born and raised in Shanghai, she is a citizen of the beautiful little red dot, Singapore. Outside of AIS, Wendy was the Marketing Chair for Penn Fashion Week. Wendy enjoys painting, cooking, as well as exploring Philadelphia in her free time. 

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International Student Advisory Board
Handerson Mwandembo

Handerson Mwandembo is a first-year MBA student at The Wharton School, majoring in Finance and Business Analytics. A native Swahili speaker, Handerson was born and raised in Kenya and has occasionally, had the experience of moving and settling in a new city. Prior to joining Wharton, he worked in Management Consulting across Africa and the UK, specializing in modelling and data analytics. Handerson is a great fan of Verdi’s operas and is also working to build a collection of African classical music from 60’s to the 90’s. Handerson looks forward to the year ahead, working with ISAB to enhance the experience of international students and strengthen the community.  

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International Student Advisory Board
Derya Yavuz

Derya is a junior in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She is from Istanbul, Turkey. As a computer engineering major, she is planning on going to law school after college. She is involved in PennApps, Assembly of International Students and Rachleff Scholars on campus. 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.  

 

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Assembly of International Students
Eva Zhang

Eva is a senior studying International Relations and Business Analytics, minoring in Art History. Born and raised in Beijing, she attended high school in Connecticut. At Penn, she is involved in the Assembly of International Students, the International Affairs Association, and Wharton China Association. Eva enjoys horseback riding, traveling, and exploring different cultures through food or arts.