Meet Our 2021-22 World House Student Fellows

May 10, 2021
By Perry World House

Perry World House has selected 33 undergraduate students for its 2021-22 World House Student Fellows program. The Student Fellows represent all four of the University of Pennsylvania’s undergraduate schools, sharing a keen interest in global affairs.

“Since Perry World House’s opening five years ago, our Student Fellows have been the heart of our community and the best example of how we enrich campus life,” said Michael Horowitz, Director at Perry World House and Richard Perry Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “As future leaders in global affairs, the Student Fellows also learn to think critically and innovatively about pressing policy issues in the world.”

Student Fellows will participate in weekly seminars with expert faculty and policymakers, and tackle a major global policy issue through a year-long project. While working towards the end-of-year presentation of their work, they also benefit from engagement with Perry World House visitors, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows.

The 2021-22 Perry World House Student Fellows are (A * star denotes a returning fellow):

Amber Afzali, a rising junior from California, studies Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and Psychology with a minor in Arabic. She is interested in human rights efforts in the Middle East and South Asia, as well as how American foreign policy is influenced by regional events. Afzali serves as a board member for Penn International Impact Consulting and enjoys learning languages in her free time.

Tana Cuturela is a rising junior from Romania, majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in Consumer Psychology. She is passionate about the intersection of neuroscience and fields including business, politics and marketing. Cuturela is also part of clubs such as Penn Neuroscience Society and Wharton Alliance and enjoys doing research for the Neuroscience Community Education Lab.

Jade Gonzalez, a rising senior from Nebraska, is studying International Relations with minors in Environmental Studies and History. She is interested in the global dynamics of meat production, culinary diplomacy and transboundary water relations. Outside of class, Gonzalez also serves as the President of Penn Student Agencies and PennFirst Advocacy Chair.

Guilherme Grupenmacher*, a rising senior from Brazil, is majoring in Philosophy, Politics & Economics. He has previously conducted research for a think tank about corruption and is interested in researching policymaking in the developing world and studying international law, with a particular focus on the World Trade Organization. His hobbies include running, playing golf and studying the history of European art. 

George Hollyer* is a rising senior from Pennsylvania studying Materials Science and Engineering. He is interested in the global aspects of technology policy, having researched internet shutdowns and trust in international institutions. Outside of Perry World House, Hollyer has done materials research for fusion energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is a member of the Philomathean Society.

David Adam Kato, a rising sophomore from Rwanda, intends to major in Philosophy, Political Science & Economics and minor in Neuroscience. He is interested in international politics and global affairs. Kato also is a Board Member on the International Student Advisory Board.

Ali Khambati*, a rising senior from Texas, studies Finance and Decision-Making with a minor in Data Science. He is interested in the effects of technological development on international political dynamics, specifically its role in determining the relationships between high-gross domestic product nations. 

Sarah Ko* is a rising senior studying International Relations and Economics and minoring in French. She works on marketing for The Daily Pennsylvanian and the International Relations Undergraduate Student Association. Interested in global health, Ko is also President of the Student Hospice Organization of Penn. 

Rachel Lambert* is a rising senior from Virginia studying International Relations with minors in Biology and East Asian studies. She is interested in East Asian studies, international security studies, and healthcare. Lambert is also on the Penn fencing team, a Student Athlete Advisory Committee Representative, Vice President of the Student Hospice Organization of Penn, and a research assistant at Perry World House. 

Leah Lerner, a rising junior from Connecticut, studies Philosophy, Politics & Economics with a minor in Jewish Studies. She is particularly interested in the psychology of warfare, international human rights, and environmental geopolitics. Lerner is also a member of the Shabbatones, Penn's Jewish a cappella group, and a peer counselor for Penn Benjamins.

Caroline Li, a rising sophomore from Massachusetts, studies Finance and Statistics with a minor in Political Science and Computer Science. She is interested in international economic development and women's economic empowerment, specifically in the Asia-Pacific region. On campus, Li is involved with the Undergraduate Assembly and social entrepreneurship.

Helen Lortie, a rising sophomore from Maryland, studies Mechanical Engineering while pursuing a minor in International Relations. She is interested in energy sustainability and how advances in technology affect international policy. Lortie works as a liaison for Penn's Engineers without Borders and is involved with the Wharton Undergraduate Energy Group.

Oulaya Louaddi, a rising sophomore from Massachusetts, studies Nursing at the School of Nursing with minors in Global Health and Korean. She is interested in global health disparities and healthcare equity. Louaddi is a board member of the Minorities in Nursing Organization and has participated in – and conducted research on – anti-tobacco campaigns with a focus on targeted minority groups.

Kelly MacGarrigle, a rising senior from Washington, D.C., is double majoring in International Relations and Diplomatic History, and triple minoring in European Studies, German, and African Studies. She is interested in conflict studies in Africa, especially conflict mineral exploitation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda as well as terrorism in Nigeria, Somalia, and the Sahel. MacGarrigle is also a Residential Advisor for Fisher Hassenfeld College House and a peer educator for Penn Violence Prevention. She is Vice President of Sigma Iota Rho, Second Censor of the Philomathean Society, and an editor for the History and International Relations undergraduate journals.

Ben May* is a senior pursuing a double major in International Relations and Economics. He is most interested in environmental sustainability and curbing humanity’s ecological impact through international cooperation. May is also Co-Chair for the Penn Student Sustainability Association, Sustainability and Community Impact Committee Director on the Undergraduate Assembly.  In addition, he is a part of Penn’s travel Model United Nation’s team, a member of Kite and Key, Penn’s oldest and largest service organization, and leader of an international activism-orientated nonprofit, ThinkOcean. 

Carlos Montes*, a rising junior from Puerto Rico, studies Anthropology and minors in Political Science, and Latin American and Latinx Studies. He is interested in issues surrounding sovereignty, and decolonization in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is a program assistant at La Casa Latina, and a University Scholar. 

Natasha Napolitano* is a senior in the Nursing and Healthcare Management Program where she concentrates in Operations Management and Healthcare Management & Policy. Her research interest lie in adaptive health systems and how policy can address the social determinants of health.

Jimena Nestares* is a senior majoring in Physics and Astronomy. A Venezuela native, Nestares is a founding member of the Venezuelan Outreach for Community Empowerment, and Service (VOCES), where she works with student-led healthcare projects for vulnerable Venezuelan communities. 

Zuha Noor* is a sophomore from Pakistan, majoring in International Relations with minors in Economic Policy and Legal Studies and History. In addition to conducting research at Perry World House's Borders and Boundaries Project on border walls and security, she serves on the executive board of Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) and leads the Security & International Affairs Team. Noor is also the Managing Editor for Penn Political Review. 

Chinaza Ruth Okonkwo* a rising senior from California, studies Philosophy and History with concentrations in moral and political philosophy and world history and minors in Africana Studies, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies. Her independent research is centered around exploring indigenous Igbo epistemology. Okonkwo is a 2021 Beinecke Scholar, a Benjamin Franklin Scholar, a Robeson Cooper Scholar, an Andrea Mitchell Undergraduate Fellow, a Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Research Fellow, and a Mellon Mays Fellow. At Penn, she is involved with the Penn History Review, CAFSA (Coalition Against Fraternity Sexual Assault), and SCUE (Student Committee on Undergraduate Education). Okonkwo is also the founder of The Black Radical Tradition, a digital and physical radical reading collective. 

Andrew Orner*, a rising senior from Connecticut, studies Economic and Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. He is minoring in Hispanic Studies. Ornder has a strong interest in international security issues and intends to pursue a career in public policy. He is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar, a member of the Varsity Lightweight Rowing Team, and has served as an Intern Project Leader at the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at Penn’s Lauder Institute. 

Chonnipha (Jing Jing) Piriyalertsak* is a rising junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying International Relations with a minor in History. A native of Thailand, she is Editor-In-Chief for The Pennsylvania Punch Bowl, Penn's first satire magazine, and a Benjamin Franklin Scholar. 

Gabriella Rabito* studies International Relations with a minor in American Public Policy. A rising senior, she serves as Business Manager and sings for Dischord A Cappella, volunteers with Penn Leads the Vote, writes for 34th Street Magazine, and dances with Onda Latina. 

Vita Raskevicute* is a rising junior studying International Relations and Russian and Eastern European Studies in the College of Arts and Science. Born and raised in Lithuania, she is particularly interested in Eastern European social, political, and economic developments. 

Mahima Sangli is a rising junior from California studying Finance and Statistics as well as International Studies and Russian. Through her research, Sangli seeks to understand the role global financial institutions play in facilitating illicit financial flows.

Carisa Shah* is from New York City and a rising senior in the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology studying Bioengineering. She is a research assistant at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, co-chair of the Wharton Dean's Undergraduate Advisory Board, and a member of Kite and Key. 

Noah Sylvia, a rising junior, studies International Relations and Russian and Eastern European Studies. He is interested in power dynamics in post-Soviet states and how insurgencies develop over time. Sylvia researches Military Technology and is a managing editor for the Sigma Iota Rho Journal of International Relations.

Edward Tan, a rising junior from Singapore, studies International Relations with a minor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. He is interested in global aviation, as well as the nexus between development and Chinese foreign policy in Southeast Asia. Tan is an editor of the Harvard Kennedy School Singapore Policy Journal and an associate editor of the Sigma Iota Rho Journal of International Relations.

Sriram Tolety*, from Massachusetts, is a rising junior majoring in Computer Science, Finance, and Business Economics and Public Policy in the Jerome Fisher Program. Aside from academics, he participates in the Management and Technology Innovation Fund and Penn Electric Racing. 

Gabrielle Utomo* is a rising senior from Indonesia, studying Architecture and Political Science with a minor in Art History. She is interested in issues surrounding climate resiliency design, planning, and policy, especially those pertaining to cities facing rising waters and land subsidence. 

Joshua Weiner*, a rising junior, is a veteran of the Israeli army. He is a writing tutor with the Marks Family Writing Center and a peer counselor with Penn Benjamins. 

Kevin Xu* is a rising senior studying Computer Science. From California, Xu does journalistic work for The Signal and volunteers with Penn for Youth Debate. 

Joshua Yang, a rising junior from Illinois, studies International Studies & Business through the Huntsman Program. He is interested in sustainable global development, human rights, and the efficacy of governing institutions. Yang does social impact consulting in Penn International Impact Consulting, and is a board member of the Korean Student Association.