Perry World House Meet Our 2022-23 Perry World House Graduate Associates

October 4, 2022
By Perry World House

Perry World House (PWH), the University of Pennsylvania’s hub for global affairs, has selected thirty-six students for the 2022-2023 cohort of our Graduate Associates Program.

This new class is drawn from across the University's graduate schools, bringing perspectives and expertise from fields including engineering, law, education, nursing, business, and urban design to our core program for graduate students. Over the course of the coming academic year, our graduate associates will engage in-depth with pressing global challenges; connect with our campus community of scholars, students, and experts; and develop skills relevant to shaping policy in their areas of expertise.
“We are tremendously excited to welcome our fourth class of graduate associates,” said PWH’s Senior Executive Director LaShawn R. Jefferson. “We look forward to seeing how they deploy the skills they gain at Perry World House to shape critical global policy discussions and engage in the world around them.”
In the coming months, our graduate associates will take part in monthly seminars, co-led by Regina M. Abrami, director of the Lauder Institute’s Global Program, and PWH Visiting Fellow Clay Risen, a reporter at the New York Times. These seminars will equip them with the skills they need to engage the policy community, including how to publish in the policy space, interacting with the media, and more. Graduate associates will also spend time working on policy briefs about their work for publication – past associates have published pieces in outlets including the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Just Security. Throughout the year, they’ll also build new connections with other students interested in global affairs, and get unique access to PWH experts visiting campus through small-group meetings and office hours.

The 2022-2023 Perry World House Graduate Associates are:

Dawn Adrian is an MSEd candidate whose research examines the intersection between indigenous populations, education, and economic development, with a regional focus on Sarawak, Malaysia’s policies, and legal frameworks. She is currently interning at UNESCO to further her research. Before Penn, Adrian worked as a special projects associate for Teach For Malaysia, with a focus on marginalized and rural populations; taught ESOL in Malaysia; and obtained a BA from the University of Exeter.

Ayo Aladesanmi is a joint MPA/ML candidate at the Fels Institute of Government where he focuses on urban policy and public management. As an ML candidate, he focuses on administrative law and public governance. Prior to coming to Penn, Aladesanmi worked as a research economist and urban planner with the Atlanta Regional Commission, where he also served as a National Hometown Fellow in the inaugural cohort of the Lead For America fellowship program. Aladesanmi graduated with a BS in economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Deepali Barapatre is a dual-program MSEd student whose research interests lie at the intersection of education technology and education policy for developing countries and marginalized populations. Barapatre received her BE in electronics engineering and has worked in leadership and consultant roles with grassroots educational non-profits in India and Hong Kong.

Nathan Born is a PhD candidate at the Wharton School. His research focuses on topics related to international taxation, investment, and disclosure. He has also researched economic consequences of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s international provisions. Before joining Wharton, Born worked as a financial economist at the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy.

Amy Buck is an MPH student with a focus on global health and human rights. Her research interests center on addressing global health issues as they relate to international relations and public policy. Currently, she manages the evaluation of several community partnership projects at the Netter Center, addressing primary and secondary trauma for children and teachers in the West Philadelphia area. She holds dual degrees in psychology and neurobiology from the University of Maryland.

Clarissa Busch is a PhD candidate in philosophy with a focus on the intersection of philosophy, politics, and economics. Her current research explores potential applications of insights from behavioral science literature to the problem of climate change mitigation, as well as questions surrounding the validity of experimental and quasi-experimental methods in the social sciences. She holds a BA in philosophy and economics from the University of Bayreuth.

Tao Chen is a master of city planning candidate concentrating in housing, community, and economic development. His areas of interest include affordable housing, post-colonialism, transnational municipal networks, and the international relations of the Asia-Pacific. Chen holds an MA (Hons) in international relations and philosophy from the University of St Andrews.

Paul-Angelo dell'Isola is a JD candidate and Franklin Scholar whose interests lie at the intersection of international law and environmental policy. Born and raised in Paris, dell'Isola attended the dual BA program between Columbia University and Sciences Po Paris, where he majored in economics, math, and political science. Before coming to Penn, he worked in environmental economic consulting. dell’Isola serves as associate editor for the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law and represents the Law School in the Jessup International Law Moot Court as an oralist.

Mostafa El-Harazi is a JD candidate studying public international law. El-Harazi's research interests include international human rights, international investment law and arbitration, and international criminal law. While at Penn, he has externed at the Center for Justice & Accountability, where he worked on transnational human rights litigation, and interned at the US Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser. He is currently an executive editor for the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law and was a 2022 Salzburg Cutler Fellow. El-Harazi received his BA in political science and international studies from the University of California, Irvine.

Stephanie Rivera Fenniri is a city and regional planning doctoral student. Her research focuses on how Latinx immigrants from the Global South create positive economic, cultural, political, and social impacts in US cities. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Fenniri worked for more than ten years as a nonprofit professional and social impact strategist. She holds an MS in nonprofit leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and an MPA in international administration and development from the University of Texas at Arlington. In May 2019, Fenniri received the University of Pennsylvania's Excellence in Social Impact Award.

Kim Fernandes is a PhD candidate in interdisciplinary studies in human development and anthropology. Their research examines the politics, practices, and processes of being counted as disabled. Their dissertation research in India has been funded by the Social Science Research Council's International Dissertation Research Fellowship and the Taraknath Das Foundation's Marion Jemmott Fellowship. Fernandes has an MSEd from the University of Pennsylvania, an EdM in international education policy from Harvard University, and a BSFS (honors) in international politics from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar. Before coming to Penn, they also worked in a range of education and development roles across India.

David Glinbizzi is an MA student who is also currently serving as a captain in the US Army’s Advanced Civil Schooling Program. Glinbizzi has served with the US Army since 2011, holding multiple leadership positions across a diverse set of specialties including infantry and field artillery. His research focuses on the intersection of moral and political philosophy, and his thesis on just war theory is guided by his professional experience in precision targeting. Upon completion of his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Glinbizzi will report to the United States Military Academy at West Point to serve as an instructor in their Department of English and Philosophy.

Eran Globus is an LLM candidate and recipient of the E. David Fischman Scholarship. His research focuses on equal citizenship, the future of human rights, and the public-private distinction, and how movement, cultures, and narratives frame and change law. Globus also serves as deputy chairperson of the Israel Bar Association LGBTQ+ rights committee, continuing over seven years of leadership in Israeli civil society. He holds an LLB and a BA in government, both from Reichman University.

Tristan Grupp is a graduate student studying city and regional planning and urban spatial analysis. His research focuses on environmental systems and land cover change. Some of his recent projects and collaborations include studying rainforest loss and agroforestry in the Amazon and evaluating the performance of Europe's protected areas. Grupp obtained a bachelor's degree in international development from McGill University. He currently works at the World Bank as a consultant, researching climate adaptation and climate risks to Sub-Saharan African countries and urban areas.

Alara Hanci is a second-year law student who was born and raised in Istanbul. Having spent the summer in the Hague at a finance law organization, Hanci is studying international development, specializing in investor-state arbitration, climate finance, and sustainable growth that incorporates human rights protections. Before Penn, she worked as a paralegal in a litigation boutique in New York, defending indigent clients, and at a global pro-bono law firm in Washington, DC, providing legal assistance in peace negotiations, constitution-building, and war crimes prosecution. Hanci graduated with a BA in international security and civic studies from Tufts University.

Andrew Johnson is a PhD candidate in the biology department. He is deeply interested in the scientific and policy challenges associated with modern biodefense, including questions of how to retain public support for pandemic mitigation policies, and how to leverage ecological theory to forecast and manage pandemics. Johnson’s dissertation work is focused on applying classical ecological theory to unorthodox ecosystems. Prior to his current work, he studied the urban disease dynamics of rabies in Arequipa, Peru.

Cathryn Jones is an MS candidate in social policy, focusing on gender equity in the workplace. She is also pursuing a certificate in global human rights and collaborating on research efforts relating to gender-based violence. In addition, Jones currently serves as the director of strategy for a woman-owned, women-run data analytics company. Since obtaining her bachelor's in classical civilization from NYU and finishing post-baccalaureate studies in international affairs at Columbia University, she has also worked as a consultant on opioid litigation and served as an analyst at the New York State Office of the Attorney General.

Moshe (Moses) Emilio Lavi is an MBA/MA in international studies candidate, concentrating in business, energy, environment and sustainability, and international business. His MA group thesis examines how private investment is reshaping sports, and his individual thesis explores the role of climate change in power politics between the US and China. Previously, Lavi served in the Israel Defense Forces and was honorably discharged as a captain, and later worked in the private sector in various roles. He holds a BA in political science/international relations and history from Carleton College and an MA in political science from Tel Aviv University.

Nima Leclerc is a PhD student and Dean's Fellow in electrical engineering. His research focuses on the development of scalable silicon-based quantum processors with applications in efficient drug and protein design. Leclerc graduated with a BS in materials science and engineering from Cornell University in 2020. Prior to Penn, he worked at Caltech, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and startup companies Psi Quantum and Kepler, developing next-generation quantum technologies. He is also the founder and president of the Penn Quantum Engineering Graduate Association.

Jo Moley is an MSW candidate and a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Prior to starting her graduate studies at Penn, Moley spent four years working at NGOs in Medellin, Colombia and Washington, DC with a focus on international education, democracy and governance, and development. Her policy interests include conflict transformation and transitional justice, especially in the context of immigration and internally displaced populations. She is passionate about applying social work principles and trauma-informed practices to policymaking.

Ignacio Osorio Guiaco is a student in the Lauder Institute MBA/MA joint degree program, focusing on Latin America and Portuguese language. His master's thesis is on modern and contemporary art collecting practices in developed versus developing countries. His interests also include topics like migration, climate change, and economic development. Previously, Osorio Guaico worked as a Management Consultant at Integration Consulting, advising Latin American companies on Marketing & Sales strategy. He holds a BBA from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a graduate diploma in art history from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez.

Meghana Pannala is a joint MBA/MA candidate at the Wharton School and the Lauder Institute, where she focuses on the South Asia region. Prior to business school, she worked at the Boston Consulting Group in their Washington, DC office, where she focused primarily on healthcare but worked across a variety of industries including government, retail, and private equity. She holds a BA in applied mathematics and economics from Rice University.

Shubhankar Patankar is a PhD candidate in bioengineering, where he also completed a master's degree in robotics. His research focuses on the study of complex networked systems, such as the human brain, and synthetic knowledge graphs that act as stores of information. Before coming to Penn for graduate work, Patankar obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in Russian from the University of California, Davis.

Max Pisciotta is a PhD candidate concentrating in chemical engineering. Their research focuses on carbon capture and carbon removal technologies and industrial decarbonization. Since starting their graduate work at Penn, they have completed two internships, one with the International Energy Agency, and one with Brimstone Energy, a company whose novel process has the potential to decarbonize the production of cement and concrete. Before coming to Penn, Pisciotta obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, and briefly worked as a technology analyst at Accenture.

Andre Rosario is a PhD student in the School of Nursing. His dissertation takes a historical approach to examining the role of Filipino nurses in the United States in shaping and implementing international nurse migration policy. His work has been funded by the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing and the Philippine Nurses Association of America. Prior to his doctoral work, Rosario earned his bachelor’s of science in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and worked as a registered nurse in medical-surgical hospital settings.

Qiran Shang is a PhD candidate in history and theory of architecture with an interest in the history of everyday urban landscapes, queer spaces, and space-making practices of “non-architects” in shaping the built environment. Her dissertation examines spaces of social dance in 1920s Berlin, 1960s San Francisco, and 1980s Shanghai, analyzing the spatial tactics that made these into dissenting spaces of marginalized communities. Before coming to Penn, Shang obtained a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Southeast University in China.

Hannah Sherman is a student in the Lauder Institute MBA/MA joint degree program, with a concentration in Latin America. Her research focuses on the intersection of technology, politics, and economic development. Her thesis examines fintech startups' role in driving financial inclusion in emerging economies. Previously, Sherman worked for a series of early-stage startups, first as a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico City and later in San Francisco. She studied international politics and Spanish literature at Bowdoin College.

Maggie Sorby is a master’s student in the International Educational Development Program. Her interests lie at the intersection of the climate crisis, migration, and child development. Prior to beginning her graduate work, Sorby worked for more than ten years as a teacher, non-profit program director, and school district administrator. She holds a BA in international studies from Elon University and an MA in education policy from Loyola Marymount University.

Sam South is a dual MBA/MA candidate at the Wharton School and Lauder Institute. At Wharton, South is majoring in multinational management, and at Lauder, his concentration is in East Asia. He majored in international security at Yale, focusing on North Korean-Chinese relations and nuclear politics. He subsequently worked in the national security space in Washington, DC. South hopes to build on his experience and language background in China and Korea to promote collaboration between the US, China, and South Korea, and use business as a means of diplomacy to promote human rights in North Korea.

Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon is a PhD student in the history department. Her research focuses on Black experiences in the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic, and how race functions and is understood in socialist states. She has become a regular contributor and commentator on American and international media on Russian-Ukrainian relations and the Brittney Griner case in Russia. She earned her MA in regional studies: Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Swarthmore College. In her previous professional life, she was a secondary history teacher and community college history instructor.

Andrew Thum is a DNP candidate in the School of Nursing, concentrating in executive leadership. His doctoral project examines the prevalence of healthcare workplace violence and seeks to improve stakeholder understanding of violent events through improved reporting. Thum is the director of nursing workforce operations for Jefferson Health. He obtained a master’s degree in nursing and healthcare administration and a master’s degree in health law from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a bachelor’s degree in nursing from La Salle University.

Matt Timmons-Brown is an MSE student studying artificial intelligence, robotics, and computer science. His studies are sponsored by a UK-US Thouron Award scholarship. Timmons-Brown's research interests lie in advanced technology start-ups, as well as software engineering. Before Penn, he received a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Edinburgh, where he undertook research in humanoid robotics. Previously, he created “The Raspberry Pi Guy” YouTube channel, an educational computer science resource.

Tiffany Tran is a Vietnamese American architect and urban designer who is passionate about cities. She approaches urban development through a people-centric lens that integrates urban planning and economics. At Penn, Tran is a PhD student in the Department of City and Regional Planning, with research interests in slum development and poverty in Southeast Asian cities. Tran has a decade of experience partnering with governments on urban development, including in Indonesia, Vietnam, Ghana, and the US. She holds a master’s in public affairs from Princeton University and a BArch from the University of Notre Dame.

Beatrice Wilson is a master's student in Russian and East European Studies, concentrating on international relations and security issues. Her research interests include civil-military relations, propaganda and disinformation, and Baltic issues. Before coming to Penn, Wilson obtained her bachelor's degree in Russian from the University of Oklahoma.

Wenjia You is an MBA/MA candidate at the Wharton School and the Lauder Institute of International Studies. She is interested in how government policy impacts the media and entertainment industry, and her master’s thesis will focus on how K-Pop is gaining popularity globally. Before coming to Penn, You worked at TikTok LIVE and also worked in investment banking and management consulting. You graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University, where she studied operations research and information engineering and art history.

Ann Zhang is a first-year student in the master of city planning and master of urban spatial analytics programs. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of smart cities and public-private development, including smart solutions in (re)building post-pandemic cities. Prior to Penn, Zhang graduated from Wesleyan University, where she triple-majored in art history, psychology, and the Science in Society Program. Her undergraduate honors thesis critically examined the expected outcome and local impact of a recent preservation program at Wukang Mansion in Shanghai’s former French Concession.