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April 25, 2018 | 34st.com


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34ST MAGAZINE Sabrina Qiao, Special Features Editor Nick Joyner, Editor–in–Chief Remi Lederman, Managing Editor Angela Huang, Audience Engagement Director Annabelle Williams, Assignments Editor Autumn Powell, Media Director Ha Tran, Photo Editor Lea Eisenstein, Copy Director Julia Schorr, Digital Director Jamie Gobreski, Writer Julia Bell, Writer Colin Lodewick, Writer Lily Snider, Writer Valentina Escudero, Writer Caroline Riise, Writer Isabella Fertel, Writer Michelle Pereira, Writer

Staff Photographers: Dayz Terry, Virginia Rodowsky, Christina Piasecki, Bill He, Avalon Morrell, Emma Boey, David Zhou Video Staff: Megan Kyne, Jean Chapiro, Anab Aidid, Abdul Sohu Copy Editors: Kira Horowitz, Kate Poole, Anna Waldzinska, Serena Miniter, Sarah Poss, Amber Auslander, Kimberly Batista, Riley Wagner, Morgan Potts Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Autumn Powell. Contacting 34th Street Magazine: If you have questions, comments, complaints or letters to the editor, email Nick Joyner, Editor–in–Chief, at joyner@dailypennsylvanian.com. You can also call us at (215) 422–4640. www.34st.com "I'm going to be a marketing intern for a company that makes fetish diapers for old men." ©2018 34th Street Magazine, The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. No part may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express, written consent of the editors (but I bet we will give you the a–okay.) All rights reserved. 34th Street Magazine is published by The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc., 4015 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Pa., 19104, every Wednesday. Cover Design By Christine Lam Inside Illustrations By Gillian Diebold

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rowing up, I was really shy. My nickname in elementary school was “Miss Quiet,” and my parents once took me to the pediatrician because they were worried that something was wrong with my vocal cords. You might not expect that from me, since I talk too much nowadays and spend an inordinate amount of time trying to engage my Uber drivers in conversation, but I think Iʼm actually still quite shy. Iʼve just become vastly interested in the different lives and interests of the people (often, strangers) I meet. Itʼs one of the lessons Iʼve amassed from my favorite professorʼs class: let us find beauty in the ordinary around us. At a place like Penn, it can be easy to feel intimated by our peers. Perhaps this edition of Penn 10 wonʼt help with that—within these pages we have a Rhodes Scholar, a MIT–bound graduate, and a Broadway dancer. But we also have profiles that emphasize the intersecting and diverging personalities and predilections of our nominees. Read about their dreams, their favorite Penn memories, their childhoods, their aspiring rap careers, their pet peeves, and, of course, their journeys after graduation. We didnʼt want to make them seem like superheroes (their accomplishments can speak for themselves). We wanted to emphasize that these are people in your classes, people you could run into on Locust, people you could walk past in Pret. They are your peers and classmates. The semesterʼs about to end. So Penn, I challenge you to be of interest to one another. Whoʼs someone you wish you had talked to? Reach out to them. Whatʼs stopping you? All my best, Sabrina Qiao

April 25, 2018

Design Editors: Lucy Ferry, Gillian Diebold, Ben Zhao, Christine Lam, Alana Shukovsky, Morgan McKeever, Teagan Aguirre, Joy Lee

PENN 10


N I C K S I LV E R I O

Nick Silverio this soon-to-be wharton grad spends his free time jetting up to new york for auditions. he's also been on 'saturday night live,' 'america's got talen,' and 'elf.' casually. julia bell

“I

t would have been easier if we were on a float,” Nick Silverio (W ’18) explained

carefully. Instead, they had to dance through the balmy New York City and Washington D.C. streets, while wheeling a full–sized wooden door. There were 16 dancers and eight rainbow–colored doors—Nick’s was painted hot pink—and he and his dance partner shimmied through it while wearing matching white shorts and a sleeveless shirt. He kicked his leg up in a vertical split—for most people, this would mean wrenching pain, possible spinal column collapse—and then immediately knelt into the next move. It was one routine among five or six they performed along the route.

“It was so amazing and exhausting and kind of a once–in–a–lifetime thing,” Nick said. As a working dancer, this was just one of three jobs he juggled that summer—dancing for Hilton Hotels in two pride parades, then working in pre–production choreography for Broadway’s upcoming Beetlejuice adaptation, then returning home to Shrewsbury, MA to teach dance clinics and classes. While this spate of opportunities differs from most college summers, most people don’t make life–altering career choices at age three. When Nick started dancing, he was forced to decide between gymnastics and ballet. He chose ballet and forked onto a path that would later include Saturday Night Live, Elf,

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N I C K S I LV E R I O

and Dancing with the Stars. Although at three years old, dancing on a table to Les Mis, he didn’t know that. With dance accomplishments and an entertainment acumen already established by the time Nick started at Penn in 2013 (“I’m so old!”), he immediately joined Arts House Dance Company. He began spending his time twirling and bending in Platt Performing Arts House. Although Penn is a school with an impressive but admittedly de–emphasized performing arts scene, Nick has managed to mold his college life around dance. At graduation, he’ll pick up a diploma for a Wharton B.S. in Econ with a concentration in Commercial Dance Management. This curriculum supplemented his experience as the Artistic Director for Arts House and the Dance Council Chair of Penn’s Performing Arts Council. “There are over 1,200 stu-

dents in performing arts— that’s almost as much as Greek life,” he said, proffering the statistics from memory. “It’s pretty massive, and I think it’s so much more well–known than it was ten years ago.” With his drop–everything– and–audition–in–New–York– on–a–Tuesday plan for graduation, Nick has had to reaffirm that he wants to pursue dance even though his classmates do OCR and splinter off into 9 to 5’s. But as one of the only guys in his girl–dominated childhood dance classes, the only person to come to Penn from his Connecticut high school, the lone pupil in an individualized Wharton concentration, or as a soloist in an Arts House dance, he is used to doing his own thing. He doesn't need to be on the same track as his business–casual clad peers. “But it’s totally fine, because we’re both doing things that make us happy,” Nick said.

"I had a dream, in february. i had a dream that they built the silverio center for dance. it was a-i kid you not-a stateof-the-art-theater." After a freshman year toiling over the Wharton core, rehearsing in Platt, and auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance, Nick managed to get signed by Clear Talent Group—a Los Angeles–based national talent agency with

clients across entertainment. Newly represented, Nick moved out of Harnwell after finals and immediately signed a lease in New York, where he would stay the summer and a subsequent gap year (actually more like a gap year and a

half ). “It was really immediate, and I was really, really fortunate,” Nick said. “As a male dancer, there’s a lot less of us. I wouldn’t say job opportunities are easier, but it’s harder to find talented male dancers.”

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N I C K S I LV E R I O

Nick’s gap year (sans the Wharton startup narrative) included working as a backup dancer on America’s Got Talent and touring with the Broadway musical version of Elf as an ensemble member. After an inaugural performance in North Dakota, he performed the show—which includes 17 costume changes and a rollerblading scene—about 20 more times across the American Midwest. Despite the transition from dorm to hotel, squeezed among fellow cast members and usually around the youngest person on tour (Nick was 19 years old, compared to Santa, who was pushing 70), he didn’t mind the constant travel. After twenty–odd years of performing, Nick says he can perform “anywhere,” although he prefers a shower and an hour’s notice. His dance shoes

have swept across Penn’s own Irongate Theater, to Madison Square Garden, to a wedding party in Udaipur, India. Dancing jobs have more stipulations than a stint in an office. For instance: a contract specified that he couldn’t gain more than five pounds over the course of the summer. It wasn’t an arbitrary number. He was laced into a steel–boned corset, part of a costume that was reputedly worth $20,000, and even a small weight gain could pop many expensive stitches. Nick ate “a lot of tuna” that summer. Since he was playing a drag queen, in La Cage aux Folles, he also needed to learn how to dance in high heels while wearing a full face of makeup. Working dancers must have a Swiss army knife of talents, and Nick’s creative resume

includes, “drag makeup/performance, dislocate shoulders, tumbling.” Dance, which requires flexibility, quick movement, and rapid–fire adaptability, has perhaps rubbed off on Nick’s next–to–no–notice schedule. “My Saturday Night Live booking? It happened in about…24 hours,” Nick recalled. A call, a last–minute train ticket, an audition in New York and then—he danced in an ensemble behind Kate McKinnon, who was playing Kellyanne Conway. This spontaneous schedule comes with its share of unplanned snags, like getting blisters “gushing blood” from dancing in six–inch heels at a destination wedding in India. Or freezing up after getting asked to do a kip–up in an audition—a move where

the dancer lies prone and then launches off the floor using their hands. “I didn’t know if I would get off the floor,” Nick said. “But I did.” On stage, a dancer can’t have a contingency plan, but Nick’s laser–like organization almost makes up for it. Too sensible to believe in astrology, his speculative energy is spent on stacking his Google calendar (a self–proclaimed) “work of art” and ensuring his email inbox remains at (0). His dance shoes are tucked away in a bag and his high heels are lined up in order of height, topping off at ten inches. Deft planning has allowed him balance an ever– shifting schedule and graduate in seven semesters instead of eight. Nick “lives on Amtrak” while finishing up his remain-

ing three classes and rehearsing around 15 hours every week. He shuttles from Philadelphia to New York for auditions and back with a regularity that his housemates find alarming (he had gone that very night to watch a friend perform in a drag show). His exact post– Penn future is being sketched out slowly, but it will likely include dance shows, a wooden floor, and a mirrored wall: “I had a dream, in February” he said. “I had a dream that they built the Silverio Center for Dance. It was a—I kid you not—a state–of–the–art– theater. It seated about three hundred. Two massive studios, floor to ceiling windows. Gorgeous.” If erected, it would only be a physical manifestation of the time, energy, and twirls Nick has given to Penn.

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N AYA B K H A N

Nayab Khan

Her motto is: "If you don't like it, fix it." She takes that dedication to her blog, multicultural work, Instagram, and tea. colin lodewick

“I

really like to take care of people,” states Nayab Khan (C ’18) as she prepares tea in her studio apartment on the 21st floor of Rodin. The tea she makes for herself is special—a box of pre–packaged powdered chai that she brought back to the US from Pakistan. She empties a packet of the already–sweetened mix into a mug of milk and continues to bustle around, apologizing for her reluctance to settle. Nayab’s a resident advisor, though she admits she’s been a little absent on her floor recently—she’s trying to finish up her biology thesis about the function of a specific type of orofacial neuron. Along with studying biology, Nayab is simultaneously getting a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership from Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice. When her biology classes didn’t feel fulfilling to her during her sophomore year, she thought to herself: “As this privileged person who goes to Penn, how can I help people?’” She found the

master's program, applied, and was accepted within a month. She’s always looking for ways to make her life exactly what she wants it to be, and explains that her motto is: “if you don’t like something, fix it.” A native New Yorker, Nayab grew up in East Elmhurst, a neighborhood in northwest Queens, in a three–bedroom home filled with 14 family members. She lived with her parents, two brothers, her sister, an aunt, uncle, and their four children, a cousin, and another uncle. Her father immigrated to the US in the '80s, and her mother followed in the '90s. Every summer growing up, Nayab would travel back to Pakistan with her family to visit relatives and reconnect with her culture. She’d have dental work done there too, and see her parents pour money into the procedures. That experience, as well as her experience volunteering in a dental clinic in Pakistan the summer after her freshman year, influenced Nayab’s plans for her future. She doesn’t only want to become a dentist, A P R I L 2 5 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E

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N AYA B K H A N

but one day she wants to open her own dental nonprofit that caters to the economically disadvantaged. Nayab’s path to where she is now has not been straightforward. She applied to Penn as an international relations major, and came to Philadelphia without expecting to become the student leader she is today. On campus, she expected to find a community and family in the Muslim Student Association. She didn’t expect her involvement to necessarily go beyond that sense of family. “It all changed when Trump got elected,” she says. Though now retired from all of her positions, Nayab served as the Vice President of the MSA, co– chair of Programs for Religion, Interfaith, & Spirituality Matters (PRISM), and a facilitator

munity, and as many meetings I went to for administrators, and as many events that I put on for the community, I think along the way I slowly became weaker and not as happy as I’d hoped.” The emotional labor of being a community advocate and student mentor made it difficult for Nayab to see the need to take care of herself in addition to others. “I’m very openly vulnerable about my fear and about Islamophobia, but never about my own mental health,” she adds. Penn’s supposed progressiveness isn’t nearly enough to protect Nayab from ignorant comments. The prevalence of Islamophobia on campus— whether it be direct or more subtle—is what pushed her to become more of an activist. She’s familiar with people at Penn asking her insensitive questions about her hijab, such as: “Do you have to shower with that?” and “Do you have to wear that when you get married?” and “Will your husband ever see your hair?” At first, she was able to accept those questions, internalize them and laugh them off. “I think when I first came to Penn, I was all about educating people,” she notes. “When I was a freshman and sophomore my perspective was normalizing who I was and normalizing my hijab and my prayers and everything.” Now, she looks to celebrate difference, and her approach to educating others has changed to something closer to, “This is

"I think at penn we've forgotten how to just be present for each other." for the Asian Pacific American Leadership Initiative (APALI). She’s constantly looking to connect communities on campus and help students struggling with their identities. “I’m like the mom of the MSA,” she confides over her chai. Still, being a student leader comes with difficulties: “As much work as I did for the com8

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Anab Aidid | Photographer

who I am and this is who you are, and that’s just how we have to accept each other.” She emphasizes, “In the beginning, I would laugh and put it aside, but now I’m just like, bro, are you serious?” She points out that there’s an abundance of Muslim YouTube personalities and visible Muslim celebrities like comedian Hasan Minhaj—who SPEC recently brought to Penn to perform—through which it’s easy to be exposed to Muslim culture. From Nayab’s perspective, it’s your own burden to educate yourself, not hers. However, she qualifies: “If people have serious questions, I’m more than willing to answer them and more than willing to educate people.” There’s a fine line though, between “absurd” questions and innocent ones. She remembers a friend asking her, “Aren’t Muslim women oppressed?” Her voice fills the room as she remembers answering him, “Am I oppressed? Do you think in any context I look oppressed to you? I’m probably the most outgoing, loud person on this campus.” She explained to him that, “Muslim women are not oppressed be-

cause of Islam, Muslim women are oppressed just because women are oppressed, because of patriarchy.” “I think my hijab, if anything, allows me to be so outgoing,” she continues. She explains her decision to wear the hijab on her blog, “Nayab’s Kahani” (kahani is the Urdu word for story), “How do we as a society define beauty? Specifically, how do I define it? Do people’s preconceived notions about me even matter? Where does this all lie in the context of being a Muslim girl?” Besides blatant ignorance, Nayab sees a more subtle manifestation of Islamophobia on campus in the form of false allyship. Around the time Penn was in panic mode about the price increase of chicken over rice at the halal carts, Trump’s Travel Ban 3.0 was causing more serious stress for Muslim students. Nayab found the intersection of these two events ironic. When it comes to being a true ally of Muslim students, Nayab sees students rarely showing their support when it matters. This false allyship is part of a larger sense of apathy that Nayab detects on campus. “I wish people just cared about

other communities. When a community is being hurt, I wish people truly empathized and supported them and were there for them.” “I think at Penn we’ve forgotten how to just be present for each other,” she says. “I think we’re so competitive that we forget to take care of one another.” Beyond her professional pursuits, Nayab sees a more abstract future for herself, one built on the confidence and activism that she’s been developing the past four years. “I see myself as a really outspoken, Muslim Pakistani girl who’s American and really out there trying to make a voice for other Muslim people.” She wants to continue “talking about Islamophobia and talking about [her] experiences and being that role model for young Muslim girls that [she] never had growing up, and let them know that they can pursue science, and do advocacy, and do activism.” She thinks for a moment, then adds, “One thing I do see myself as is more fashionable, more hipster, more mipster.” Mipster—a combination of the words ‘Muslim’ and ‘hipster.’


JAC Q U E L I N E VA L E R I

Jacqueline Valeri she's been at penn for four years and already has one graduate degree. but this bioengineer and penn band clarinet aficionado is doubling down and heading to mit after graduation, because not even her struggle with lyme disease could stop her. Caroline Riise

J

acqueline Valeri’s (E ‘18) personality is much like the Penn band rehearsal room she spends much of her time in. She’s outspoken, unabashed, and liable to wander off on random tangents in conversation, like the various instruments all playing seven different melodies at once. All of these diverse bits and pieces that make up Jacqueline come together like a beautiful song in

3131 Walnut St (The Left Bank) Philadelphia, PA 19104 the marching band: forceful, quick–witted, and intelligently composed. Jacqueline is an academic goliath, having completed enough credits over the past four years to earn her an undergraduate degree in bioengineering with a minor in computer science as well as a bioengineering master’s degree. While admitting that it was a lot to take on, she says that she loves going to class and didn’t mind

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JAC Q U E L I N E VA L E R I

the extra load due to her sheer interest in the field. “They were classes I was gonna take anyways,” she says, “so why not try to finagle them and get things to double–count where they could to get the extra degree?” These impressive academic pursuits are by no means ending in May—she’s off to MIT for graduate school next fall. She then pulls out the bag they gave her when she visited the campus for the first time, saying, “It was really the bag. They convinced me to go with the bag. They filled it with all kinds of goodies, granola

bars, and orange juice, and Hershey’s cookies…” While her story may seem like that of a typical scholar, her success becomes an extraordinary feat when considering the obstacles Jacqueline has overcome. Jacqueline was diagnosed with Lyme disease her sophomore year in high school and relapsed into serious illness soon after arriving to Penn. She suffered pneumonia during her first semester and was later diagnosed with demyelinating polyneuropathy, a rare neurological disorder that involves the deterioration of the myelin sheath cover-

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ing that protects the nerves within the brain. “Since there had been bad bacteria in my brain region for so long [with Lyme disease], my antibodies got confused, turned rogue, and turned against my myelin sheaths,” she says. “I was very confused, because I had been sick with Lyme before but never so severe to warrant an IV or anything. So it was incredibly overwhelming.” Jacqueline has been in and out of treatment for the disease throughout the majority of her time at Penn, relying on a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line in her upper arm to provide her with essential antibodies for the better part of freshman, sophomore, and junior year. While Jacqueline admits that the illnesses have undoubtedly impacted her college experience, she made it clear that she does not want the sickness to be the focus of her life. “You lose yourself because your entire identity becomes your disease,” she says. “I really never wanted that. I am someone who has all of these accomplishments, and on the side I’m also sick. It’s an important facet of my identity but when people say, ‘Wow, she’s so accomplished for a sick person,’ I hate that. I get it all the time.” However, it was her illness that inspired her to pursue bioengineering

"you lose yourself because your entire identity becomes your disease. i really never wanted that." at Penn. “Throughout the process, I realized the lack of knowledge in the medical field about Lyme and how much is missing from scientific research in that field and how having even just a little bit more knowledge about the molecular mechanisms of the disease and the genetics could impact the

patients’ lives.” There is no doubt that Jacqueline is capable of making significant scientific breakthroughs in her future. Her love for all things medicine is easy to see; her eyes lit up when she described a project for her major that she was presenting on that day. She blasted through


JAC Q U E L I N E VA L E R I

enough scientific jargon to make my head spin and showed unparalleled enthusiasm for DNA sequencing. “It’s fascinating to me,” she says. “It’s so cool. DNA is crazy.” The only thing that may thrill her even more than working in the lab is the Penn Band. Jacqueline joined the band her freshman year as a clarinet player, saying that it was the only club that immediately made her feel like she belonged. “I got to this rehearsal, didn’t know a soul, and they started playing Accidentally in Love,” she says. “We dance a lot in band— not complicated, just left to right—but like everyone started dancing, the music was really loud, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is my home.’ These people were crazy and fun and had their own culture that was crazy and I just wanted to be a part of that.” Four years later, Jacqueline has, indeed, become a part of the unique culture that is the Penn Band. She loves to heckle. “I just really enjoy the stress release,” she says, “running around and just yelling at unsuspecting basketball players.” Her personal favorite heckling moment was picking on a Temple basketball player whose name resembled ‘Charlie Brown’ a little too closely. Jacqueline got the opportunity to project her big personality even more by voicing the Homecoming Day halftime show over the loudspeaker at Franklin

Field this year. It was an incredible feeling, she says, to hear her voice “reverberating around the stadium.” She counts that moment as one of her favorites at Penn. Jacqueline thrives in slightly hectic, slightly disjointed environments. The band rehearsal room is loud, full of chatter and the various warm up instrumental sounds that make up a rehearsal. Yet, as soon as the director cues them, all chaos ceases and the craziness is consolidated into a single masterpiece. Between every song the band practiced, Jacqueline would turn away from her sheet music to share a smile or laugh with the person next to her. Jacqueline embodies a confidence that one could only hope to obtain after four years of Penn, as well as an unfaltering sense of humility and gratitude. “I’ve always considered myself very lucky,” she says, realizing that many others with similar illnesses would not have had the resources to go to school and pursue an undergraduate degree. Despite her accomplishments, she even questioned whether she truly deserved to be nominated for Penn 10 in the first place because of all the “incredible” people that she has met during her time here. “Just being around a diverse group of people with their own talents and own interests and lives that are so amazing,” she says. “I love it! I don’t know how you’d get this anywhere else.”

Center for the Study of Contemporary China

2018 Annual Conference

Reform and Opening:

40 Years and Counting

April 26-27, 2018 Silverman147, Penn Law School Penn China Center's sixth annual conference, scheduled for April 2627, 2018 will have as its theme “Reform and Opening: 40 years and Counting.” The conference will address China’s 40 years of reform and opening to the outside through examining the domestic economy, rural reform, SOEs and private enterprises, financial sector reform, trade and currency issues, as well as outbound and inbound foreign investment. There are four panels and ten papers presented by leading scholars, followed by comments from expert discussants and open Q&A. Free and open to all.

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K R I S N A M A D DY

Krisna Maddy she calls herself your "biggest hypeman." her friends call her k-swizzle. between her pre-med work and her volunteering efforts, she also has time to slip into the recording studio. Sabrina Qiao

K

risna Maddy (C ‘18) has a mixtape. You might not expect this from her, since she’s a pre–med student who splits her time between multicultural campus involvement, the lab, and volunteering in West Philadelphia, but her nickname also is “K–Swizzle,” so it’s not surprising that it doubles as her SoundCloud tag. She won’t let us link to her Soundcloud, but we hear at one point there were promotional cover shoots and a music video—

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all this started from just a sophomore year nickname. “I started calling myself K–Swizzle because I’m extra,” she says, and then she chuckles. “Now it’s gotten to the point where whenever I hear my actual name, I’m like, ‘Are you mad at me?’” She walks into Starbucks wearing a mustard yellow sweater, her earbuds looped around her neck. When she laughs, she often throws back her head and really laughs. “My thing is, if I say a joke out loud


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K R I S N A M A D DY

it’s to make myself laugh,” and then she starts to laugh again. “It’s great if you laugh, too, but it’s mostly about me laughing about whatever I think is funny. A little bit of puns, a little bit of dad jokes.” We bond over our mutually messy handwriting, my strokes getting progressively more chaotic as I struggle to keep up with her answers. “I’m involved in a lot of different things ... I’m one of those people that can’t sit still,” she says. Most of her work is involved in multicultural activism, a passion she credits due to her hometown. “I’m from Miami, which is a very diverse city, culturally and racially. When I came to Penn, I wanted to find a space that was similar to that, where we could find commonalities in each other's narratives.” She found that in the United Minorities Council (UMC), an umbrella organization that is dedicated to fostering interculturalism and promoting social justice on Penn’s campus, supporting both underrepresented and misrepresented groups. She’s been involved in UMC since her freshman year, eventually becoming chair of the board, a position that allowed her to think about what new directions UMC could go in. “It was really important for me to think about how we redefine this idea of a minority and what [it means],” she says. “Traditionally we think about it as a racial and cultural minority, but we’ve been able to challenge ourselves and think about, for example, students with disabilities, who are also a minority on campus.”

UMC encompasses a sprawling legion of multicultural and political groups. Its expansive nature is one of the main issues that come up when chairing it. “A question that we ask ourselves is, ‘How do we avoid stepping on the toes of all our constituents?’” Krisna explains. “But we focus on getting people to step outside of themselves a little bit to consider how other world views are more similar to them than they may think.” As chair, she often met with Amy Gutmann and the provost, tasks that were initially intimidating before they became empowering. ”If there’s any advice I can give any student activist, it is that you can’t get fired by the University,” she says. “In that sense, acknowledge that they want to help you, but that you should be able to push back as well.” Much of her involvement on campus is centered on community outreach and activism. In addition to her work on UMC, she also is an inaugural member of HERstory Empowers Resilience (H.E.R.), a type of mentorship program that connects women of color at Penn with third and fourth grade girls of color at Powell Elementary School. Once a week, Krisna goes and visits her mentee, but she emphasizes that the program’s mission is to mentor the girls, not “save” them. “I absolutely hate that rhetoric,” she says, rolling her eyes. “A lot of my issues about some of the community service initiatives on Penn’s campus, where Penn students think they’re saving the West Philadelphia community—that’s not what you hope to gain

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out of it at all,” she leans forward. “What you want to do is give them the tools to succeed on their own.” On the other side of her life is her involvement in the healthcare field, a precursor to her future career as a doctor. She volunteers at the United Community Clinic (UCC), which provides free health services to the community, and also works in a neurology lab at Perelman, where she’s researching genetic variants of Alzheimer's in order to see if there is any correlation with Parkinson’s disease. “There’s so little that we know about neurology and the brain,” she says, “which is why I wanted to go into it. It’s really beautiful to work towards answering these questions.” Krisna’s diverse interests follow her own varied upbringing; she was born in Mexico, but her family is Haitian, so she spent her childhood between Haiti and Mexico before moving to Miami. “I’m a very multicultural person. English is my fourth language, actually.” As a Miami transplant, she’s not used to the “gloomy” weather here, which means she surrounds herself with a sunny color scheme most of the time. “If I could have an Instagram dedicated to photos of me wearing yellow and flowers, I’d be the happiest person in the world,” she says, laughing. In those few moments when she’s not rushing around doing something, she likes to explore her foodie side. “I’ve been on this mission since freshman year to find the best pancakes in Philadelphia,” she says, leaning forward and placing her

"if there's any advice i can give any student activist, it is that you can't get fired by the university."

hands on the table. “I have this running list of restaurant/cafes that I collect from people ... Right now, according to me, the best place is the Dutch Diner in Reading Terminal Market.” Although she’s usually a planner—if you’re juggling so many responsibilities, how could you not be?—she leaves room for everyday adventures. If she’s feeling stir–crazy, she’s liable to hop on the bus to D.C. and spend the day wandering through museums. Or, once, her friends and her decided to make a spontaneous trip to Howard University for homecoming. It was something they had thought about since freshman year, but it never happened. Se-

nior year, Krisna threw out the idea: why didn’t they just buy tickets and figure it out on the way? Without concrete plans on where to stay, they bought Megabus tickets and arrived in D.C., where they had a weekend of “ridiculousness.” At the end of our conversation, we start to talk about post–grad. She’ll be taking a gap year before med school in order to do research and apply to some non–profit work. But, she shrugs and says, “if this whole Penn degree, doctor thing doesn’t work out, I can become a rapper ... Catch me on tour with Drake this summer. I think I can at least be his hype man. My tagline is #onthebeat.”


ARJUN MALIK

Arjun Malik in middle school he golfed competitively. in college, he helped found the philadelphia bail fund. in his free time, he calls himself an "incredibly lazy person."

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2018 HONOR SOCIETY INDUCTEES & SENIOR AWARDS

PHI BETA KAPPA

Class of 2019 Shaked Barkay Angus Beane Marcello Kendrew Chang Rebecca Gelfer John T Geyer Ali Ghorashi Tongtian Liu John F McGahay Tiberiu Stefan Mihaila Lauren O’Mara Jimmy Jin Qian Justin H Qian Ivy Tse Class of 2018 Alex Ryan Anderson Madeleine W. Andrews Mira Amy Bajaj Sharika Bamezai Ramathi Hiranya Bandaranayake Jack Ryan Becker Sophie Katherine Bodek Caroline Boyle Molly Lynn Bucklin Jessica Ellen Frances Burke Natalie Vinnette Burke Joseph W. Butkiewicz Rive Juday Cadwallader Paul Matthew Chichura Alexis Dorothea Montouris Ciambotti Braden Welsh Cordivari Sarah Gwendolyn Cornelius Isabella Tan Cuan Christopher John D’Urso Wyatt David Kathryn DeWitt Michael Minh Tran Duong Louis Franklin Esser Alisa Yardena Feldman Claire Elizabeth Fishman Christine Fu Erin Gallagher Jacob Gardenswartz Benjamin Gendelman Isabel Gendler Eric Allen Geng Sean Wesley Gill Joshua Zev Glahn Jenna Bernice Harowitz Madison P. Harrow Rebecca Rose Heilweil Phoebe Rose Henninger Olivia Marie Hess Justin Marc Hopkins Adam Jake Ireland Adnan Zikri Jaafar Steven Thomas Jacobson Maria Bianca Isabel Roceles Jimenez Joshua Andrew Jordan Natasha Alexandra Kadlec Vibha Kannan Chloe Renée Karp Claudia Lauren Kassner Maya Anne Kassutto Priscilla Kim Ivana Teresa Kohut Curtis Jefu Kuo Daniel Leone Jessica Elisabeth Lipponen Corey Marie Loftus Lucas Loh Wei-Lun Rebecca E. Lopez Haley Susanna Mankin

Ashley Marcus Charlotte R. Matthai Beth Anne McConnell Alison Mary McFarland Miranda Robyn Meketon Hope Merens Marielle Elise Miller Pinto Yoon Ji Moon Kaitlin Tayler Moore Lauren Elizabeth Murski Meghana Nallajerla Yellaprada Hillary Brenda Nguyen Caroline Beatty Ohlson Catherine F. Oksas Shawn Ong Donato Alessandro Onorato Matthew Osnowitz Hunter Seth Pearl Eric Charles Pfeifer Benjamin J. Pollack Richard Randall Potter III Elena Norgren Rohner John Edward San Soucie Kerry Schellenberger Kyra E. T. Schulman Darsol Kim Seok Congzhou Mike Sha Sarah M. Starman Kamelia Emileva Stavreva Saurabh Sudesh Wanming Teng Emily Katherine Walters Hani Fernandes Abdel Warith Samantha Warrick Alice Chen Yu Jonathan Zauberman Michael Zhou Class of 2017 Eleanor Mary Armstrong Adrienne Leigh Bell-Koch Molly Elizabeth Brothers Courtney Buell Riley Kale Burger Gregory George Cajka Julia Chatterjee Kevin D. Chen Joseph Rhodes Coffey Chelsea Evan Cylinder Francesca Anna Glinka Devine Hannah Fagin Theodora Najla Farah Gabriel Ferrante Emily Soo-jin FitzPatrick Tanner Matthew Frank Cosette Gastelu Devon S. Greenwood Otitodilichukwu Stephanie GregObi Busra Gungor Katherine Ryan Hartman Peter Samuel Herbst Julia Hana Hirschberg Tatiana Natasha Hyman Bookyung Jo Michaela Jean Kotziers R. A. Lahiri Ki Kyung Lee Kingson Lin Sophie Gemma Litwin Mariah Macias Ronan J. Maye Rhiannon Christine Miller David Gamble Murrell V Saseen Tony Najjar Rashad Amer Nimr Joon-Sung Park Ida Charlotte Peterson

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Stephanie Danielle Petrella Blake Pittell Jonah Harris Rosen Abbie Starker Jacob Khan Sterling Hong Ken Teoh Tshay Williams Sophia Kiyoe Witte Dalia Wolfson Alison J. Xu Kristin Ross Yeakel Connie Yu Sarah Zandi SENIOR SOCIETIES CARRIAGE (FALL 2017) Adhavan Adityan Conner Evans Ibukun Olubowale Michael Sosnick Nick Silverio Nina Solis Shannah Reagan Sydney Rodriguez (SPRING 2018) Andreas Nolan Bella Essex Benjamin Chansky Cathy Zhang Chloe Cheng Ha Tran Hope Smith Julia Pan Matthew Wilson Nia Hammond Osiris Childs Rio Dennis Samantha Washington Skylar Tang Susanna Jaramillo Teddy McGinn Kurkoski CIPACTLI (FALL 2017) Alba Disla Caleb Diaz Clare Connaughton Daniel Carillo Diana Shiling Dylan Zuniga Elena Schiavone Elizabeth Camarillo-Gutierrez Ernie Rosales Jonathan Avila Kevin Galvez Kiara Hernandez Lizette Grajales Marcella Plazas Sabrina M. Aponte (SPRING 2018) Adrienna Lamas Alfa Lopez Andrea Gomez Debbie Rabinovich Kimberly Lantigua Lauren Glenn Luis Rosario Manuel Alcala Melvin Reyes Nathalie Calderon Nicolas Navarro Rafael Flores Salomon Villatoro Tiffany Dominguez

FRIARS (FALL 2017) Anuj Amin Connor Keating Ellery Lassiter Jackson Burke Karis Stephen Kayla Allison Lauren Whitlatch Mathew Wachter Shannah Reagan Tayler Hendrickson Vadim Ordovsky-Tanaevsky (SPRING 2018) Allysha Davis Antía Vázquez Fernandez Arantza Rodriguez Puertos Audrey Goldberg Becca Lambright Calvary Rogers Camillia Nwokedi Chirag Manyapu Erin Farrell Haley Pisciotta Jess Sandoval Josh Kahn Julius Barriteau Katherine Marshall Mark Andrew Matthew Simon Max Rothschild Nick Joyner Reeham Sedky Rob Irvin Ryan Leone Sam Philippi Shiv Nadkarni Tommy Dennis William Snow HEXAGON (SPRING 2018) Abby Anmuth Addie Shelley Alayna Choo Alec Gelfenbein Blake Thomas Brooke Behrbaum Carolina Ferrari Cheryl Feig Christian de Abreu Cole McKnight Cristina Amusategui Daniella Lozano David Buckman Desmond Howard Drew Boyette Elena Iaconis Emily Cunningham Ethan Bradlow Gabriel Zisman Gabriella Schwartz Gray DeSimone Hana Yen Harrison Troche Jake Fine Jake Friedman Julia DiSalvio Julia Keyes Julia O’Mara Kurt Convey Kyle Rosenbluth Mack Shoer Mia Chiquier Micah Zern Nathan Xu

Owen Burns Raphael Van Hoffelen Ryan Paul Sam Cook Sam Weintraub Sara Dwyer Sarah Raizen Trevor Morcott MORTAR BOARD (FALL 2017) Alexandre Boulet Brendan Quinn Chiara Rachmanis Chris Scian Justin Haber Kyra Williams Natalie Stefan Nikhil Raman Rachel Warren Ryan Schroth (SPRING 2018) Aaron Drooks Abby Katz Alex Mustier Alexa Brewster Allie Hoffner Anna Peyton Malizia Blake Thomas Brad Schenker Dany Jabban Dave Lucente DJ Corbett Emma Berson Eddie Haddad Emma Kollek Elijah Sheft Gaby Coetzee Gray Desimone Horden Farr Isabella Szpigiel Jay Jadeja Jeff Johnson Jose-Reberto Delgado Julia Madar Julian Sutton Katie Jones Kyle Rosenbluth Matt Marvin Mark Finegold Minna Fingerhood Mira Linaugh Noah Emanuel Nigel Blackwood Patrick Lobo Sabrina Shulman Samantha Mashaal Sarvi Chafik Serena McNiff Skye Breza Tori Klevan Zeynep Ulgur ONYX (FALL 2017) Billy Kacyem Chi Aguwa Christian Butts Christy Charnel Darline Justinvil Edmund Hundley Jerome Allen Jonnell Burke Jordan Genece Kayla Byrd Malik Jones Malik Patton

Michaela Asamoah Sesana Allen Shawn Simmons Sydney Webber (SPRING 2018) Adoma Boateng Amanda Agyapong Anea Moore Arica Shepherd Camillia Nwokedi Dawit Wondimagegn Esther Adeyemi Evanie Anglade Halle Abraham Helen Fetaw Imani Solan Jacob Jordan Jillian Jones Maryam Alausa Maya Campbell Oladunni Alomaja Osiris Childs Peter Ojo ORACLE (FALL 2017) Andrew Sutton Bianca Jimenez Heba Arshad Karen Wu Kim Phan Miru Osuga Nikhil Raman Sarah Shin Shaishvi Shrivastava Yen-Yen Gao (SPRING 2018) Andre Joshua (AJ) Angelia Aliya Farmanali Anushka Makhija Ashwin Kishen Becca Lambright Chirag Manyapu Emma Dong Gary Li Heidi Lee Janie Kim Jay Shah Lea (Sunshine) Chen Luke Kertcher Nancy Hu Neeraj Chandrasekar Rudmila Rashid Sabrina Aponte Soomin Shin Trinh Nguyen Wenting Sun Zahraa Mohammed OSIRIS (FALL 2017) Ayo Maja CeCe Sambuco Christian Butts Corey Robinson Dan Kutzin Jillian Zhang Margaret Hanna Misha Khoja Tess Speranza Xochitl Marti (SPRING 2018) Allison Day Annie Fang Anushka Makhija

Brandon Lu Callie Holtermann Carly Miron Chirag Manyapu Courteney Ly Elizabeth Martinez Eric Calvo Fiona Jensen-Hitch Haley Pisciotta Jeremy Shechter Jimmy Paolini Julius Barriteau Kimberly Lantigua Luis Rosario Matthew Peters Nick Hunsicker Ralphie Flores Rendy Fernandez Ryan Young Sage Orvis Sam Orlin Shiv Nadkarni Shreyas Kudrimoti Sidia Mustapha Sonia Gandhi Susanna Jaramillo SPHINX (FALL 2017) Malik Patton Maramawit Abera Rachel Huang Ramon Garcia Gomez Sarah Cornelius Sean Collins Sola Park (SPRING 2018) Alba Disla Aliya Farmanali Anea Moore Cecilia Wang Celeste Diaz David Akst Evanie Anglade Hannah Sanders Jay Shah Jessica Lim Julia Pan Kara Hardie Kevin Monogue Maya Campbell Megha Nagaswami Michael Hratko Nancy Hu Natasha Allen Neeraj Chandrasekar Osiris Childs Soomin Shin Susanna Jaramillo Zahraa Mohammed

The Hey Day picnic for the Class of 2019 will be held on Thursday, April 26th from 10:00am – 11:45am on the High Rise Field. The class procession will depart from High Rise Field at 11:45am. The Hey Day ceremony will take place at 12 noon in front of College Hall. No bottles, cans or containers permitted in the picnic or in the procession down Locust Walk.

Senior Honor AwArdS

Althea K. Hottel Award: Gaylord P. Harnwell Award: David R. Goddard Award: R. Jean Brownlee Award: Spoon Award: Bowl Award: Cane Award: Spade Award:

Makayla C. Reynolds Silicia I. Lomax Alexandra P. Rubin Madeline G. Gelfand Kayvon Asemani Jerome B. Allen Dawit L. Gebresellassie Nicholas D. Silverio

LeAderSHip AwArdS Association of Alumnae Fathers’ Trophy: Class of 1915 Award: James Howard Weiss Memorial Award: Penn Student Agencies Award: James Brister Society Student Leadership Award: Assn. of Latino Alumni Student Leadership Award: Assn. of Native Alumni Student Leadership Award: Black Alumni Society Student Leadership Award: UPenn Asian Alumni Network Student Leadership Award:

LGBT Alumni Association Student Leadership Award: William A. Levi Kite & Key Society Award for Service and Scholarship: Penn Alumni Student Award of Merit:

Trustees’ Council of Penn Women Leadership Award: Sol Feinstone Undergraduate Award:

Stephen Wise Award:

Alexa T. Hoover Michelle O. Nwokedi Justin Watson Bryan C. Rodriguez Sangmin S. Oh Meghana Nallajerla Ramón Garcia Gomez Keturah N. Peters Samiza B. Palmer David G. Thai Sean E. Collins Sophia Griffith-Gorgati Talya S. Kramer Christopher J. D’Urso Mariana R. Franca Michelle O. Nwokedi Kanishka R. Rao Jeffrey B. Wiseman

Nicole D. Weldon Sonari Chidi C’20 Stephen G. Damianos C’19 Nicholas B. Escobar C’18 David G. Thai C’18

Madeline G. Gelfand Nayab Khan

A P R I L 2 5 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 17


ARJUN MALIK

In Philadelphia, two people who are accused of the same crime may face vastly different treatment depending on whether or not they can afford bail money. The Philadelphia Bail Fund exists as a way of closing the chasm between wealth and a fair trial. “I was moved to start a bail fund in Philadelphia after seeing what a huge impact the bail system had on people’s lives during my summer internship at the Brooklyn Defender’s Office,” Arjun says. “I was outraged that people were being held in jail just because they could not afford to pay bail.” The period after arrest and before trial is called pretrial detention, a period in which anyone who is convinced of a crime is still presumed innocent. A person’s ability to post bail, however, is what will determine whether or not he spends time in jail, a discrepancy that inspired Arjun to start the fund. “Poverty should not determine freedom,” he says. “The bail fund is important because it’s able to directly secure freedom for people who are locked up in jail solely because they cannot afford a

sum of money.” So far, the fund has raised over $70,000, and in addition to providing bail money for indigent citizens, the project also advocates for long–term reform of the criminal justice system. While his work is focused on the US., it contrasts his childhood across the globe. Although he grew up in Connecticut, he’s lived in a variety of places, from London to Singapore to Hong Kong. There’s a refreshing sense of humility about him, and despite his international upbringing, he admits that he’s barely proficient in one language, let alone many. “My sophomore summer of high school, I spent about two months in the state of Bihar,” he says. “The most embarrassing thing was trying to speak Hindi with everyone. The farmers there loved hearing me talk so they could laugh about it,” he recalls, smiling. Through our conversation, he intersperses personal anecdotes with his community service efforts, He tells me about his middle school years, a period of time where he was “super into” golf and would

"there are a lot of times when i feel discouraged and overwhelmed by how bad the situation is for other people. my biggest passion right now is bridging that gap." go and compete in different parts of Asia. In fact, it was only after quitting golf in high school that he was able to allocate his time to other activities like debate and service clubs, organizations that probably later influenced his dedication towards public service. When he got to Penn, he majored in political science and economics, and despite the importance of the work he’s done, he spends an equal

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amount of time talking about the important relationships he’s garnered through the years. He credits two professors as his inspirations and motivators: Professor Rogers Smith and Professor Marie Gottschalk.“Professor Smith’s class sophomore year really changed my idea of what I wanted to do in life,” he says. “ And Professor Marie Gottschalk really challenged me and pushed me to understand politics further.” Outside the classroom he spends time with his girlfriend and his friends, many of whom are from his freshman hall and others are the brother’s he’s made at Sig Nu. “I originally just rushed for the free food,” he admits. “Then I started to meet people that I actually liked and we hit it off.” Sentences like these are indicative of Arjun’s easygoing nature, something that you can sense right away when meeting him. Despite his many accomplishments, he finds himself gravitating towards the simple pleasures. “I wish people knew that at

heart I’m an incredibly lazy person,” he says. “I don’t need to be doing something all the time.” In his free time, he enjoys watching Netflix, “lazing around,” and exploring his foodie side. In fact, the most difficult question Arjun answered was what single dish he would choose to eat every day for a month. After some protest, he finally replied, “Japanese food,” but he wasn’t happy about being sequestered to just one choice. After graduation, Arjun will face a lot of choices about what he wants to do and where he wants to go. But for right now, he shares the same anxieties and nostalgia of his classmates. Of course he’ll miss his friends and all the people he’ll be leaving behind. But he’ll also miss many of the mundane parts of Penn, the things people don’t often think about. “I’m gonna miss SEPTA,” he says. “That’s something I would tell all freshman: stop using Uber and take the SEPTA. It has a lot of character. It’s a pretty run down sort of system, but in a charismatic way.” But then he pauses, “Oh, and I’m gonna miss the food trucks.”


C H R I S T O P H E R YA O

Christopher Yao HUFFPO CALLED HIM ONE OF THE "MOST POWERFUL AND INFLUENTIAL YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE WORLD." AND HE'S ONLY GETTING STARTED ON HIS MISSION TO HELP KIDS WITH CLEFT PALATE, $250 AT A TIME.

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C

hristopher Yao (C’17) chooses his words wisely. When he speaks, listeners get a sense that each word is chosen with care, thought, and consideration. Christopher’s speech, though, was not always this precise. When he was in the sixth grade, he was diagnosed with a severe prognathism, more commonly known as an underbite, which affected his speech. Now, as the founder of Kids Change the World, a non–profit charity that improves children’s health world-

wide, Christopher helps kids who experience symptoms similar to his own. Kids Change the World focuses primarily on helping children with cleft palates and cleft lips. Christopher’s diagnosis was what inspired him to get into nonprofit work in the first place. He was still in middle school when he founded Kids Change the World, but since then, he’s graduated from Penn, finished a biology degree in just three years, and is now pursuing a master's degree in public health at

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They know they Netfl Netfl Netfl ix ix orixor iTunes, oriTunes, iTunes, respectively. respectively. respectively. online, online, online, if all if ifall people allpeople people who who who Personally, was befor ostracised from their Moral Moral Moral of of the ofthe story theChristopher story story is: is: we is:we won't wewon't won't won’t paid paid paid for online foronline online services services services named one ofjust the Most family ... that they’ll someday judge judge judge if you if if you you justjust stay stay stay in"25 in bed. inbed. bed. used used used Netflix* Netflix* Netflix* Powerful and Influential get married and hold a job,” • 215.387.8533 • •215.387.8533 *A*A*A simple simple simple random random sample sample he pauses, and then continPattayaRestaurant.com PattayaRestaurant.com PattayaRestaurant.com 215.387.8533 Young People inrandom the sample World" *$12.50/ticket *$12.50/ticket *$12.50/ticket at the atatthe Rave theRave Rave ofby of 100 of100 100 Penn Penn Penn undergrads undergrads undergrads were were ues, The Huffington Postwere and “I think that’s the greatest • University • •University 4006 4006 4006 Chestnut Chestnut Chestnut Street Street Street University City City City *$3.99 *$3.99 *$3.99 to rent totorent arent movie a amovie movie on on iTunes oniTunes iTunes surveyed surveyed surveyed to collect tocollect collect data data data about about about gift I’ve gotten.” was oneto of only ten annual *$7.99/month *$7.99/month *$7.99/month on on Netflix onNetflix Netflix 8 88 their their their film film fiviewing lmviewing viewing habits. habits. habits.

TT T

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34TH STREET Magazine December 1, 2011 34TH STREET Magazine December 1, 2011 34TH STREET Magazine December 1, 2011

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A P R I L 2 5 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 2 1


KARIS STEPHEN

Karis Stephen Facebook offered her a job in Chicago. She chose Malaysia (and a Fulbright scholarhsip) instead. She's also been streamed over two million times on Spotify. Jamie Gobreski

“A

t last…” The lights rise, spotlighting Karis as she sings to a full house at Iron Gate Theater. “At last…” her voice rings out, and the drawn out beginning of Etta James’ iconic ode to love mimics some of Karis Stephen's own life: at last, her final show with the a capella group, Counterparts; at last, she hands off the baton to the After School Arts Program; at last, she is making real decisions about what her future looks like, graduating and leaving all this behind. I meet up with Karis at the side door of the theater before her final show. We settle into a corner beneath the mirror in the sweaty basement room that serves as the Counterparts greenroom. Her group mates flit around, humming songs from the set and changing from casual slides into sultry heels and snappy dress shoes. “What do you think about my hair up in this dress?” The room decides her hair looks better down, and she leaves it, giving herself a final glance in the mirror above me before straying back to the loose circle of people in the middle of the room. There’s a warm 2 2 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E A P R I L 2 5 , 2 01 8

and intimate energy in the room, the kind that comes from nerves, familiarity, and tight spaces, particularly of the church basement variety. “Counterparts has been the thing that I’ve been in consistently since freshman year, that I go to every single week, so the people in it are actually my family at this point,” she says, a point proven when in the middle of our interview a boy from the group buzzes over and plants a kiss on her right temple. “Coming from Tyler, Texas, where literally nobody goes to Penn, I knew nobody, and then joined this a capella group and was suddenly like, wow, I have 14 immediate, close friends!” “ While Karis knew nobody coming into Penn, she at least thought she knew what she wanted to study: international relations. “I don’t know why I said that,” she laughs. “I think I was like, I’m going to go to college and expand my worldview.” But then she took an English class, loved it, and declared that as her major instead, tacking on cinema and media studies at the beginning of her junior year. Her first semester, she took a class on music, poetry, and literature, which helped


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discovered academic intersectionality, “where you can study more than one thing in conjunction with each other, and find how they parallel one another and how different fields can work together.” She’s carried this philosophy throughout her time at Penn. “I guess I always have found the intersections between different academic fields to be so much more interesting than the fields themselves,” she says. Her thesis analyzes Afrofuturism, the works of Erykah Badua, and Sun Ra, combing her music minor and the three things she loves most: literature, film, and music. These interests are developed outside of the classroom as well. “Writing music is absolutely one of my favorite things to do,” she says.“I was really into writing poetry, and finding that poetry and music go really hand and hand and that my ability to write was useful in the music space was a huge realization.” She and her boyfriend, Blue Bookhard (C '17), form the musical duo Eleven, for which Karis writes and produces her own music. The project emerged from a conversation between the two, becoming a type of creative salvation for them both. “I feel like I’m not making anything, and it’s really frustrating,” she had said. “I feel like Penn’s suffocating me because I can’t be creative in my classes.” In turn, Blue responded: “Let’s do something about it.” And so they did. The duo officially took off as an independent study crafted under the mentorship of professor Guy Ramsey. “We called it 'Music Industry' or something?” she says. “I don’t even know what the class is called—" but she describes the process as “kind of experimental.” Her and Blue lead themselves through “all

"I THINK THE REASON WE BOTH LIKE MUSIC AND PERFORMING IS BECASE WE LOVE TO SEE THE REACTION FROM THE AUDIENCE. EVEN IF SOMEONE HATES IT, THAT'S AWESOME, BECAUSE WE MADE THEM FEEL SOMETHING, YOU KNOW?" the steps of being a musician,” with Ramsey as a mentor. Together, they learned about marketing, music promotions, booking gigs, writing music, recording music, and then getting the music mixed and mastered. After they released the music video for their first song, “Step Forward,” it started feeling like more than just a class for Karis. "I was like, oh my god, we’re actually a music group, this isn’t just a class!” She and Blue were both surprised but excited about the response to their music—and even the negative feedback had a positive impact on them and their creative process. “I think the reason we both like music and performing is because we love to see the reaction from the audience. Even if someone hates it, that’s awesome, because we made them feel something, you know?” The 2,000,000 streams of “All Mine,” their collaboration with French electronic group Sense, cemented the reality of their success. “It was a really surreal experience,” Karis recalls, describing how she woke up at home

alone with her parents to her phone blowing up with messages—“everyone was kind of confused as to what was happening—like, “What’s going on? Why are we on New Music Friday? I don’t understand!’” Her parents love the

song—“My dad like, plays it constantly now, which is really cute.” Over winter break, she faced constant questions of “What’s the stream number?” She laughs and says, “They don’t even know what streams are! They’re really

adorable. I love them.” Reflecting on the experience, Karis says, “That’s when it felt really real, and now that all this is happening, it’s like, oh my gosh’— this can be more than just a short–term thing. This can

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KARIS STEPHEN

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go long–term.” On the other side of her time at Penn is her work with education and arts activism, a passion that grew out of her own childhood. “When I was a kid, I was incredibly shy,” she says. “What really got me out of that was music. It gave me a confidence and a sense of self ... I think it’s a tool for kids to learn who they are, which is why I really care about teaching it.” She formerly ran the After School Arts Program, a weekly program that brings Philadelphia students to Platt Performing Arts Center where they get to engage in different subjects, including: theater, singing, “or just jamming.” Karis plans to carry on her service in arts education after college through a Fulbright grant that will take her to Malaysia. “I’ve always felt like I wanted to do something good, and something that actually makes a difference,” she says. “This is a way for me to dedicate less than a year of my life to doing that.” She’ll be in Malaysia for ten months, which gives her

enough time to think about what she wants pursue. “I don’t think I'm gonna want to go to corporate America,” she says. In November, she was offered a job at Facebook in Chicago, but she turned it down. “Who knows? Maybe I want to go the non-profit route.” When I ask if she’s ready to graduate, she sighs, says yes, and then laughs. “Short answer: yes. I think I’ve really loved Penn. Yes, it has systemic issues that pervade everything, but it’s given me people and opportunities I don’t know that I would have gotten otherwise, and I’m very happy I came here.” Back on stage, Karis is finishing off the last bars of her song, and the lyrics echo her sentiments about rounding off her time at Penn and leaving campus—“I found a dream that I could speak to, a dream that I could call my own …” The lights dim and the crowd cheers, a swell in the audience as Karis belts out the last line of her last song at her last show: “At last.”


DARNELL FOREMAN

Darnell Foreman What's life after March Madness? Penn's #4 and star point guard talks about getting into parties, enjoying his senior year, and winning. Watch out - we hear he's going pro. Annabelle Williams

D

arnell Foreman (C ’18) doesn’t really animate until about halfway through our conversation—and when he does, it’s right after we start talking about basketball. He sits across from me at Metropolitan Bakery and shakes my hand, smiling. He’s either preternaturally charismatic or has been media–trained. Or both. Probably both. He talks with his hands and flashes the Nike rubber wristband he wears, with the trademark swoosh and the word “ATTITUDE” embossed in white on a blue background. Darnell, Penn’s #4, and one

of Penn men’s basketball’s three captains, stands at 6’1". Although I’m not much shorter than him, he seemed to pick up immediately that I know jack shit about basketball. I guess I didn’t do a convincing job of proving that I knew what a point guard was. If you want to read a report of Darnell’s stats, please don’t ask me. But Penn 10 isn’t about stats. It’s about the person behind them: not just what they’re great at, but who they are, and how that makes them great. The first time he played basketball, Darnell was five years

A P R I L 2 5 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 2 5


DARNELL FOREMAN

"I DON'T KNOW IF MY LIFE HAS CHANGED ..." HE BIT AND LEANS BACK IN THE JUST-SLIGHTLY-TOOSMALL CHAIR, HIS EXPRESSION SO PENSIVE THAT I EXPECT HIM TO SAY SOMETHING POETIC. BUT HE JUST LAUGHS. "YOU DEFINITELY GET INTO MORE PARTIES."

Chase Sutton | Photographer 2 6 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E A P R I L 2 5 , 2 01 8


DARNELL FOREMAN

old. He recounts that he “actually cried the first day.” Like most kids his age, he just wanted to play video games or run around the neighborhood with his friends. But despite the rough start, he’s made quite a name for himself, drawn to leadership positions from point guard to quarterback to captain. When Darnell came into Penn as a recruit, he saw March Madness as a “longshot.” But he harbored the hope that he’d get to the tournament “where dreams are made,” and this March, that dream came true. He’s the youngest of three siblings, and he lights up when he tells me that his mother, brother, and some cousins came out to Wichita for the big game against Kansas this March. When talking about the tournament, he acknowledges that many college basketball players build up March

Madness in their heads, but that, when it comes to fully appreciating the tournament, “you don’t really realize it unless you’re actually in it.” When I ask him if his life has changed at all after Penn’s standout season, he laughs. “I don’t know if my life has changed,” he pauses for a bit and leans back in the just– slightly–too–small chair, his expression so pensive that I expect him to say something poetic. But he just laughs. “You definitely get into more parties.” But the biggest change in Darnell’s life recently is the fact that he’s done with the team. He’s not practicing anymore, and though he works out “one or two hours a day, sometimes three,” he’s unsure what to do with his newfound free time. “It’s weird,” he says, to take a nap and wake up when it’s still light outside. But he’s still trying to “sal-

vage [his] senior year” and make up for lost time. He’s used to going to class until 3:00 p.m. and heading straight over to the gym until 7:00 p.m., and that’s just on the days with practice—traveling for games is another story. But it’s weird to step away from the team that’s been his life since before he even set foot on campus, a team for which he sees his captain’s role as much more off–the–court than on. He looks like a proud big brother when I ask him what his role as captain looks like and he tells me that it’s mostly to “make sure the team is going in the right direction.” Darnell recalls his choice to come to Penn; he says he was looking at “other Ivies, some smaller schools,” and that, even though he grew up in Camden, just across the river, it wasn’t until mid–April of his senior year that he even applied to Penn or thought

about coming. “They had to re–open the Common App portal so I could submit my application,” he quips. Although the season is over, he’s still working out and thinking about hiring an agent. Even as his senior year dies down, he’s going through the elite athlete’s equivalent of OCR: trying to get picked up by a professional team. If Darnell could play anywhere, he thinks he’d choose Australia, even though he waxes poetic about Latvia and how they treat their players “like stars.” But he doesn’t think he’s go-

ing to be playing forever. This political science major tells me he’s “going to be a CEO someday.” Curious to know what he might pursue after playing pro, I ask if he’s into politics, given his major. He laughs wryly and responds, “Don’t we all have to be now?” But he’d never pursue it as a career. In politics, Darnell tells me, “there’s never a right answer.” “Is there a right answer when it comes to basketball?” He smiles, and I can’t quite tell if he’s grinning to himself or to me. “Winning.”

Live music • Film • Dance • Theater Art Education • Community G.Calvin Weston aka Old Man Jenkins Free Birds Improv Groove (FREE) April 24 @ 8:00 PM G.Calvin Weston aka Old Man Jenkins brings the creative sounds of improv transcending emulating the music of some of his mentors like Bill Cobham, Narada Michael Walden, Jeff Beck, and others.

Paul Metzger & John Saint Pelvyn pres. by Fire Museum (FREE) April 25 @ 8:00 PM Paul Metzger has been experimenting, playing his various artinstruments including his distinct heavily modified 23 string banjo. John Saint Pelvyn, guitarist, thereminist, singer, and player of some species of dismantled electrified folk.

The Gathering Admission $3 before 10:00 PM, $5 after 10:00 PM April 26 @ 9:00 PM Established in 1996, The Gathering is the longest-running Hip Hop event in Philly. DJs spin all night, open cyphas, a tag wall, and a featured performance and graffiti panel each month.

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Spring Vegan Potluck (FREE) April 28 @ 5:00 PM Please bring a small vegan dish of your choosing, a card or sheet of paper listing your ingredients, and a serving utensil. No animal ingredients. Bring dishes ready to serve.

Philly MAC-Down 3: Return of the MAC April 29 @ 5:00 PM Vegan mac & cheese contest is back. Watch the local competitors vie to win the GOLDEN TROPHY! Online tickets are $15, tickets at the door $20, and children younger than 5-years-old are FREE

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CHRISTOPHER D'URSO

Christopher D'Urso THIS RHODES SCHOLAR IS HEADED TO ENGLAND NEXT YEAR, AND THEN YALE LAW. HIS RHODE TO D.C. WAS INSPIRED BY THE MOVIE 'NATIONAL TREASURE,' BECAUSE WHO DOESN'T LOVE NICHOLAS CAGE? Isabella Fertel

I

n the third grade, Chris D’Urso convinced his parents to take him to Washington D.C. after watching National Treasure. Maybe he went in the hopes of finding the hidden treasure Nicholas Cage’s character spends the movie hunting; he got to witness both the Supreme Court and Congress in session instead. Suddenly, he just knew: he was going to work in government. Fast forward 13 years, and Chris is on his way to making his dream of becoming a

federal prosecutor a reality. As one of Penn’s two Rhodes Scholars, he’s moving to England to pursue a doctorate degree, and then he’s headed to Yale Law School. He remembers the initial rush after the Rhodes awards ceremony, sitting in the car calling his parents and relatives: “It’s amazing, you know. Your life really changes in that moment—it’s surreal,” Chris says. “I mean, it’s just one thing in my life that I’ve done, but, like, it’s an honor, and it’s really cool.” Born and raised in Colts

2 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E A P R I L 2 5 , 2 01 8


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Neck, New Jersey, Chris has always had a passion for all things legal. Before Penn, he interned as an investigative aid for the Monmouth County Department of Consumer Affairs, the local consumer protection program for his county. “I started working there the July after Superstorm Sandy hit,” he says. “While I was there I got to see how people can be taken advantage of by fraudulent individuals and businesses.” In high school he was in the political science track, and then in college he declared as an international relations major, a Hispanic studies minor, and then later achieved his master's of public administration (with a certificate in politics from the Fels Institute of Government). Chris’ combined ability to lead and balance a full plate of academic and extracurricular responsibilities is part of what made him such a competitive candidate for the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the most prestigious international achievements for an undergraduate. On campus, he holds the role of: Editor–In– Chief of the Sigma Iota Rho (the national honor society for international studies) Journal of International Relations, two–term co–chair of the University Honor Council, and member of the Task Force on a Safe and Responsible Campus Community. Additionally, he’s the founder of CASE (Consumer Assistance, Support, and Education), a proactive consumer outreach program centered in Philadelphia. Even as a pre–frosh, Chris was already thinking about civic service at Penn. “I knew about Penn’s reputation of being the ‘civic ivy’ and that public service is such a big thing,” he says, only half–kidding. That September, he reached out and got a meeting with the executive director of the Fox

Christina Piasecki | Photographer

Leadership Program. “I was like ‘Hey, I have this interest in doing a thing that’s more proactive combined with my passion for consumer protection, how do I do that?’” After reaching out to the Philadelphia Attorney General’s Office and Mayor’s Office, he was surprised to learn the city of Philadelphia has no proactive consumer outreach programs, so he decided to start one. From there, he recruited a small group of fellow students and together they started Penn CASE, which sponsors workshops, panels, and presentations at civic organizations on campus and within the city of Philadelphia. “I had no idea where this was going to go,” Chris says. “To see the response that we got, not only from Penn ... but some of the requests from people [for programs] we’ve gotten and people knowing what you do and who you are—you never think that you’re going to reach that point.” Although Chris is graduating, his dedication to Penn CASE is his legacy, and that lasting impact extends be-

yond Penn to the Philadelphia community. Penn CASE transitioned their leadership in December, but Chris still continues to work on new initiatives and ways that the club

can reach out to more and more people who need their help. “I really do hope that the work I’ve done with CASE will be my legacy at Penn,” Chris

said. “I didn’t want to create this and then have it die. I know the people on board know the importance of the work we do, and continue that vision.”

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JA N A KO R N

Jana Korn she's organized protests and has even driven in hillary clinton's motorcade. she's also prepping to bike up the entire eastern seaboard. Lily Snider

O

n an average morning, Jana Korn (C ’18) wakes up hoping for good weather so she can go on a bike ride. Ideally, she might discover a few new cafes on the way and drop in for a spot of coffee to replenish her energy. “I spend a lot of time exploring the coffee shops of Philadelphia,” she admits. Lately, she tries to ride as much as possible in preparation for her post–grad summer trip: a two–month bike trip of the East Coast from Key West to Canada. Right now, life is relatively calm for Jana; school is coming to a close, and a well–deserved graduation is right around the corner. She looks carefree with her short brown hair tied half up atop her head, beaded turquoise earrings swinging as she laughs at her various Penn memories.

Jana’s life hasn’t always been this simple. In fact, her life had been much more stressful than many of us could handle, and the impact that Jana’s made on this campus is anything but calm. Jana Korn is one of Penn’s political powerhouses: former president of Penn Dems, co–founder of Fem Dems, and dedicated political activist. She has a taste for exploration. She wants to know the world around her. When she’s not exploring new coffee shops, she is canvassing throughout this city. “I fell in love with [Dems] my first year, because I was like, I’m not seeing West Philly. But when you’re canvassing, you’re just speaking to residents like your equals. Like the two of us are just voters, our votes count equally, I just want you to use yours a

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specific way, right?” Dems helped her to connect with Philadelphians on a person to person level that is often missing in our university culture. “I think a lot of what Penn does in relation to West Philly is [to] treat us as superior, like not on the same plane, but when you’re just talking that way as voters, it’s much different.” Her canvassing efforts were just the

beginning. Jana’s seen and done things that shatter the boundaries of average student life, like taking part in Hillary Clinton’s motorcade during her presidential campaign. While Jana was the president of Dems, she got a phone call from Hillary’s staff. They asked for volunteers, and she supplied them with the necessary number of willing students including Jana herself.


EGO

“It was insane. I drove a van—it didn’t have her in it, it had staff in it, but it was so scary.” The student volunteers arrived at the private airport where Hillary’s private jet, embossed with “Ready for Hillary,” sat waiting for its riders to deplane. The volunteers were given numbers and lined up to wait for the members in their assigned vehicle. One by one, each volunteer was paired with staffers, and eventually Jana found out that she would be chauffeuring Hillary Clinton’s speechwriter and head photographer. “It was literally surreal,” says Jana. Despite all of her leadership roles at Penn, on this day, she was just a chauffeur—and a nervous one at that. “Don’t talk to anyone,” she told herself, “Don’t fuck up. I’m not even a good driver! I don’t know why I did this!” But, at the end of the day, she knows exactly why she did it. She did it because she's passionate about politics— and will do whatever it takes to support the causes she believes in. Despite her initial nerves, Jana soon found commonalities between the staffers and herself. “I always tell this story because I think it’s so funny: the next day, we drove them back to the airport to get on a flight, and they were talking in my car about what song they wanted Hillary Clinton to come out to at her victory party.” The song in question? “Sit Still, Look Pretty” by Daya, now a staple of Jana’s music library. “I still kind of cry when I hear it.” Jana smiles easily, and she punctuates her storytelling with light laughter. Her demeanor is sweet, but don’t underestimate her: she’s made waves on this campus that have no doubt caught each of us in their ripples. “In February, [we] orga-

nized a demonstration on Locust where we had people stand with signs holding the names of every mass shooting since 2017.” Jana explains, “I don’t remember the number, but it was a few hundred. It’s insane, and you only hear about the ones that are in the news. But there’s a mass shooting every day ... People are killed every few minutes.” At the close of the demonstration, the participants held a moment of silence for every one of the victims of these mass shootings. This moment amounted to a full eight minutes of silence, 150 Penn students standing on locust without saying one word. “I recognized—I think we all kind of recognized—in that moment that on campus there was kind of an itch to do something, it’s just an issue that people feel so viscerally,” Jana says, eyes on something in the distance. “You can kind of ignore tax policy or even ignore climate change because it’s not affecting you, but no one is safe from the guns that exist in this country.” The contrast between Jana’s soft demeanor and the intense dedication she has for her beliefs makes her all the more compelling as a leader. And, it seems this distinct type of leadership has been paramount to her success. Being the president of a 100+ member political organization during election season is hectic enough—add in the countless groups that were suddenly looking to collaborate, and it was chaos. “I just remember, I was driving back to school in August before my junior year, and I got this call from someone on a campaign that was like: ‘Hey, Elizabeth Warren wants to do a rally on Penn’s campus, can you reserve a room?’ I was literally in the car with my dad driving back to campus.” Obviously, Jana

had her doubts, but she kept calm in the face of celebrity– induced awe mixed with the huge amount of responsibility upon her, and she got the job done. “We did it in the museum—it was really fun. But that was like, representative of my whole semester.” Sometimes the gentlest of people are the ones that conquer the toughest of tasks. When it comes to Jana, this seems to be the case, but the stress of the semester certainly didn’t end there. On election night, it peaked. “Dems did a watch party at Cav’s, which I was at for a little bit. When things started to go south, I left and went downtown. I interned on Katie Mcginty’s Senate campaign, so she and all of the state party were doing an event at the Sheraton downtown. I went there because I just wanted to be with campaign people, and I mean, I don’t—it was horrible.” When McGinty lost the Senate race, the night was truly over. “It was late, it was like 1 a.m. by the time they called her, and she spoke and it was horrible, but it happened,” Jana says with calm resolve, running a hand over

her sticker–adorned hydro– flask water bottle and quietly nodding her head. Though a Washington, D.C. native, Jana doesn’t automatically credit her childhood home for her interest in the political world. “People assume that because I am from there it’s in my blood kind of—I don’t know if that’s the case. My parents weren’t involved in politics at all.” Regardless, Jana grew up independently attending protests downtown and participating with her high school in walk outs, such as the one she participated after the death of Trayvon Martin, and various other demonstrations. Maybe Jana’s desire to spice up this campus hails from her affinity for similarly spicy Latin–American cuisine. Her go–to drunk food is nachos, accompanied by her drink of choice, the margarita. Or, maybe it’s tied to her proclaimed spirit animal, the giraffe: “When I was growing up the zoo near my house had a giraffe named Jana, and I just kind of latched onto it.” Just like giraffe Jana, human Jana stands tall and proud, making her presence known

without being imposing. “I don’t want to overstate it because there are so many people who are doing activism on this campus,” she says. But Jana has distinguished Penn Dems by making it a place where anyone with a spirit and a goal can see their feelings put into action. “Even as a freshman, you can come in and say I wanna organize this protest, I wanna organize a panel discussion about this.” And that exists due to the precedent Jana has set. Put simply, Jana’s story here at Penn is one of empowerment. “I think especially with this gun control organizing that I’ve been doing, I hope that people can see that and realize that it’s super accessible to do work like this,” she says, voice unwavering, “It doesn’t have to be your whole life, you don’t have to be studying political science. If you really care about something, you have the ability to do something about it.” Jana’s mark on campus is a testament to just that.

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