Peer Advising

The Orientation Peer Advisors (OPA!) are ready to take your questions about what it's like to be an engineering student, or any other general questions you might have. You should be receiving a letter or email from your assigned OPA! by the time you arrive on campus.

OPA! Fellows can help you with the following:

1. You can find about more information about the major. For instance, if you are thinking about changing your major and you would like to ask someone, ask an OPA! Fellow.

2. If you are not hearing back from your OPA! you can ask the OPA! Fellow in your major.

3. If you would like more than one view on an issue, you can ask an OPA! Fellow.

Meet the Orientation Peer Advisors (OPA!) for the Class of 2017!

Jump to: Bioengineering | Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering | Curriculum Deferred | Computer Engineering | Computer and Information Science | Digital Media Design | Electrical and Systems Engineering | Management and Technology Program | Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics | Materials Science and Engineering | Networked and Social Systems Engineering


Liz Feeney
Welcome Class of 2017! I’m Liz Feeney, a senior and Master’s submatriculant in bioengineering from South Jersey. At Penn, I’m heavily involved in the Biomedical Engineering Society, for which I’ve served on board since fall of freshman year. Outside of that, I spend a lot of time working in the McKay Research Lab, running, and exploring all that a major city like Philly has to offer.  Definitely make time for concerts at the Electric Factory and hit a Phillies game over the next four years! Hope you are excited to start a new chapter in your life at Penn!

Danielle Fields
Hello!  I’m a junior in bioengineering and my hometown is Westfield, New Jersey.  I am on the board of Alpha Omega Epsilon engineering sorority and a member of the Penn 2013 iGEM team, and I work in a neuroengineering lab.  In my free time, I like reading, watching movies, and trying out new coffee shops.

Amy Keech
Welcome to Penn Engineering, Class of 2017! I’m really excited to be an OPA for you guys. I’m going to be a junior this fall, and I’m going to be a bioengineering OPA for the second time. As a bioengineer, I’m primarily interested in applications of bioengineering to neuroscience. I would love to get involved in Alzheimer’s or epilepsy research sometime soon or in graduate school. Around campus, I’m involved in Alpha Omega Epsilon (an engineering sorority), the women’s club ultimate Frisbee team, and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. I also work as a lifeguard at Pottruck fitness center. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions! See you guys in August!

Jesi Kim
Welcome Class of 2017! I am Jesi Kim.  We are all very excited to have you guys join Penn Engineering.  I am a junior majoring in bioengineering.  I originally wanted to get a BAS degree but recently changed to BSE.  I am also pre-med, although I have no idea what I want to do.  I am from Haverford, PA.  I have been working at a lab since my freshman year, and I love it!  I am also in Alpha Phi Omega, the community service fraternity.  Over the summer I have also started volunteering at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  In my spare time I love to bake and eat the things I bake. I am very approachable so do not be afraid to ask me any questions. I can’t wait to meet all of you guys!  

Alia Lahr
Hi Class of 2017! I’m Alia and I am a junior Bioengineering major at Penn minoring in Engineering Entrepreneurship. I grew up in the sunny Southern city of Atlanta, GA but Philly’s diverse neighborhoods and awesome food scene are a force to reckon with! At Penn I am the Vice President of International Relations for Engineers Without Borders and as such have traveled to Guatemala with Penn EWB 3 times and get to manage projects in Guatemala and Cameroon. I am also highly involved with biomaterials research at Penn and a part of SWE, Sigma Kappa, and the club tennis team. I love traveling, Spanish, and finding new foods! Most of all, I look forward to being involved as an OPA!

Ray Liu
Hi everybody! I am a rising Sophomore from Chicago, Illinois currently studying Bioengineering. I am also involved in FIMRC, which is a volunteering based club. Feel free to ask me any questions you have about engineering or Penn in general and I'll be sure to answer them. I am excited to meet you all soon!

Surya Murty - OPA! Fellow
Hello Penngineers! I am a rising senior in bioengineering from Amherst, Massachusetts, as well as a Senior OPA Fellow.  I am the former President of Rachleff Scholars Society, an Engineering scholars group working to promote academic research. I conduct research through a joint project between the Radiation Oncology department at the hospital and the bioengineering department. This summer I ventured outside of research to work at a pharmaceutical consulting firm. Outside of academics, I am on the Penn Ultimate Frisbee team (Void) attending Phillies games, and causing general mayhem on the engineering quad. Feel free to ask me if you have any questions, and welcome to Penn!

Emily Olson - OPA! Fellow
Welcome Class of 2017!  I am a rising junior majoring in Bioengineering from West Chester, Pennsylvania.  On campus, I tutor for the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project, I am a Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, am a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, and volunteer at the Hospital of the Univ. of Pennsylvania.  My hobbies include running, playing tennis, and meeting up with friends.  Please contact me with any questions you may have!  I'm looking forward to meeting you all!

Michael Pintauro
Hey Y’all! My name is Michael Pintauro and I am a rising junior in Bioengineering from Nashville, Tennessee. I am the External Affairs Chairman of the Engineers in Medicine Club, a member of the University Honor Council, Risk Management Chairman and New Member Educator of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, and a Counselor for Camp Kesem. This summer, I’m performing orthopedic research in McKay Orthopedic Lab at Perelman School of Medicine.  I enjoy running, biking, country music, electronic music, watching Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, eating Chipotle, and spending time with my brothers. I’m pumped to be an OPA and ready to answer any of your questions!

Catherine Rojvirat
Hi! I’m a rising Masters student, who just completed her undergraduate degree in BE (Class of 2013!). As an undergraduate, I was actively involved in the Biomedical Engineering Society and served as Webmaster, Vice President and Student Advisor. I was and still am actively involved in research at Penn including research at HUP at the Neurology Department and research in the Translational Neuroengineering Lab under Dr. Brian Litt. In my spare time, I love going into the city to eat and shop! Ask me anything about Penn Engineering and the Bioengineering program – I love answering questions and giving advice I wish I knew when I was an incoming freshman!

Laura Woodbridge
Hello Class of 2017! I am a rising senior majoring in Bioengineering from Amherst, Massachusetts. On campus, I am a member of the Engineering Deans’ Advisory Board and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, and I research cancer screening techniques.  In my free time I enjoy baking cookies, running, playing piano, practicing field hockey or lacrosse, and spending time with my friends. I look forward to meeting you!

Nina Zhu - OPA! Fellow
Hi! I’m a rising junior in Bioengineering, after coming to Penn as Computer Engineering the first semester of freshman year. I’m from beautiful San Diego, California. At Penn, I am involved with Communitech, the food magazine Penn Apetit, a program called GDC that seeks to improve conditions in impoverished communities, as well as volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House near campus. My hobbies include cooking, running throughout the city, and playing volleyball. Feel free to contact me with any questions. I can’t wait to meet you in September! 

Dandi Zhu
Hi everyone! My name is Dandi and I’m a rising Junior studying Bioengineering with a minor in Engineering Entrepreneurship. I’m originally from a cozy suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, but have grown to love the upbeat atmosphere of Philly and Penn. In addition to being an OPA, I’m the Vice President of the Engineering Student Activities Council (ESAC), a Tour Guide and Ambassador for Kite & Key, and a research assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). I love traveling, trying new foods, and learning new languages. Currently at the top of my bucket list: snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, skydiving, and spending a night in a desert with a camel. In my spare time, I enjoy ice skating with my little sister, and watching unhealthy amounts of HIMYM. I can’t wait to meet all of you! Get excited for the best four years of your life.

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Courtney Bender - OPA! Fellow
Hey Class of 2017! I am a rising senior from a tiny town in Colorado you’ve probably never heard of. Congrats on being accepted to Penn Engineering! At Penn, I am on the club tennis team and am a member of Alpha Phi Omega, the national community service fraternity. I am also involved with AIChE, the professional chemical engineering society.  I love skiing and snowboarding and rock climbing and camping and anything outdoor related, as long as it doesn’t involve water! I look forward to meeting you all.

Scott Danielsen
Hi, I’m Scott, a rising senior in CBE from Virginia Beach.  I am planning on going on to graduate school for a Ph.D. where I hope to study polymers, nanocomposites, and other organic materials for use in separations and electronics.  I have been involved with this research in several summer research programs at other universities.  Here at Penn, I am currently involved with an MSE polymer lab working with nanocomposites and previously worked in an organic chemistry synthetic lab.  I am involved with Tau Beta Pi (the engineering honor society), on the boards of Penn Political Coalition & Penn College Republicans, an editor for the Penn Course Review, and involved with religious life through the Christian Association & St. Mary’s Church.  I love to explore Philadelphia, swim, and enjoy the nice colder weather.  Feel free to ask about anything.  Welcome to Penn & SEAS!

Rocky Diegmiller
Hey, welcome to Penn and Penn Engineering.  My name is Rocky, and I am a rising junior in CBE from Wheeling, West Virginia.  After graduating, I plan to go on to grad school in hopes of getting my Ph. D. and pursuing a career in pharmaceutical research and drug development.  I have been involved with different research projects on campus over the past two years, both during the year and through summer internships and programs.  In addition, I am involved in a few different clubs on campus.  I am currently the Community Service Chair for Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity, President of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Treasurer for the Rachleff Scholars Society, and last year I was also the Educational Manager for Harrison College House Eco-Reps.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have.

Hanna Elmongy
Congrats and welcome, Class of 2017! My name is Hanna, and I am a rising junior studying CBE from outside of Philly, but I was born in Texas and lived in New Orleans, LA for about 10 years. I am pre-med and interested in pharmaceuticals. I’m the junior representative of Penn’s chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and a member of the ChemE Car Team. I am also on the board of Penn’s Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the MSA liaison to PRISM, Penn’s interfaith student leadership group. I’m also involved with PAACH (Pan-Asian American Community House).  In my free time I like to play tennis, try out new Philly restaurants, explore downtown, walk along the river, cook and bake.

Jake Gissinger - OPA! Fellow
Welcome!! I can't wait to meet you, Class of 2017. I am from the great state of Ohio near Cleveland and enjoy playing intramural basketball, soccer, and a little guitar. I am a rising senior in CBE pursuing a dual degree in MSE and participate in Camp Kesem UPenn and Penn Music Mentoring Program. Discover things and have fun future engineers!

Steven Lee
Welcome, Class of 2017! I’m Steven and a rising senior in CBE from outside of San Francisco. I have been VP of Penn’s American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and President of Phi Gamma Nu Professional Business Fraternity. As a Rachleff Scholar, I’ve researched nanoparticle thin films in a CBE lab, so feel free to ask any questions about the program or just finding research at Penn. In my free time, I enjoy practicing karate, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and cooking. Philly’s got a lot to offer, so don’t be afraid to explore!

Jon Lym
Hurrah! Hurrah! Congratulations on being admitted to Penn SEAS! I am a rising junior in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a concentration in Environmental Engineering. I’m an international student from Kingston, Jamaica and I’ve lived in Fisher Hassenfeld, Harnwell and off-campus housing at Penn. I am involved in several groups, such as AIChE (American Institute for Chemical Engineers) and Penn World Scholars. I am also a Rachleff Scholar, who is currently working for Dr. Wen Shieh. I can’t wait to meet you all, and I hope I can help to make your freshman year as memorable as mine was!

Michelle Sorkin
Hello, my name is Michelle Sorkin, and I am a rising senior studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. At Penn, I am very active in the Benjamin Franklin Scholars community - as a class representative for the BFS Advisory Board and a Resident Advisor for the Integrated Studied Program. I am also a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), as well as Penn's reform Jewish community.  My other interests include mathematics and languages (Spanish, Russian, and Latin). I come from a very small town in Western Massachusetts, so I absolutely love exploring the sights and attractions of Philadelphia - the museums here are amazing!  I also like tennis, piano, baking, walking, and answering people's questions. I look forward to meeting all of you, and congratulations on your acceptance to Penn! 

Sandhya Thiyagarajan
Hey, Class of 2017! My name is Sandhya and I am a rising junior in CBE from Sugar Land, Texas. On campus, I'm on board for AIChE, Penn Eco Reps, Theta Tau (Penn's co-ed professional engineering fraternity), and a few other organizations. I am also part of the Rachleff Scholars Program and have experience in both environmental research and industry work. Outside of academics, I love to bake, watch football (Go Texans!), and try new restaurants with my friends. Congrats and I hope you have a great year!

Alex Whitaker
Hey! Welcome to Penn! I’m Alex and I’m a rising sophomore in CBE from Cary, Illinois, a small suburb about an hour northwest of Chicago. At Penn, I’m involved in Penn Science Across Ages, a volunteer organization that teaches science to kids at a local elementary school. I’m also a part of the Rachleff Scholars Program and am a brother in the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. This summer, I’m working with a chemistry lab at Northwestern University and researching the protein rhodopsin, an essential part of vision. I’m actually so interested in chemistry that I’m pursuing a second major in it. If you have any questions about CBE, chemistry, or Penn Engineering in general, feel free to ask me; I’d love to help!

Curriculum Deferred

Bianca Datta - OPA! Fellow
Hi everyone! I’m a rising senior in Materials Science and Engineering and I’m from North Potomac, Maryland (outside of DC).  On campus, I work with SEAS Green and Eco-Reps to promote sustainability and related issues.  I also work in a lab on nanoparticle synthesis for solar applications.  I’m going to be an RA next year, and I love talking to people, so feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

Raina Dhir
Hi Class of 2017! I’m from New Jersey and a rising junior in Bioengineering. Academically, I am also premed and hope to pursue the Engineering Entrepreneurship Minor.  If I’m not in class or at the medical school doing research, I’m probably somewhere in downtown Philly at one of the many amazing restaurants. On campus, in addition to being part of the engineering community through Engineers in Medicine (eMed) and Engineering Student Activities Council (ESAC), I am also involved with the Asian cultural community such as Asian Pacific American Heritage Week (APAHW).  Penn had been my dream school since the fifth grade so feel free to ask me any questions related to the university such as academics, campus and city life and anything else that may pop up. Looking forward to meeting all of you!

Mike Ganz
Hey guys, welcome to Penn. I’m a rising Junior in Systems Science & Engineering from Plainview, NY. I serve as Philanthropy Chair for my fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu, and am very involved in intramural sports around campus. While advising future engineers is my one true passion, I do enjoy using my free time to hang out with friends and go to concerts. I’m an OPA for Curriculum Deferred, which means if you have no idea what you want to do once you get to Penn come and find me.

Debby Greenstein
Hi everyone! My name is Debby Greenstein. I am a senior majoring in Materials Science and Engineering and minoring in Math and Engineering Entrepreneurship. On campus, I am involved with MSE Society, Hillel, and Let’s Get Ready, a nonprofit college prep program for underprivileged high school students. Feel free to reach out with any questions. Welcome to Penngineering! I am so excited to meet you guys!

Catharine Haak
Hi future engineers, and welcome to Penn! I’m a rising senior studying Chemical Engineering, although I started out CD as a freshman. My hometown is right here in Philadelphia, so I know the area pretty well. I have done research on soils in an Earth Science lab, volunteered in area schools, and been involved in various clubs and organizations. My main focus now is singing with my group, the Penn Sirens, which is a lot of fun. Feel free to ask me questions relating to Penn, Penngineering, Philadelphia, deciding on a major, etc. See you soon!

  Michael Lautman

Eric Lu
Congratulations on your decision to study at Penn! Before coming to Penn, I lived in Maryland and I began my studies as curriculum deferred (CD). OPA!s will be happy to respond to your questions!

Ty Moeller
Hello! I'm a senior from Sacramento majoring in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering but I initially entered as curriculum deferred. I’m part of the Engineering Student Activities Council (ESAC), Penn Curling Club, and Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity. I'm also actively involved with AIChE (American Institute for Chemical Engineers), Penn Weekend Service, and the Rachleff Scholars Program. I studied abroad in Spain and absolutely love travelling. You’re going to have an amazing time in Penn Engineering and I look forward to meeting you!

Liz Reeves
I’m a rising senior in Mechanical Engineering, but when I first came to Penn I was torn between BE and MEAM (and a bunch of other types of engineering as well, I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life).  Now, when I’m not hanging out with my fellow MEAMers, I can usually be found practicing with Venus (the women’s club ultimate frisbee team) or chilling with my friends from Alpha Omega Epsilon (a sorority for female engineers and technical scientists).  Last fall I studied abroad in London and learned a bunch, and this summer I will be doing research in a lab here at Penn and hopefully playing lots of ultimate.  Feel free to let me know if you have any questions about undergraduate research or study abroad, and I can’t wait to meet all of you this fall!

Gus Roman
Hi Kiddoz my name is Gus Roman and I am rising senior in the chemical and biomolecular engineering department originally from northern NJ. Also, I may stay an extra year at Penn to submatriculate into the Biotechnology Master’s Program that Penn SEAS offers here. I am currently an intern at GSK and have worked in 2 other labs at my time here at Penn. In addition, I am involved with greek life, PCR, and ISPE. Feel free to ask me any questions about my experiences or how to get involved with research on campus!

Dennis Sell
Hey, I am Dennis and I am a rising junior in Computer Science and Mathematics. I am originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and did not know how to program when I came to college. On campus, I am a member of STWing, the Science and Technology Wing Residential Program. I have TA'd CIS 160 and CIS 121 in the past and will be a TA for CIS 160 again this upcoming fall. This summer, I am working for a startup called Shopkick in Redwood City, California. I'm excited to meet you all!

Sarah Stein - OPA! Fellow
Hello!  My name is Sarah and I am a rising junior majoring in Bioengineering.  I grew up in many places, including Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and, more recently, Basking Ridge, New Jersey.  On campus, I am a teaching assistant for Introduction to Engineering.  I am also involved in Zeta Tau Alpha, a sorority on campus, as well as in Hillel.  I have served on the UA, and am a member of Advancing Women in Engineering and the Society of Women Engineers.  In my free time, I love cooking and baking, running, and spending time with friends.  I look forward to meeting you and welcome to Penn!

Thulani Tsabedze
Hello Everyone! I am Thulani (pronounced as 2-lani) and I am from Piggs Peak, Swaziland. I am a rising senior in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. I am a Penn World Scholar and a Shelby Davis United World College Scholars Program. I was part of the awesome PennCAP/Pre-freshman Program, to which I encourage you to apply. I was CD when I matriculated although it only lasted for a semester! I hope I can assist you in making your decision as to which major you finally pursue. I am looking forward to meeting you!

Dick Zhang
Hi everyone, congratulations and welcome to Penn Engineering! My name is Dick Zhang and I am a Mechanical Engineering sophomore. When I first came to Penn I was Curriculum Deferred. I am the Professional Development Committee Chair for Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity. I am also a co-founder of IDENTIFIED TechnologiesTM. We are a group of students at Penn working to commercialize some of the university’s cutting-edge aerial robotics research for applications in IED detection and landmine clearance. My work experience includes summer positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Goldman Sachs & Co. In my free time I like to play pool, ride my unicycle, and play golf. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out. See you in the fall!

Computer Engineering

Spencer Lee - OPA! Fellow
Hi everyone! I'm a computer engineering senior at Penn and am currently a submatriculant in the embedded systems masters program here. I've been with the RoboCup team (the UPennalizers) for a couple of years now, and I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone might have about it or engineering extracurriculars in general. I've also been a TA for many computer science and electrical engineering classes, so feel free to ask me anything you'd like about that as well! Things I enjoy include video games,works of literature and stuffed animals.

Will McDermid
I'm William McDermid, a senior in Computer Engineering and a first-year Orientation Peer Advisor (OPA). I grew up in Alaska, and when I originally came to Penn, I was a Bioengineering major. I'm excited to welcome you to Penn Engineering, and I hope that I can pass on some of the wisdom I've gained. I've been a teaching assistant, done undergraduate research, and have had a summer internship, so I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have.
Jeff Shih
Hey guys, I'm a rising senior in Computer Engineering from Calabasas, California. I started at Penn as a Mechanical Engineer due to interests in Robotics, but I found a better calling in Computer Engineering since I found myself more interested in the programming and circuits aspect. I run and organize PennHacks, Penn's Hardware Hackathon, which I encourage you guys to either participate in or at least check out. I've done a whole lot of different things here at Penn: Work-study job, TA-ing different classes, summer internships, and research. I enjoy books and video games (PC games like LoL) in my spare time.
COmputer and Information science

Ibs Ayub
Hey! My name is Ibrahim (“Ibs” for short) Ayub and I'm from Southborough, Massachusetts. I'm a rising senior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Engineering Entrepreneurship. I had no programming experience prior to Penn and have learned a lot during my time here. Outside of my classes, I'm in Check One, Dhamaka – a South Asian fusion dance team, MUSE Consulting, CommuniTech, CityStep and a TA for CIS110. I love Boston sports (go Celtics!) and will eat anything as long as it’s (somewhat) edible. Looking forward to meeting you all – welcome to Penn!

Constanza Figuerola
My name is Constanza and I’m a sophomore majoring in computer science. I’m originally from Argentina but I now live in Maryland. At Penn I’m part of the service fraternity, I’m the technology director of PIRC an international relations conference, and I am part of Penntoring. This summer I’ll be working at the National Science Foundation working on search engine optimization for their research files. This is my first time being an OPA and I’m very excited to help out the next class of Engineering students.

Daniel Ge
I am a rising senior in CIS who hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. I like mobile and backend development, and I like making things with code. My other hobbies include astrophotography and indie games.

David Mally - OPA! Fellow
Hey everyone! I'm a computer science junior at Penn, and I'm from Westport, CT. I'm also the Parliamentarian of the Science and Technology Wing (STWing) residential program in Kings Court, and I have been a TA for CIS 110 and CIS 240. I'm also spending the summer doing research at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia. In my spare time, I program, compete in hackathons (such as Penn's very own PennApps), play too many video games, and build robots with my roommate. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have about classes, computer science, what it's like to be an student at Penn, or anything else that comes to mind.

Jason Mazursky
What’s good class of 2017?! My name is Jason Mazursky and I’m a junior in the M&T program from NJ studying Computer Science and concentrating in Finance and Management with a specialization in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Outside of class, I’m the president of the social fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi, the bassist in a band called King Sky, a tutor for the West Philly Tutoring Project, and an involved member of Jazz & Grooves. Additionally, this year I’m launching Penn Student Agencies newest venture, PSA Tunes, which will be a staffing agency for Penn student musicians. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have and I’m very excited to meet all of you!

Pulak Mittal - OPA! Fellow
What up 2017! I’m Pulak – a senior in the M&T program from Houston, TX, studying computer science. I transferred into M&T after my freshman year, so if that’s something you’re interested in knowing more about, hit me up. I just finished up my term as president of the  Dining Philosophers, I am an organizer of PennApps, and an investment team member on Dorm Room Fund. These days, I’m working hard on a startup called Emerald out of the Venture Initiation Program. I’m obsessed with tech and entrepreneurship. If you want to know more about computer science, hackathons, or entrepreneurship, let me know!

Allison Pearce
Howdy! My name is Allison. I’m a computer science major from College Station, Texas. I’m the vice president of Theta Tau, the co-ed, professional engineering fraternity, and the treasurer of Women in Computer Science. I’m also involved with research in a translational neuroengineering lab, and I’m a CIS TA. This summer, I’m working at Qualcomm doing corporate R&D in San Diego. I enjoy lifting weights, cooking, eating, crossword puzzles, and reading. I am mildly obsessed with Welsh corgis. I drink way too much Diet Mountain Dew. Most importantly, I’m excited to be an OPA and I’m here to answer any questions you may have!

Franklin Yang
Congrats on making it this far, guys. My name is Franklin Yang, and I'm a senior CIS student who came into Penn declared as MSE. Somewhere along the way, I also picked up a second major in economics -- feel free to reach out to me if you're considering dual-majoring or dual-degreeing. Outside of classes, I play outside hitter on Penn's Men's Club Volleyball Team. I also run a small, boutique pinata company, Otherwise, you can find me in Harnwell playing pool. Welcome to Penn!

Digital Media Design

Maya Ebsworth
Hi friends! My name is Maya. I'm from Boston, MA, and I'm a sophomore studying Digital Media Design. I like reading, eating mac & cheese, hiking, and being introduced to new music. On campus, I'm a member of the club swim team, I work for the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project, and I'm involved in Greek life. This summer I'm working at the MIT Media Lab, helping create an art exhibit of urban maps built around patterns in social data. This is my first year as an OPA, and I'm so psyched to meet all you lovely people!

Vivian Huang
Hi! I'm Vivian, and I'm a rising junior in Digital Media Design. I tutor with WPTP, TA the intro class CIS110, and am involved with the Dining Philosophers. I also really like bubble tea, and I'm sure many people will have questions about that, so I'm available to answer them (but also questions bout any of the other things mentioned above!) Can't wait to meet all of y'all!

Electrical and Systems Engineering

Nebil Ali
Hey everyone, my name is Nebil Ali and I am a rising junior Electrical Engineer from Clinton, Maryland. I am a member of NSBE and Penn Rural Electrification. Last summer I was a teaching assistant for the Pre-Freshman Program and M&TSI. I love playing soccer and just hanging around friends (which usually results in unpredictable things happening). If you guys have any questions or are just curious about anything Penn, feel free to ask away.

Kelsey Brongo - OPA! Fellow
Hi! I’m Kelsey Brongo and I’m a senior from Orange County, CA.  I’m majoring in Systems Engineering and minoring in Chinese and Engineering Entrepreneurship, and I’m involved in the INCOSE Systems Engineering Club and the Hexagon Senior Society.  Outside of engineering, I’m an editor for Penn Course Review, an ambassador through the Kite and Key Society, and a past TA for ESE111.  I look forward to meeting you!

Shafag Idris
Hey Class of 2017! I’m Shafag and a rising junior in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. I’m from Tucson, AZ where it’s warm and sunny all year round, but I’m starting to get used to the real winters here in Philly. I am also a tutor with WPTP, an ambassador for the Admissions office and a PHINS coordinator. Can’t wait to meet you all!

Alfredo Muniz - OPA! Fellow
Congratulations, you have earned a ticket to explore anything you desire! If you require assistance, reach out to us. I come from Houston, TX where I spent most of my younger years tearing apart video game consoles and helping my dad around the junk yards to understand how things work. At Penn, I am an Electrical and Mechanical Engineering double major with interests in consumer electronics such as hobbyist quadrotors and electric vehicles. I am part of the Rachleff Scholars Society, ASME, IEEE, and conduct research on electric cars in the Embedded Systems Lab (mLab). I am excited to see the talent that the admissions committee brought in this year!

Bharat Nagaswami
Hello Class of 2017! My name is Bharat Nagaswami and I am a junior studying Systems Engineering and double majoring in Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am a massive motorsports enthusiast and I passionately follow NASCAR, Formula 1 and Indycar. I love playing tennis and am a huge Philly sports fan. On campus, I am a member of the Weiss Tech House, which is the hub for entrepreneurship and innovation at Penn. We operate a mini-venture capital fund and sponsor several student competitions. If you have any questions about engineering, or Penn in general, do not hesitate to reach out. I can’t wait to meet all of you in the fall!

Dany Rifkin
Hey everyone, welcome to Penn! My name is Daniela Rifkin and I hail from beautiful Seattle, Washington, home of flannel, Macklemore, Starbucks, and just about everything cool. I’m a junior in Systems Engineering and am currently minoring in psychology and math, though I’m lobbying for a minor in binge watching Game of Thrones and Arrested Development. I’m on the club ultimate team and am the professional committee chair for AOE, the professional engineering sorority. I also dabble in debate and am a student mentor at an elementary school in West Philly. My hobbies include reading, cooking, traveling, belting showtunes at the top of my lungs, and forcing people to look at pictures of my dog. Really it’s a wonder they’ve let me stay here so long. In all seriousness though, I’m looking forward to meeting you and you should be really excited about everything that Penn and Penn Engineering have to offer!
Management and Technology Program
Bahram Banisadr
Hello class of 2017! I’m a Junior M&T from Los Alamos, New Mexico studying Mechanical engineering and planning to concentrate in either Legal Studies or Management. I also hope to get my maters in Robotics Engineering. Apart from academics, I’m also active in the M&T club, University Honor Council, Ski Team and Rugby. This summer, I’ll be working at CB Insights in NYC.

Erik Burbulla
Hey M&Ts, my name is Erik Burbulla and I'm from the suburbs of Detroit in Michigan.  I'm doing Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) in the engineering school and right now I'm considering Statistics and Marketing & Operations as my two concentrations in Wharton.  I had a fantastic first year at Penn so I'm excited to help the new freshman have a just as amazing, if not more amazing, first year at Penn.  Outside of academics I'm involved with the Kite and Key Society (the tour guides), Weiss Tech House and Club Squash.  This summer I will be in New York working for an M&T alumnus, which I'm super excited about.

Max Scheiber - OPA! Fellow
Hey everyone! My name is Max, and I'm a rising junior studying computer science, finance, and statistics. I'm also submatriculating to earn my master's degree in computer science. Outside of classes, I'm heavily involved in Greek life, I'm in the Penn Glee Club, I've been a CIS teaching assistant since freshman year, and I'm a member of the Dining Philosophers. I've also written for the Daily Pennsylvanian, played in the Penn Wind Ensemble, and acted in the Penn Life Sketches! For fun, I play golf and compose music.

Daniel Sha
Hi class of 2017! I'm a rising sophomore in the M&T program from Mount Laurel, New Jersey. I study systems engineering, finance, and operations and information management (OPIM). On campus, I am a brother in the Sigma Nu fraternity, am involved in Wharton Trading Group, and am planning to try out for club tennis and club boxing in the fall. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis, going to the gym, taking photos, watching movies, and hanging out with friends.

Nicole Woon - OPA! Fellow
Hi Class of 2017! I'm a rising senior in the M&T program majoring in Bioengineering and Management (Entrepreneurship & Innovation) with a minor in Mathematics. I will also be submatriculating into Mechanical Engineering. I was raised in Santa Monica, CA, a beach town near Los Angeles. Outside of the classroom, I am involved with Society of Women Engineers, Penn Appétit (food publication), Penn Gastronomy (food events organization), Stamped (travel publication), and Wharton Women. I love traveling throughout the U.S. and internationally, watching Food Network and Conan O’Brien, and exploring Philadelphia's extensive culinary scene. Feel free to ask me for any food recommendations in Philly!

Steven Xing
Hello ‘17ers! I’m a junior M&T from Los Angeles studying Computer Engineering, concentrating in Finance & Management, and planning on getting a master's in CIS. I enjoy computing, from high-level web applications to low-level microcontroller & circuit-based systems. On campus, I’m part of the Wharton Undergraduate Consulting Club and the Wharton Trading Group. This summer, I’ll be working at Forefront Capital Management in Mumbai.

Emily Zhang
Hi there! My name is Emily Zhang, and I am a rising sophomore in the Management and Technology program from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. I’m majoring in bioengineering and minoring in Math while tacking on some Computer Science courses wherever I can fit them. On the Wharton side, I plan on concentrating in Finance and Management, but we’ll see how that goes. I’m part of Penn Women’s Biomedical Society (I used to be premed) and in my free time, I like to read, eat, sleep, and go for the occasional game of Frisbee. Looking forward to meeting you all!

Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Ashlee Anderson
Hi 2017! I’m a rising junior from Kingston, Jamaica. I am currently majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with minors in French and International Relations. At Penn I’m involved in National Society of Black Engineers, Caribbean-American Student Association, Peers Helping Incoming New Students, and I am a brother of Theta Tau, Penn’s only co-ed Professional Engineering Fraternity. I also enjoy engaging with the Philadelphia community and exploring the city as often as I can. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have and I look forward to meeting you soon!

Val Cohen
Hey class of 2017! Congratulations and welcome to Penn. My name is Val and I am a rising junior from the suburbs of Philadelphia. I’m majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in math, engineering entrepreneurship, and Spanish (or classics I haven’t decided). I’m the president of the club lacrosse team, a member of Theta Tau (the professional engineering fraternity), a tour guide, and involved in various other clubs around campus. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to seeing you all in the fall!

Jonathan Cousins - OPA! Fellow
I am a rising senior in Mechanical Engineering (MEAM) from San Jose, CA and am the Senior OPA! Fellow for MEAM.  I am the vice-president of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society and the webmaster for ASME, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  I am a member of the Rachleff Scholars Program, an honors program that provides opportunities for undergraduates to get involved with faculty sponsored research.  I am also a blogger for Frankly Penn, the Penn Alumni blog, where I provide insight into my life as a Penn student. Aside from academics, I am a huge sports fan! I root hard for my Bay Area hometown teams (Giants, Sharks, 49ers) and I am also the president of the Red and Blue Crew, Penn’s school spirit organization. I love building things, reading and losing my voice in support of one of my teams.

Sara Martezian
Hey everyone! My name is Sarah and I am a rising senior studying Mechanical Engineering. I’m from Setauket, NY, a small town on Long Island, but have absolutely loved these past three years in Philly. I’m interested in mechanical design and hope to work in this field upon graduation. Most of my time at Penn is dedicated to Theta Tau, the professional engineering fraternity, for which I am the Corresponding Secretary, and for the past year I was the Educational Outreach Co-Chair for the Society of Women Engineers. In my spare time I love reading and watching TV shows seasons at a time, and of course having adventures in the city. I can’t wait to meet you all and hope you are excited for Penn Engineering!

Andrew McGrath
Welcome to Penn Engineering! I’m a rising sophomore from LaGrange, IL, a suburb of Chicago. I’m majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with minors in Mathematics and Engineering Entrepreneurship. I am interested in mechanical design, manufacturing, and design for manufacturing. Outside of class, I am the treasurer for the Engineering Student Activities Council, a photographer for the Daily Pennsylvanian newspaper, and an EMT with the Medical Emergency Response Team. In my free time, I enjoy exploring Philadelphia, watching the TV show Suits, and sleeping.

Jon Nappo
Hello Penngineers! Welcome, welcome, welcome to the greatest four years of your life! My name is John Nappo, and I am a junior in MEAM from the great state of New Jersey. I am also minoring in theatre arts, and I participate in several student-run theatre and arts groups on campus, including Stimulus Children’s Theatre, iNtuitons Experimental Theatre, and Front Row Theatre Company. In my “spare time,” I do research in the Penn Haptics Lab, focusing on robots and the sense of touch. Please contact me with any questions you may have about Penn, Penn Engineering, or Philadelphia, in general!

Sade Oba - OPA! Fellow
Congrats 2017 Engineers! I am a rising junior from Houston, TX currently majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I plan to submatriculate into the Integrated Product Design master’s program. I am involved in National Society of Black Engineers and Engineers Without Borders. Earlier this summer I lead a team of 12 to Pajomel, Guatemala where we built pour flush latrines. I work in the machine shop and PACE lab so please contact me if you have interest in mechanical design, machine design, or product design.  And if you are more interested in what work I have done both inside and outside of school check out my website. Enjoy the summer! Can’t wait to meet you in the fall!

Cristina Sorice
Hi everyone! Welcome to Penn Engineering! I’m Cristina, and I’m a rising senior in MEAM from Old Bridge, NJ. At Penn, I’m really involved in student government and undergraduate admissions programming. In Engineering, I am a Rachleff Research Scholar and a member of Advancing Women in Engineering. I’m also a submatriculant into the Master’s in Robotics program here at Penn Engineering, so I’ll also be sticking around for an extra year after graduation to finish up that degree. This summer, I am working as a Robotics & Controls Engineer Intern at Escape Dynamics, an aerospace/propulsion startup company, and I hope to work in the aerospace robotics industry after my time at Penn. Outside of Penn-related stuff, I also love exploring Philly, reading, and watching lots of TV shows. Please contact me with any questions you might have.


Divij Damodhar- OPA! Fellow
Hi guys! I am a rising senior from somewhere in India (Iíve moved around a bunch) majoring in Materials Science and Engineering. Besides academics, I am part of a hip hop dance group called PennHype and am involved in Greek life and other engineering groups and also work in a research lab. I hope you guys are excited about coming to Penn. See you soon!

John Lu - OPA! Fellow
Hi everyone! I am a rising senior from Mississauga, Canada majoring in Materials Science and Engineering. Outside of MSE, I am also a part of Penn Speaks for Autism, Phi Gamma Nu Professional Business Fraternity, Vietnamese Student Association, and PEER Mentoring. Other than that I am a fan of Manchester United, the English soccer team. Let me know if you have any questions about MSE or engineering in general and I’ll be sure to answer them. See you all soon!

Lindsay Tsai
Hey everyone! My name is Lindsay Tsai, and I am a senior studying Material Science Engineering with a minor in Engineering Entrepreneurship. I am from Orange County, California and have totally loved being in Philly for college. Beside academics I am involved in Greek life, religious life, and student government here on campus. I look forward to meeting you all!

networked and Social Systems Engineering

Abhishek Gadiraju
Hi guys! My name is Abhishek Gadiraju and I am a rising junior in the NETS program. This is my second year as an OPA!, and I look forward to meeting you all! My academic interests include programming, algorithms, and AI. I am a member of Dining Philosophers (the computer science club at Penn) and Penn Club Golf. During the summer of 2013 I’ll be working in San Francisco. In my spare time I enjoy playing FIFA, hanging out with friends, and running. Congrats again!

Joel Goldman - OPA! Fellow
Hey everyone! This is my fourth year as an OPA! and I'm super excited to welcome you all to Penn, you're going to love it. I'm from Long Island, New York, but over the last four years, Philadelphia really has become a new home, I love this city, and there's rarely a day where I don't get off campus. I will be going into my 5th year at Penn. I spent my first two years as CBE (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) and then switched into the new NETS (Networked and Social Systems Engineering). Over my four years, I've been involved in various environmental and entrepreneurial groups on campus. This summer I'm in Seattle, interning at Microsoft and exploring a bit of the Pacific Northwest. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have, and I'm looking forward to welcoming you all to campus in the fall!

Susan Greenberg - OPA! Fellow
Hi everyone! I am Susan and I am from Westport, CT. I am a junior in Network and Social Systems Engineering (go NETS!). I am on the board of both the Society of Women Engineers and Advancing Women in Engineering. I am also involved with Penn Science Across Ages and Alpha Omega Epsilon Professional Engineering Sorority. I was a rower in high school and I love going to the gym and erging. In my spare time I love napping and drinking far more coffee than I should. Congratulations on getting in to Penn, I hope you will all love it here and I cannot wait to meet you in the fall.

Bianca Pham
Welcome freshmen! My name is Bianca Pham and I am a junior from San Diego, CA. I transferred from Bioengineering into the new Networked & Social Systems Engineering program. On campus, I am on the board of Advancing Women in Engineering, I am a member of Sigma Kappa, and I am the web manager of the Engineers in Medicine Club. Aside from school, I love to play tennis and lacrosse, I frequently travel to foreign countries, and I am a huge fan of British film and TV shows. I am currently interested in social media startups and understanding the business side of technology companies. Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions at all or come grab coffee with me to talk!