Meet our National Board! UPAAN is an entirely volunteer-run organization, and we’re extremely grateful for all the time and energy our volunteers generously offer for the cause. If you are interested in getting involved with the National Board, we have yearly applications in the spring. Please feel free to contact us for more information.
National Board Alumni
Gizelle Gopez David
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grad Year: W’00, Design ’07
- Current Location: Philadelphia, PA
- Occupation: Economic Consulting by day, DJ’ing/Pastry Chef by night
- Current Activities: Pan-Asian American Community House, DJ’ing
- Activities at Penn: Asian Pacific American Heritage Week, Asian Pacific Student Coalition, Penn Philippine Association, Asian Students Union, Penn Spectrum, Bassline Productions
- Favorite Movie: Honey
- Secret Talent: I’ve bowled 6 perfect 300 games
- Past Life: Professional dancer
- Spirit Animal: Cat
- Theme Song: Heaven (DJ Sammy remix)
- Paulo hails from Jacksonville, Florida and studied an Individualized Wharton Concentration in Digital Ecosystems. At Penn, he was involved in an alphabet soup of organizations, including PPA, APAHW, .oO, FOTB, CAPE, PAYS, VSA, APO among others, and was commonly found in PAACH, napping.
- Paulo currently lives in New York City, working in ad tech operations, keeping the Internet free by putting ads before your videos. He is obsessed with podcasts, dance videos, geek culture and online communities and is commonly found at Smorgasbord, at Union Square watching the dancers, and at the Local Gaming Store playing children’s card and board games. Paulo spends his free time constantly rearranging apartment furniture, scootering down sidewalks, and editing videos no one will see. He hopes to work in online video and community building in some capacity, and he’s excited to begin being involved with UPAAN and making an impact!
- As the current treasurer of UPAAN, it’s been great to be able to contribute to building a stronger alumni network. A little about myself: I was a 2009 graduate from the College and just had my five year reunion #BY09. At Penn, I spent time doing various things most notably PPA and Freaks of the Beat. As for work, I currently work in the new and emerging field of finance in New York.
- All jokes aside, in my spare time, I like to eat, drink, and of course, dance. A couple of my aspirations would be to properly learn how to cook and to actually become proficient in another language (believe me, I’ve tried a lot). It’s been exciting to serve on this amazing board and have the opportunity to assist the UPAAN community!
You know what they say about communication: can’t live without it and it’s the coolest part of any organization. Okay, maybe they don’t say that, but that’s what I think and I’m so excited to be involved in such an awesome group like UPAAN.
At Penn, I was very involved in the APA community (PTS, APAHW, PEER, APALI) and this followed me to post-grad (College 2013 here). I still work closely with the Penn Fund, continuing my service from Seniors for The Penn Fund. I most recently spearheaded the First Year Reunion gift committee and now serve as the yPenn representative to the Board of Trustees. In my free time, I head up account management at a B2B startup called Kinnek.
I love the seasons and my food cravings change even more frequently. Currently, Netflix and writing Yelp reviews (shamelss plug) are the biggest obstacles to my beauty sleep. I prefer beer, liquor (gin), and wine, in that order, and am always on the lookout for the next, coolest bar. I don’t know where I’ll be in five years, but I hope when asked, my peers will say I’ve had a profound positive impact on their work/lives. Hopefully we get to meet at a UPAAN event soon!
- Ben graduated from Wharton in 2014 concentrating in Operations and Information Management. During his time at Penn, he was involved with the International Affairs Association, Small Business Development Center, Wharton Center for Risk and Decision Processes, Wharton Communication Advisory Board, Givology and his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. Through these activities he also had the opportunity to plan various events from booking concerts and cocktail receptions to paintball and Poconos trips.
- Ben currently resides in New York, working on LinkedIn’s Insights team. In his free time, he loves going to concerts, watching Netflix, sitting in parks, doing nothing with friends, reading, and eating. Ben’s looking forward to working with the rest of the team to strengthen Penn’s APA network. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, or just want to talk feel free to reach out to him over email or LinkedIn.
- Hey there, fellow alumni and… non-alumni? I was born and raised in Philadelphia, graduated from the College in 2010 and have yet to move away from this great city. As an undergrad, I started Penn Lions (a sweet lion dance troupe) and served on the board of the Chinese Students’ Association (CSA) for all 4 years. I was also part of the team that hosted ECAASU 2010 @ Penn and have now been a part of this awesome team for two years called UPAAN that strives to build a better community every day.
- At the moment, I’m a management consultant (still figuring out what that really means) at KPMG and also run a competitive dragon boat team called Penn Dragon Boat. No affiliation to Penn aside from a handful of alumni though. The name sure sounds nice though. Happy to serve UPAAN and feel free to reach out any time.
- Hello! My name is Soumya Kandi, and I served as the Mentorship Chair for UPAAN in 2014. I graduated from the School of Medicine in December of 2011 and continued my passionate pursuit in the pharmaceutical industry ever since, including volunteering at the Penn Biotech Group and now, I’m currently a Chemist at Abbvie Inc in North Chicago.
- My hobbies include star gazing, hiking, biking, trekking, canoeing and singing! My long term aspirations extend from starting new exciting programs for upcoming and developing professionals to catering to the mentorship needs of all. Ping me at email@example.com anytime!
Gizelle Gopez David
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grad Year: C’05
- Current Location: Boston
- Occupation: Graduate student (Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy)
- Current Activities: Class of 2005 Reunion Committee, Penn Alumni Interview Program, Toastmasters
- Activities at Penn: Asian American Studies Undergraduate Advisory Board, Asian Pacific Student Coalition, Pan-Asian American Community House Advisory Board, Penn Philippine Association, PEER Mentoring Program, Pennvelopes, Oracle Senior Honor Society, Sphinx Honor Society, West Philadelphia Tutoring Project
- Favorite Movie: Food, Inc.
- Secret Talent: I’m the Pied Piper for kids 5 and under.
- Past Life: Sustainable clothing fashion designer. Eco-friendly meets people-friendly.
- Spirit Animal: Pig (my Harry Potter patronus)
- Theme Song: Hero by Family of the Year
- Email: email@example.com
- Grad Year: W’12
- Current Location: New York
- Occupation: Consultant (Digital marketing)
- Current Activities: Freelance graphic/web designer, training to outrun 10 year olds, (playing hooky for) Coursera classes
- Activities at Penn: alpha Kappa Delta Phi, Asian Pacific American Heritage Week, Wharton Asia Exchange, PEER Mentoring Program, Penn Student Design, Oracle Senior Honor Society
- Favorite Movie: Howl’s Moving Castle
- Secret Talent: I can do the splits
- Past Life: Traveling sufi poet
- Spirit Animal: Red panda
- Theme Song: On the Radio by Regina Spektor
- It’s been my pleasure to have been a part of the UPAAN National Board as President for two years. We had an exciting time starting up new initiatives, boosting our online presence, growing a new scholarship, and I can’t have wished for a better board to serve with! Time has flown by, and it’s funny to see how things turn out in the end…
- While at Penn, I had a blast volunteering for various student organizations; I eventually focused my time and efforts forming a team of volunteers to bring the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) Conference to campus. Shortly after graduating from the DMD Engineering program in 2010, I stayed in touch with Alumni Relations and Calvin Chen, one of our most veteran and involved National Board alumni who was President before me. Eventually I was roped into continuing my volunteering stint, which has led me to meet some incredible people and new friends along the way.
- Now, in my spare time, I work as a Product Manager in a large search company, and I enjoy reading, the occasional video game, and playing around with building new products in pursuit of making the world a better and more beautiful place.