Meet the Cognos

College Cognoscenti are dedicated student volunteers who are happy to answer your questions about what it’s like to be a student in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Click on our names to send us an email!


Karin H.

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Major: French and International Relations

Minor: Legal Studies and History

Campus Involvement: 34th Street Magazine, Admissions Dean’s Advisory Board, Penn Israel Alliance, Penn Hillel

My favorite thing about the College: The fact that I’m surrounded by people who are motivated and excited to learn! There’s nothing more motivating to me than being around people who are passionate about what they do. I find I work better that way and get more done, with the added bonus of learning about all of the different things my friends are involved in.


Hometown: Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico

Major: Communications with a concentration in Messages and Marketing Minor: Design

Campus Involvement: 34th Street Magazine, The Daily Pennsylvanian Business Department, Developing Minds Lab, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority

My favorite thing about the College: My favorite thing about the college is that it not only gives you the opportunity but also pushes you to explore different paths and see what’s best for you. The college encourages you to engage with different fields outside of your major, which can lead to new passions and interests.


Hometown: Cupertino, CA

Major: Biological Basis of Behavior Minor: Computer Science

What's special about the College: The diversity of backgrounds and passions represented in the College has really enhanced my Penn experience. Just hearing about all the cool projects my friends are engaged in — from analyzing the diaries of Hans Christian Andersen to researching CAR T cells — motivates me to pursue my interests while expanding my knowledge of different disciplines. Students in the College aren't all taking the same courses or striving for the same careers — and that's what I believe makes studying in the College so interesting and multifaceted.


Hometown: New York, NY

Major: Criminology Minor: Chemistry

Campus Involvement: MERT, Kappa Alpha Theta

I love that the college allows students to explore their interests in and out of the classroom. Students can choose from a vast array of classes as well as participating in clubs, research and/or jobs.Katie F.


Hometown: Chantilly, Virginia
Major: Biological Basis of Behavior Minors: Medical Sociology, Health Services Management

Campus Involvement: Quadramics Theatre Company, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Favorite thing about Penn: is the contrast between the atmospheres of Philadelphia and campus. On one hand, you have access to all the resources offered by the city, from museums and historical landmarks to restaurants. With D.C. and New York only a couple hours away, you never run out of things to do. On the other hand, when you step onto Penn’s campus, you feel like you’ve escaped the city and are just in any other college town.

Hometown: Northville, Michigan

Major: Biological Basis of Behavior

Campus Involvement: MEDLIFE Penn, MAS/Pipeline, JSA Board

Favorite thing about Penn: I love how willing everyone is to help students adjusting to campus life.


Hometown: Yardley, Pennsylvania

Major: Political Science Minors: Mathematics, Classical Studies

Campus Involvement: Penn Ivy Council, Penn Political Union, the Polybian Society, Penn Democrats

Favorite thing about Penn: The fact that this university was founded by Benjamin Franklin really shows through on the educational philosophy and guiding principles of Penn. The core tenets of the liberal arts education, interdisciplinary study, and applying knowledge to better the world have made my education all the more valuable and enjoyable.


Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Major: Theatre Arts Minor: Linguistics

Campus Involvement: College Cognoscenti Executive Board; Student theatre (TAC-e); Community School Student Partnerships day coordinator/tutor/mentor; podcast voiceover actor for Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at Penn's Graduate School of Education; Annenberg Center Box Office student manager; After School Arts at Penn theatre mentor (ASAP).

What I love about the College: The wide variety of things to try! There is always something new to dip your toes into--a new club, a new course, or a new opportunity. I've tried things I never even knew existed before. I love that you get to expand your horizons in all directions!


Hometown: Manalapan, New Jersey

Major: Cognitive Science Minor: Consumer Psychology

Campus Involvement: Penn Traditions, Admissions Dean's Advisory Board, Peer Advising, Hillel, Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

Favorite thing about Penn: is its focus on interdisciplinary learning. Both my major and minor allow me to take classes across disciplines and schools, which is something that is very unique to Penn and has been fundamental to my success in college. And of course, I also love all of the incredible people at Penn!


Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ

Major: Submatriculating in Biology (concentration in Cellular and Molecular Bio) Minor: Journalistic Writing Campus Involvement: Administration beat reporter for The Daily Pennsylvanian, Associate Editor for Synapse (biomedical magazine)

Favorite Thing about the College: The many ways that you can mix your academic interests. It is so easy to minor or concentrate in a very specific field that other universities don't have. It took me a little while to figure out exactly what I wanted to study, but now I wish I had even more time here at Penn because there are so many interesting classes and departments I want to explore.


Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Major: Communication Minor: Economics Policy

Campus Involvement: OWN IT Penn, Seniors for the Penn Fund, Delta Delta Delta Sorority

Favorite thing about Penn: As cliché as it may sound, definitely the people. Even as a senior, I'm continuously surprised by how intelligent, interesting, and down to earth people I meet are. Penn fosters an environment where you feel inspired and motivated to grow personally, academically, and professionally.


Jonathan Z.

Hometown: Boston, MA
Major: Biochemistry (Vagelos MLS)

Favorite thing about the College: My favorite thing about the College is the integrative nature of everything; the numerous opportunities to learn from and interact with inspiring people across all settings. Besides being inspired by caring peers, mentors and professors, I am constantly exposed to and expanding new interests and new hobbies.

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Hometown: Cheltenham, PA
Major: Psychology

Campus Involvement: Peer Advising, Penn Medicine, Positive Psychology Center, West Philadelphia Tutoring Project, Penn Undergraduate Psychology Society

Favorite thing about Penn: I love how the College offers an interdisciplinary approach to students. We are able to explore many areas of study and to pursue various academic interests! Also, I enjoy learning from our professors, who are leading scholars in their respective fields.


Hometown: Rolla, MO
Major: Philosophy Politics & Economics (PPE) Minor: French, Legal Studies & History

Campus Involvement: West Philadelphia Tutoring Program, Research, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, Penn Black Pre-Law Association

Favorite thing about the College: I love how the university fosters an academically stimulating environment, and I especially love how the College emphasizes the importance of a liberal arts education.