Inspiring Community - Spring/Summer 2022

Highlighting Penn Arts & Sciences Alums

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Kwabena Asiedu, C’08, and students at the in-person networking reception for members of the Ben Connect mentorship platform.

Ben Connecting in Person

Student and alumni members of the Ben Connect community came together on campus April 7 for an evening of in-person networking. The Ben Connect program was launched two years ago to connect College students with alumni for mentorship opportunities, and to date it has assisted 1,270 students looking for career advice. The reception gave current undergrads the opportunity to practice their networking skills in a relaxed and friendly environment.

To learn more about becoming a Ben Connect mentor, please visit the Ben Connect website.


Ambassador Council members P.J. Lewis, C’99; Amanda Lewis, C’99; Ali Nemerov, C’07; and Vince Szwajkowski, C’07, at the Penn Arts & Sciences Alumni reception at Nerano in Beverly Hills

College Alumni Reconnect in Los Angeles

The Penn Arts & Sciences Alumni Engagement team was excited to welcome College alumni to a reception in Los Angeles in March. Alums and Penn Arts & Sciences staff gathered at Nerano restaurant in Beverly Hills for a night of networking and reconnecting.

Alumni Engagement is looking forward to providing more opportunities for alumni to get together in the future in New York and other cities.  


Christina Wu, C’14, Research and Policy Director of the Long-Term Quality Alliance and the National MLTSS Health Plan Association, discusses her career path with students.

PWA Roundtables

Members of the Professional Women’s Alliance returned to campus to advise students at their annual PWA Roundtables event this spring. The PWA is made up of professionally accomplished College alums who work to support College students and young alumnae through professional development and career networking opportunities. The PWA Roundtables give students a chance to learn about the variety of career paths possible with a liberal arts degree and to network with Penn Arts & Sciences alums. Participating PWA members included Ami Brown, C’96, of Icosavax; Erinn Carey, LPS’17, of Comcast; Nina Kleaveland, C’04, of Lanyard; Erika Parkins, C’01, of B Capital Group; Carly Prutkin, C’00, of Dyal Capital; and Christina Wu, C’14, of the Long-Term Quality Alliance and National MLTSS Health Plan Association.

For more information, visit the Professional Women’s Alliance website.


(Clockwise from top left) Xandria James, C’15; Karina Piedrahita, C’03; Blake Stuchin, C’04; and Channtal Fleischfresser, C’04

Virtual Events Continue

While in-person events are starting to resume, the Penn Arts & Sciences Alumni Engagement team is also continuing virtual events, which allow Penn Arts & Sciences alums from all over the world to get together and learn.

The College Alumni Mentoring Series held a virtual panel discussion on Careers in Finance, featuring Lindsay Balow, C’15; Kha Trinh, C’11; Simeon Esprit, C’16; and Alex Meyers, C’16. They described how their different majors and experiences led them to their current careers and how their time in the College helped shape their professional lives.

A virtual event that focused on careers in digital media was the latest entry in the Career Conversations series. Xandria James, C’15; Karina Piedrahita, C’03; Blake Stuchin, C’04; and Channtal Fleischfresser, C’04, shared their journeys to successful careers with Thrive Global, Google, the NFL, and Marriott International. This series, which is presented by the Penn Arts & Sciences Ambassador Council, will continue next year with both virtual and in-person events.

Penn Arts & Sciences at Work

Penn Arts & Sciences at Work is a photoblog series that highlights College alumni in their workplaces as they reflect on how and why their careers took shape.

To see more, visit Penn Arts & Sciences at Work.

Brooke Sietinsons

Mandisa John, C’09, GED’14

Director of Program and Partnerships at Urban Teachers – Philadelphia
Sociology Major; Africana Studies Minor
Philadelphia, PA

“The work I’m doing now to bring really great teachers to students is going to be impactful, because how well you do depends on the teachers you have and how seen you feel.”