ISP was a formative experience for me, and it set the trajectory for the rest of my time at Penn. Professor Karen Detlefsen’s Philosophy ISP course piqued my interest in philosophy – which would eventually become my second major and the object of my studies at Cambridge. My first exposure to a diverse international community was in the halls of Warwick College House, where I formed some of my most meaningful friendships. Most importantly, ISP gave me the confidence to pursue ‘unconventional’ connections and find power in not fitting neatly within the parameters of a particular field of study or major or career path. I found that my greatest strengths are my breadth of interests and ability to relate and communicate across disciplinary lines. I am not the most knowledgeable biochemist nor philosopher, but having the skills to solve problems in both fields makes me stronger than the sum of my majors and the labels and expectations that come with them. ISP showed me that there was a place at Penn and beyond for the intellectually curious, and it gave me the foundation to pursue a less established path.
My name is Audrey and I am a senior graduating this spring (Class of 2016). I double majored in Philosophy and Biochemistry, and I intend to build a career combining scientific research, science policy and institutional design. I am very excited to spend next year earning an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge on a Thouron Scholarship. After that I plan to enter a PhD program in Microbiology back in the US.