Elsa Wefes-Potter

I am a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania studying physics with a prospective double major in Political Science and a prospective minor in Energy and Sustainability. Aside from academics, I volunteer at a West Philly elementary school with the Francophone Community Partnerships. I am also a involved with a Fellowship for Building Intercultural Communities (FBIC),  the International Affairs Association (IAA) and the Polybian Society.

ISP has been a wonderful part of my Penn experience. The program opened my eyes to the fact that different disciplines are actually often striving to examine similar questions and that together they offer a more profound understanding of the topic than any individual approach. I came into college not knowing what I wanted to study because I didn’t want to select just one thing to focus on. ISP reinforced the idea that I don’t actually have to focus on just one topic. Instead, I can continue to enjoy scholarship in all different fields. I am now hoping to double major in two – on first glance- unrelated subjects (physics and political science) and have continued to explore classes in all departments to enhance my studies at Penn.

However, more than the courses themselves, ISP created a fantastic community of friends and scholars who would pull many late nights studying and writing ISP papers, but would also enjoy Sunday brunch and exploring Philly. ISP is the only program on campus that is full of people with vastly varying majors and interests. Although we are no longer all living and taking classes together, due to BFS, I still have a wonderful community of students and teachers in all corners of campus and all dedicated to open-minded intellectual thought.