Youseff Jakher

I am a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences pursuing a major in Biochemistry and a minor in Economics. I have been a TA in the Chemistry Department for the past three semesters for Chem 101 and 102. I also did research for a year and a half in a neuroscience lab on campus on the neural basis of pain and hunger, as well as field research on the social structure of groups of monogamous primate this past summer. I am the Deputy Director for the Innovation and Technology Policy Group, (part of the Penn Public Policy Initiative Student Group), where I write and edit research articles on public policy topics. As a pre-med, I am also am an active member of the Community Outreach Committee of Medlife and the Wharton Undergraduate Healthcare Club.

Integrated Studies has been helpful in more ways than I could have imagined when I first joined. The sense of community it created within its students was incredible and allowed me to form lasting friendships with fellow ISPers. In fact, all three of my roommates and I were in ISP freshman year. In the classroom, (through many essays) it helped me further develop my writing, a skill which is often overlooked by many pre-meds. It also allowed me to develop a more integrative way of thinking about the world, which has helped in my policy writing and in my research activities. Furthermore, benefits like BFS funding have paved the way for opportunities like primatology research in Argentina last summer through the Global Internship Program, and allow me to apply for selective programs like the Jenkins Neurospine summer program.

If you are a prospective pre-med and are thinking about the benefits of ISP, feel free to reach me at my email below. I know that you may be focused on how to get into medical school, and so a program devoted to integrating various subjects might not seem fundamental to achieving that goal. However, I know from personal experience that ISP has helped me along this path. It has allowed me to form personal relationships with professors, to provided me with talking points during research position interviews, helped me form friendships with other students, taught me about subjects I might otherwise have overlooked, and provided me with opportunities outside the classroom.