Health and Societies Student Advisory Board

The HSOC SAB plans activities and coordinates information to support the HSOC major. Past activities have
included career panels, internship meetups, course fairs, philanthropies and social events.

HSOC SAB 2018-2019

Congratulations to our *chair for 2018-2019, Foladade Lapite


Isabelle Breier ’20 (Disease and Society)

I am a junior in the College from Connecticut. I am double-majoring in HSOC (Disease and Society) and Medical Anthropology with a minor in English. When I was very young, I read books about epidemics and famous authors’ medical problems in my spare time. In high school, I chose to write a history paper about the (un)scientific calamity that was the Tuskegee Study, when many wrote more traditional (i.e. non-medical) history papers. In short, I have been interested in health and societies for as long as I can remember. Before I found the interdisciplinary field of HSOC at Penn, I dabbled across subjects, taking a brief detour as a pre-med biology major. HSOC enthralls me because it is the study of some of the most complex beings on Earth, humans, and their well-being (or lack thereof) in some of the messiest constructs on Earth, societies. My concentration provides the eagle’s-eye view of the subject. HSOC is an incredibly vital area of study and I plan to put my knowledge to work by pursuing a career in health law. I am so excited to be part of this community and the SAB! I would be happy to share my HSOC experiences or chat about ballet, music, writing, or strategic interdisciplinary dabbling in general with anyone interested.


Tahira Islam ‘20 (Heathcare Markets and Finance)

My name is Tahira Islam, and I am a junior from Philadelphia concentrating in Healthcare Markets and Finance and minoring in Nutrition and BBB. I am really enthusiastic about the HSOC major because it looks at health through various lenses, such as looking at public health in communities, exploring health care markets, or learning about health policies. I have always been interested in health and medicine, and HSOC has allowed me to broaden that interest. This past summer I participated in clinical research in CHOP's Neurology Department exploring risk factors that increase neonates' likelihood of developing epilepsy. This experience in conjunction with my HSOC classes has encouraged me to pursue a Master's degree in public health. In the future, I hope to delve further into public health or go into healthcare management and consulting. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!


* Folasade Lapite ‘19 (Bioethics and Society)

I am senior concentrating in Bioethics & Society while minoring in both Chemistry and Africana Studies. I find all the HSOC classes to satisfy and stimulate many of my interests. However, I find myself intrigued about bioethical issues in any type of setting. I’m interested in bioethical debates due to my prior background in debate and policy because most of my proposals and cases revolved around bioethical issues in society. The past two summer, I interned in clinical research, and I got to see how bioethics issues arise not only in IRBs but also at the Center Meetings in a variety of forms. I’m excited to bring and share these real-life examples back to campus, and I cannot wait to use my background in bioethics in medicine and policy in the future. I firmly believe the HSOC community not only has so much to offer its students but also allows and supports students to excel. I hope that you reach out with any questions or just to chat!


Gabrielle Stone ‘19 (Public Health)

I am a senior from New Orleans, Louisiana, concentrating in Public Health and minoring in Bioethics and Chemistry. I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad through the IHP program in Vietnam, South Africa and Argentina, studying public health, global health, medical anthropology and sociological research methods through a comparative health lens. This major allows for incredible flexibility and exposure to broad and deep topics relating to medicine and has made my time at Penn worthwhile. I am currently a clinical research assistant at CHOP, working with the Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine, an umbrella organization for multiple specimen bio-banking projects, intended to connect hospitals across the world to research specimen to expedite cures for pediatric brain cancers, craniofacial abnormalities and other complicated diagnoses. This project has allowed me to apply my tools learned in HSOC classes to my understanding of the ethical, global and local impacts of the research project I am a part of. In the future, I am planning on attending medical school and would like to complete a Master’s in Public Health. HSOC offers so many opportunities for students to make sense of the world around them and I am honored to continue this tradition!