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Jennifer Bratton is a native Texas, and quite proud of the fact. However, she has lived in many different places throughout her life: Las Vegas, NV; Exeter, NH; New Orleans, LA; Austin, TX; and now Philly, to name a few. Coinciding with her wandering nature, she has attended several different schools and explored many different majors, but got her BA in the Ancient Greek Language from University of Texas at Austin in 2003.
Always adamant as a child that she would NOT be a doctor, she finds it quite amusing how things work out. After working as an EMT-B, shadowing some physicians, and a few other experiences, she came to the conclusion at the end of her senior year that she did, in fact, want to become a physician. So, she came to Penn to fulfill the prerequisites and take some advanced science classes. Philly has really grown on her, and she loves exploring the city and trying new things.
During here first year, she personally experienced the difficulties of meeting people and the lack of community for post-bacs. Therefore, at the beginning of her second year, she decided to become more involved in solving that problem and ran for President.
You can usually find her studying in the bookstore, Houston Hall, or Van Pelt. In her spare time, she enjoys learning new obscure dead languages and making movies with her best friend. She is friendly and easy going, and always available if people need help. She especially likes having philosophical debates with friends over a few beers and playing card games like poker and bridge. There is always room for a few extra players.
Philip Fava was born and raised in Miller Place, New York. This small town home body left his rural comforts for Penn in order to pursue a career in dentistry, a hard sought and late found love. Graduating from College of the Holy Cross as a Religious Studies major, he tends to be thoughty and sincerely concerned for others. Though this may not be obvious upon first meeting because of his rather laid back and lively attitude. Quick to lend a hand, or a joke, you can easily spot him either talking at length to pan handlers or carrying other people's groceries.
A bit of a gym rat, Phil is frequently in the gym if he is not studying with his partner in crime, Jennifer Bratton. Philadelphia has been an unexpected pleasure to Phil, although he doesn't particularly care for its public transportation. The Starr monopoly has not helped his financial situation, but greatly increased his knowledge and idea base for his own future restaurant. Lastly, he has one of the most distinctive noses on campus.
Heralding from the far away land of Texas, Richard Watson, like many other post-bacs, found an after-undergrad calling to the field of medicine. He was attracted to the Penn Special Science Program because of its location, reputation, stellar success rate, and because it makes him feel truly special. Richard spent his undergrad years at Tulane (in New Orleans). He believes that whatever you have heard about Mardi Gras is not true because Mardi Gras is crazier than words can describe.
At Penn, Richard is always up for a good time and hopes to improve the camaraderie of the post-bac programs. If you ever need someone to share a story and a laugh with, look no farther than your local PPS officers.
Jeffrey Valdez grew up in the quaint southern town of Goose Creek, SC. Eager to leave the South and try someplace new, he instead moved up the road to Clemson University at Clemson, SC to study Computer Science and Biochemistry. Circumstance (the "dot com" bust) convinced him to seek his fortune in the lucrative field of psychology, pursuing his master's degree at Yale University. Using his new-found skills in magnetic resonance imaging and influencing people, he found a job and home in Philadelphia, where he currently works as a research coordinator in fMRI studies on schizophrenia.
In his spare time, Jeff spends his time taking post-bac and bioethics courses. In his spare time that is actually fun, Jeff spends his time eating Jelly Belly's, listening to commentary on DVDs, and visiting with friends in various metropolitan areas on the East and West coasts. If you see Jeff around West Philly, be sure to carefully avoid him; he's probably dangerously biking around, listening to music on his iPod. Without a helmet.
RICHARD T. KIOK (richard@kiok.com)
Rick is the Founder and Chair Emeritus of PPS. He served as the first and only PPS Chair from 2003-04 before becoming the inaugural member of the Steering Committee. Originally from the friendly farmlands of rural Michigan, he now considers himself to be a Philadelphian.  After completing his undergraduate work in Bioengineering, he stayed at Penn in order to complete the Master of Biotechnology program in 1999.  The effects of the extended stay in Philly are evident; he says things like "wooder" and can correctly pronounce the name of the river that separates Center City from West Philadelphia.  Can you?
Prior to returning to Penn for the post-bac program, Rick was a business consultant for both PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Synygy, Inc. working with clients such as Major League Baseball, Merrill Lynch, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and Schering-Plough developing data warehouses and calculating incentive compensation.  He is well known to be a die-hard fan of the Michigan Wolverines, Penn Quakers, and the Philadelphia Eagles.  In his spare time, he enjoys playing games such as Quizzo, Trivial Pursuit, and Poker with his friends; competing in sports such as basketball, football, and golf; and traveling to exotic lands.  Friendly and approachable, he is easily recognized by the distinctive angular haircut.  Stop him along Locust Walk or introduce yourself over a beer.
Daniel Shin was raised in West Orange, a small suburban town in northern New Jersey. A naturally inquisitive man, he graduated Yale University in 2004 with a BA in philosophy and a belated desire to become a doctor. It was this desire that brought him to Penn, where he is finishing his pre-med requirements and enjoying the wonders that Philly has to offer, particularly the culinary delights of Steven Starr and the state-of-the-art mass transportation.
Dan, as he likes to be called, enjoys singing and fretting about ethical conundrums in his spare time and can always be counted on for some good conversation over a pint of local brew. Be sure to ask him about his globe-trotting adventures this past summer and how he’s doing with his newly purchased squash racket.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PPS
You can learn more about PPS by reading our history, constitution, and biographies of our Executive Board and Steering Cabinet.