Passion Projects

Spring 2019 Passion Projects Program

Wharton Wellness & WAB, in partnership with the Undergraduate Division, are proud to announce the return of Wharton Passion Projects for its 4th year! We’re looking to work with 15 students who would like to pursue a passion outside of the classroom. Each project will receive up to $300 to explore any non-start-up, non-club project throughout the course of the semester! Past examples include: creating a hot cheeto cookbook, learning Arabic calligraphy, building a computer, or interviewing members of a community whom you admire. You can view some of the projects and profiles of our past Fellows at the bottom of this page! If you’re driven, obsessively curious, and have a passion you want to pursue, we want to hear from you.

MGMT 101 teaches us that we’re much more creative when working under certain constraints. We remove the constraints that stifle your curiosity, and help you build around the ones that push you to do awesome things.

What’s in it for you?

  • Up to $300 of grant money to help you pursue things you are curious about
  • An application process where we’ll help you craft and structure your project
  • A community of like-minded individuals who can help you cultivate and reach your goals
  • A series of milestones through the semester that you can plan your project around
  • A final showcase in late April where you'll share your journey with the rest of Penn

I need to sign up. How do I do that?

Good move. If you want to learn more, we will be having an information session mid Fall. Until then, you'll have to sit tight!  We can’t wait to see what you submit.

Application Instructions

Passion Projects is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 program. Apply here! Feel free to email us at if you have any questions.

Evaluation Criteria

Projects cannot be start-ups, research projects or club-based activities as these already have clear funding sources.

  • Caring Test: how much do you care about your project? Is there a strong personal narrative for why the project is important to you?
  • Feasibility Test: how much time do you have to pursue this project?
  • Budget Test: how reasonable are the requested amounts, and is there a clear need for the quantity and price of items requested?
  • Multiplier Effect: are you at a point where you can share your passion and inspire others to do the same? If yes, we'd love to hear about how you plan to do that. If not, that's totally fine - you have to start somewhere!

Spring 2019 Passion Projects Fellows

Abigail Rhodes: Perfecting French macarons

Aissatu Diop: Creating t-shirts and planning aducational workshops about colorism to uplift girls in Senegal

Aleksandra Golos: Learning the Japanese style of Sashiko embroidery to create wearable art on denim clothing

Benn Judd: Exploring the flavors of Sephardic cooking

Caroline Li: Crafting unique recipes and baking cross-cultural desserts>

Chris Oh: Learning the tenor saxophone: improvisation and a jazz standard

Christiana Shaw: Building winter shelters for Philadelphia's feral cat colonies

Christina Walker: Conducting a series of podcasts with friends to share their interests, opinions, and stories

Corey Paredes: Learning to write Korean Hanja characters and calligraphy technique

Cyrus Shanehsaz: Creating a documentary about training for outdoor rock climbing

Elena Zhou: Learning how to master the creation of different styles of bread

Hong Nguyen: Learning to play the piano

Joe Oliva: Using wearable technology and scientific research to generate a Wellness Guide focused on sleep optimization

Julia Bell: Plating Fig Newtons in an artful way

Lilian Chen: Teaching group ukulele classes to encourage music as a form of creativity and stress relief

Melinda Hu: Learning to play the bass guitar to shed light on the stories behind alternative rock music

Mia Mansour: Painting portraits of friends who shaped her Penn experience

Nora Tan: Learning to compose and mix songs using DJ equipment

Ria Chinchankar: Developing and teaching an empowering creative writing program for young girls

Ryan Leone: Running a marathon

Sahitya Mandalapu: Discovering whether certain types of music serve to enhance a dining experience

Scott MacGuidwin & Anova Sahoo: Exploring different properties of fountain pens, ink, and paper

Sophie Shen: Bringing art therapy to local senior homes

Varun Jain: Publishing a comprehensive book on how to play games from different cultures

Spring 2018 Passion Projects Fellows

Abhi Motgi: Cooking healthier versions of Halal truck dishes and documenting the differences in nutritional content

Allyson Choi: Cultivating her skills as a rock-climber

Amanda Ngo: Conducting a series of podcasts with experts to discover the unique mental tools they use to overcome challenges in their field

Brian Ng: Curating, arranging, and recording an original music mix

Charlotte de Vaulx: Designing and printing 3-dimensional structures

Connor Chong: Learning to play the electric violin to combine classical music and contemporary pop

Griffen Croft: Teaching local elementary school students about farmers' process to produce food from farm to table

Julianne Goodman: Crafting ice cream from scratch

Mathias Volker: Baking a variety of desserts that pose a unique challenge or have special significance to him

Melinda Wang: Exploring and creating foods that are developed by a local immigrant population

Wendy Han: Taking pictures in a style that emulates that of photographer Brandon Woelfel

Spring 2017 Passion Projects Fellows

Abigail Raymaker: Developing photobook about study abroad experience in London

Beatriz Go: Learning how to bake Asian fusion desserts

Ben Hsu: Creating a fast, casual restaurant experience in a college apartment

Charles Du: Baking bread from different cultures

Ethan Chen: Building a computer...from scratch

Jenn Tran: Combining typography and painting to create street art

Kwang Lee: Crafting latte art

Lea Chen: Designing t-shirts for children in the West Philadelphia community

Mindy Heather: The Hundred Dresses Project; creating and painting fashion designs for dresses

Savi Joshi: Publishing a Hot Cheetos cookbook

Vivian Guo: Fusing electronic music with classical music

Yusi Wang: Collecting stories from people who she met in Cuba

Zuhaib Badami: Learning Arabic calligraphy

Spring 2016 Passion Projects Fellows

Jonathan Edson & Joel Fonseca: Building an audio speaker/subwoofer that has minimal distortion

Debi Ogunrinde: Capturing the voice, experience, and advice of black alumni at Penn via interviews and submissions, to combine into a book

Ana Rancic: Learning how to box, and blogging about health and fitness for women

Monica Dyches: Writing, photographing, and cataloging healthy recipes with the fast-paced college lifestyle in mind

Sona Dadhania: Fusing art and fashion through gown design

Chase Matecun: Bringing the social element back into meals

Arjan Singh: Writing short non-fiction about the defining moments of his life

Nayeon Kim: Visualizing philosophical ideas with a picture