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About Sophie

Sophie Beren is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, hailing from Wichita, Kansas. Sophie received her Master of Science degree in Nonprofit Leadership in December 2017, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Music in May 2017. Sophie was the only Jewish student in her grade in high school and was ecstatic to attend Penn to immerse herself in Jewish life on campus. She is passionate about social change and is intrigued by the power of conversation. This led her to become the founder of a multi-campus organization called TableTalk, which aims to bring different types of people together who wouldn't interact otherwise. 

Sophie is now transitioning TableTalk into a 501(c)3 Nonprofit organization, TableTalk Global, to continue spreading TableTalk and its values. At Penn, Sophie was musical director of the Shabbatones, the premier Jewish a cappella group, and tutored high school seniors in music at West Philadelphia High School. She was a member of the UScholars program, was the president of the Osiris senior honor society, and is a member of the Friars senior honor society. Sophie pursues multiple ways to connect people, including managing social media for Penn Admissions, Penn Hillel, Penn Shabbatones, Penn's A Cappella Council, TableTalk Penn, and TableTalk Global. 

Projects

 
 
 

Founder, Tabletalk global, present president, tabletalk penn 2014-2016

TableTalk Global is a nonprofit organization that creates avenues and spaces for conversation on campuses, outside of the classroom, that did not previously exist. Today’s world is often segmented into echo chambers of like minded individuals, and TableTalk hopes to reverse this culture by helping students, faculty, and community members alike make meaningful connections outside of their typical groups. Through different creative initiatives, TableTalk strives to facilitate a variety of conversations and is currently launched on over thirty college campuses. TableTalk is continuing to grow and expand to more universities, high schools, and communities at large.

 


marketing manager, 2016-2017
mUSICal diRECTOR, 2015-2016
vice president, 2014-2015

Founded in 2001, the Shabbatones are the premier student-run Jewish a cappella group at the University of Pennsylvania. Specializing in popular American, Israeli and Jewish music, the group is featured on each album of the Best of Jewish A Cappella compilation series, and all of our arrangements are composed, directed and performed by group members. Over the past four years, Sophie has composed over 10 a cappella pieces and has performed for a variety of audiences at Penn and throughout the country. These include performing at the White House for President Obama and the First Lady, AIPAC, Disneyland, the Philadelphia Flyers, 76ers, Wichita State Shockers, and has gone on tour to Los Angeles, Florida, and the Northeast.


                                                                          marketing and communications intern, 2016-2018                                                                                                              admissions assistant, 2016

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Sophie's passion for connection directly translates into her innate ability to connect others through social media. During her time working in Penn Admissions, Sophie pioneered a creative re-brand project of Previewing Penn, Penn Admissions' social media channels. Her work focused on shifting the aesthetic and purpose of the Instagram account, and this work translated into the Penn Admissions Verified Twitter and Facebook accounts as well. Sophie strived to engage, feature, and represent students from all backgrounds and all corners of the University to thoroughly showcase the Penn experience. She quintupled @PreviewingPenn's Instagram following over the course of her time running the account and brought Previewing Penn further into the mainstream at the University of Pennsylvania. 

 

Writing

 
 

MY MOMENT
THE HUFFINGTON POST | NOV 22, 2017

"Food connects us. Time connects us. Humanity connects us. In thinking about your own personal Thanksgiving, I encourage you to try a “strangegiving” of sorts in the coming weeks. Open yourself up to creating spaces imbued with new perspectives and new individuals who could contribute so much to your world."

 

 

WHEN THE UNTHINKABLE BECOMES THINKABLE
THE HUFFINGTON POST | AUG 16, 2017

"Let’s start conversations. Let’s talk with others who might think differently than ourselves. Let’s talk with those across the aisle, from both the right and the left, who are currently being tuned out by the violent. Let’s not lose faith that human beings have the capacity for love and human kindness. And let’s try to slowly lower our fingers and point towards our shared humanity, because we have way more in common than we might currently believe."

 

It’s Time To Strengthen Our Own Belief Systems Through The Exploration Of Others’
THE HUFFINGTON POST | NOV 9, 2016

"I realized that social media are oftentimes polarizing. Social media are a vehicle through which most of us re-inculcate ourselves with the same ideologies every day. Right now, as you are scrolling down your newsfeeds, you might not even realize, but you are internalizing, and sometimes adopting, everything you read and “like.” With this in mind, I decided that this could be the start of something new."

LET'S PLAY A CONNECTION GAME
The huffington Post | aug 17, 2016

"Want to play? I think you’d readily be shocked and happily surprised by the little we truly know about the people around us. Once you play, then the next person will, and before we know it – eyes across the world will start opening to the people around us and those eyes will be quickly inspired to find out more."

 

Press

 

NO AGENDA OTHER THAN TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER
THRIVE GLOBAL | YITZI WEINER | JUNE 19, 2018

I wake up every day with the excitement of empowering young people to make a difference and to believe that they have the potential to leave their mark on campus in a meaningful way. Within our increasingly disconnected, yet interconnected world, I believe that TableTalk has begun to reinvigorate face-to-face conversation and to channel a mentality that we can truly change the world through better conversation.”

 

 

TableTalk hosts discussion on mental health following student suicide
The Daily Pennsylvanian | Genevieve Glatsky | April 20, 2016

"In a beautiful way it really galvanized all of the mental health and Penn Wellness groups together to really do something about what has been happening on campus,' TableTalk Penn founder and College junior Sophie Beren said."

STUDENTS DISCUSS RAPE CULTURE AT TABLETALK EVENT
THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN | JULIANNE SMOLYN | OCTOBER 19, 2016

"Leaders that maybe are united under the same umbrella of work at Penn never really get to collaborate because they put on their own events,” College senior and co-president of TableTalk Sophie Beren said. “It’s cool that we get to bring together not only the Penn community to talk about this but also the leaders that are at the forefront of these efforts.

Penn Junior Sophie Beren Has People Singing and Talking
Penn News Today | Jill Disanto | JANUARY 15, 2016

"Sophie Beren, a junior communications major at the University of Pennsylvania, is a natural connector. Beren, from Wichita, Kan., is minoring in music, while also earning her master’s in non-profit leadership from the School of Social Policy & Practice."

Sharing food and diverse experiences: TableTalk launches new program
The Daily Pennsylvanian | jeffrey careyva | september 29, 2015

"'Penn is marketed as the most diverse school, but when you get here there isn't really a framework or a way to foster diverse student relationships, and I find that TableTalk is filling a void at Penn by encouraging people to reach out to others and meet other people who are different,' said College junior Sophie Beren, founder and president of the Penn chapter of TableTalk."

Couches on campus take the awkward out of meeting new people
USA today college | Kristi Cook | September 12, 2015

"Sophie Beren, the founder of Penn's Table Talk, brought it to her campus to fill what she says was a void at the school and to 'provide a framework for all types of students to have the opportunity to meet individuals both alike and unlike themselves.'"

TableTalk encourages students to meet new people
THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN | Zoe Stern | aPRIL 14, 2015

"Many believe that come second semester of freshman year, few people branch out. For this reason, College sophomore Sophie Beren brought TableTalk to Penn. The club’s mission is to start and increase dialogue between students, particularly those who would never interact under ordinary circumstances."

 

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