November 03, 2016
Another University of Pennsylvania student has died by suicide, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
The student newspaper reports that a medical examiner ruled 22-year-old graduate engineering student Alfredo Abravanel's death a suicide on Wednesday, marking the 12th student suicide since February 2013.
The university had called Abravanel's Monday death unexpected in a statement.
"News like this always saddens us, but the loss of a young life with so much promise is especially devastating," said Vijay Kumar, Nemirovsky Family Dean of Penn Engineering. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Alfredo’s family and friends."
Abravanel was originally from Athens, Greece, and was on track to earn his Master of Science in Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics in May 2017.
In January, engineering student Stephen Kyle Wilshusen's death was ruled a suicide. In April, junior finance major Ao "Olivia" Kong took her own life when she jumped in front of a SEPTA train.
The issue of suicide at the university has been brought into the spotlight over the past few years. The death of 19-year-old Penn student and track athlete Madison Holleran in 2014 gained national media attention.
In August, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a suicide-prevention bill in honor of Holleran, a Bergen County native. The new law requires state colleges and universities to provide students with access to mental health care 24 hours a day.
After Kong's April death, the university announced it was re-launching a task force to determine additional steps it can take to help students facing mental health issues.
But some students have taken the issue into their own hands with peer groups that offer counseling.