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Christina Goessman, 24, passed away on Sunday. 

Credit: Melanie Hilman

Christina Goessman, a student in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, died on Sunday at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania after suffering a brain aneurysm.

Vice Provost for University Life Mamta Motwani Accapadi and LPS Vice Dean Nora Lewis notified the LPS post-baccalaureate studies pre-health program community of Goessman's death in an email sent on behalf of President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett on Monday. Goessman, who was 24, began the Pre-Health Program in 2019 with the intention of applying to medical school.

Goessman had “an infectious sense of humor and the gift to find joy in little things,” her father, John Goessman, said in a statement included in the email. 

"Always curious and open for new experiences, she did everything with purpose and intent," the statement said.

During her time at Penn, Goessman worked with Perelman School of Medicine professor of Emergency Medicine Benjamin Abella in the Academic Associates Program, which allows pre-health students to engage in clinical and research activities in HUP's Emergency Department. Goessman was also a member of the Penn chapter of the American Medical Women's Association, according to the email.

Goessman grew up near Seattle, Washington. She previously earned a bachelor's degree in archaeology and a master’s degree in paleopathology at Durham University in England.

She had many hobbies and interests, including ballroom dancing, and she spoke multiple languages. 

The University hosted a virtual support session for members of the LPS post-baccalaureate studies pre-health program community on April 28. Representatives from support organizations such as the LPS program, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Student Health Service were present to support students.


The HELP Line: 215-898-HELP

Counseling and Psychological Services: 215-898-7021 (active 24/7)

Student Health Service: 215-746-3535

Office of the Vice Provost for University Life: 215-898-6081

University Chaplain’s Office: 215-898-8456

Reach-A-Peer Helpline:

  • 215-573-2727 (every day from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • 215-515-7332 (texting service available 24/7)

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