Category Archives: Praxis Independent Study Courses

Caroline Soffer, Political Science (HC), BMC ’20

Non-Profits in US Politics

Faculty Adviser: Marissa Golden

Field Site: American Friends Service Committee

Field Supervisor: Sok Be

Course Description:

The relationship between NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) and politics is crucial to policy development and public opinion within American Politics. This course will focus on politically oriented non-profit organizations, and how they interact within the local, state, and federal political systems. Special attention will be given to how these non-profits market different campaigns and programs towards various lawmakers and individual citizens. As the Covid-19 pandemic redirected the course of the semester, this course also morphed to explore how non-profits have responded to the international emergency and what role non-profits hold in responding directly to community needs.

Praxis Poster:


Please click here to access a PDF version of the poster.

Julia Holeman, Psychology, BMC ’20

The World of Film: A New Lens

Faculty Advisor: Tim Harte

Field Site: Philadelphia Film Society

Field Supervisor: Rosie Jacobson

Course Description:

My Praxis course consisted of discussions with Tim Harte about different important directors and how their work has influenced films today and the best ways to teach these films to youth now. These discussions not only informed my work at the PFS, but will also be immensely helpful in moving forward to my (hopefully) future job at the Circle Cinema in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I also spent time at the PFS working with Rosie Jacobson and Travis Trew on multiple projects. I helped to write discussion questions for Movies on the Block films. At these events, I helped to facilitate inexpensive and fun activities for community participants. I also helped to write discussion questions for the field trip films that bring Philadelphia youth in from all over the city to see new and educational films. During my time at the PFS, they received funding to create a club for teens interested in film. For this club, I helped to create curricula and to develop PowerPoint presentations for the actual club meetings. I also helped to curate films for the Philly Film Showcase monthly event that allows local Philadelphia filmmakers to show their work on the big screen at the Philadelphia Film Center. My time at the PFS not only provided me with skills that will help me as I move into the future, but it also gave me more of a concrete idea of what I am passionate about doing as I begin to find a career path. I could not be more grateful to Rosie for her support, guidance, and help throughout my time at the PFS. Rosie approached this internship as if I were a member of the team and provided me not only with additional insight and knowledge, but also fabulous opportunities to participate in meaningful ways.

Final Presentation:

Please click here to access the presentation.

Claire Eckstein Indik, Psychology, BMC ’20

Eating Disorders and Treatment

Faculty Advisor: Earl Thomas

Field Site: Adult Anxiety Clinic of Temple

Field Supervisor: Rachel Marie Butler

Course Description:

This course provided an introduction to clinically focused eating disorder research. By conducting hands-on laboratory work, I was able to gain an understanding of the steps necessary to implement a CBT-based intervention for a population with disordered eating. Notably, I learned techniques that can be applied to future clinical practice by running participants through imaginal exposures. This hands-on laboratory work was also supplemented by the exploration of a previous dataset and critical engagement with primary literature. With the previous dataset, I conducted multilevel analysis in R to investigate the moderating effect of emotion regulation skills on the relationship between daily social life events and emotional affect. Additionally, the reading assignments in this course focused on the theoretical basis for different treatment methods, the efficacy of previous interventions, and the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie eating disorders.

Praxis Poster:

C Eckstein Indik Praxis Poster_FINAL

Please click here to access a PDF version of the poster.

Owen Deitcher, Growth and Structure of Cities, HC ‘20

Community Engagement

Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Hurley

Field Site: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Field Supervisors: Lauren Medsker, Liane Sullivan, and Casey Kuklick

Course Description:

The course explores the ways in which nonprofits engaged in urban greening initiatives navigate community engagement, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Examining both past practices of community engagement and current literature on this topic, certain values and best practices arise in enabling a wider pool of participants in the process. By truly encompassing a wider audience, future urban greening efforts will garner community support, something for which this course lays the framework for.

Praxis Poster:

Owen Deitcher_Community Engagement

Please click here to access a PDF version of the poster.

Halena Martin, Political Science & Sociology, BMC ’20

Venture Philanthropy

Faculty Advisor: Liv Raddatz

Field site: The GreenLight Fund

Field Supervisor: Garridon Hankins

Course Description:

This course focused on contextualizing venture philanthropy in the broader context of the nonprofit, private, and government sectors. I studied the role of nonprofits, specifically those focused on venture philanthropy, in modern society and the needs they are fit to fulfill and their shortcomings. My goals for the course were to 1) gain a greater understanding of venture philanthropy and the day-to-day operations of a venture philanthropy organization and 2) learn how communities are impacted by nonprofits.

Praxis Presentation:

To view Halena’s narrated presentation, please click here.

Shreya Bhutani, Growth and Structure of Cities, BMC ‘22

Concepts in Justice

Faculty Advisory: Jennifer Hurley

Field Site: American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania

Field Supervisor: Andrea Anastasi

Course Description:

This course contextualized the framework of the justice system in order to gain a real-world understanding of what the legal process may look like. Exploring different perspectives in the framework of civil liberties, this course focused on what delivering justice may look like in various forms. Through an exploration of the American Civil Liberties Union, I analyzed concepts illustrated by the organization’s mission statement, which reads as follows “the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization dedicated to defending and expanding individual rights and personal freedoms throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania”. Moreover, this course focused on the operational aspects of non-profit work in relation to its mission goals.

Praxis Research Paper:


To access a PDF version of Shreya’s Praxis research paper on Medical Marijuana and Pennsylvania Law Enforcement, please click here.

Colin Fredrickson, Growth and Structure of Cities, HC ’20

The University and the City

Faculty Adviser: Jennifer Hurley

Field Site: Philadelphia City Planning Commission

Field Supervisor: David Kanthor

Course Description:

The urban university has long been a defining factor in American urban space, seeding some of the most recognizable and important parts of a city. This course will focus on the phenomenon of the university district, specifically University City in Philadelphia, and analyze the confluence of place-making powers that define this unique urban space.

Praxis Presentation:

To view Colin’s narrated presentation, please click here.

Hannah Duncan, Growth and Structure of Cities, BMC ’20

Transportation Strategies

Faculty Adviser: Jennifer Hurley

Field Site: Lower Merion Building and Planning Department

Field Supervisor: Christopher Leswing

Course Description:

This course focuses on researching the parties and processes involved and steps needed to transform the space, defining a continuous last-mile transit solution along the Main Line in a written report, with the goal of producing designs for those multi-use pathways. City Avenue originally developed as the first exit outside of Philadelphia and served as the first suburban port to the city. With increasing development, that advantage has since been lost; the Township will need a more balanced transportation strategy to succeed. About 8 years ago the District was rezoned to promote higher density mixed use development. New development is required to install multi-use pathways around the perimeter.

Praxis Project:

Hannah created a StoryMap on first/last mile transportation connections in Lower Merion as part of her course. Take a look here!