Fall 2024 ABCS Courses

Penn students can browse and register for ABCS courses on Path@Penn. To find ABCS courses, select "Academically Based Community Service Courses" in the University Attribute dropdown menu. Due to the registrar transition, there are some courses not tagged as ABCS on Path@Penn that are still ABCS courses. The accurate course list is on this webpage.

Download the Fall 2024 course list/flyer here.

See at-a-glance which Spring 2024 courses fulfill undergraduate general education requirements HERE.

Read a guest column published in The Daily Pennsylvanian about ABCS here and find more articles within this course list.


Ira Harkavy, Theresa Simmonds
Fulfills: College FND Cultural Diversity in US (AUCD); NU Sector History&Traditions (NUHT);  NU Sector ReaSys&Relationship (NURS); NU Sector Society&Soc Struct (NUSS); SEAS Social Science (EUSS); Wharton Core Cross-Cultural Perspective: US (WUCU); Wharton UG General Education - Social Science (WUSS)

This seminar helps students develop their capacity to solve strategic, real-world problems by working collaboratively in the classroom, on campus, and in the West Philadelphia community. Students develop proposals that demonstrate how a Penn undergraduate education might better empower students to produce, not simply "consume," societally-useful knowledge, as well as to function as caring, contributing citizens of a democratic society. Their proposals help contribute to the improvement of education on campus and in the community, as well as to the improvement of university-community relations. Additionally, students provide college access support at Paul Robeson High School for one hour each week.

Suzana Berger, Herman Beavers
Penn Today article: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/penn-s-netter-center-announces-faculty-...
Fulfills: NU Sector Arts & Letters (NUAL); WH UG CCP US (WUCU); WH UG Humanities (WUHM)

If you want to get to know community members from West Philadelphia, collaborate deeply with classmates, gain deeper and more nuanced understandings of African American history and culture, engage in a wide range of learning methods, and explore some of the most treasured plays in the American theatre, then this is the course for you. No previous experience required, just curiosity and willingness to engage. In this intergenerational seminar, Penn students together with older community members read groundbreaking playwright August Wilson's American Century Cycle: ten plays that form an iconic picture of African American traditions, traumas, and triumphs through the decades, nearly all told through the lens of Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood. Class members develop relationships with one other while exploring the history and culture that shaped these powerful plays. The class plans and hosts events for a multigenerational, West Philadelphia-focused audience with community partners West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance / Paul Robeson House & Museum, and Theatre in the X. Class members come to a deeper understanding of Black life in Philadelphia through stories community members share in oral history interviews. These stories form the basis for an original performance the class creates, presented at an end-of-semester gathering. Wilson's plays provide the bridge between class members from various generations and backgrounds. The group embodies collaborative service through the art and connection-building conversations it offers to the community.

Gretchen Suess
Fulfills: NU Sector History&Traditions (NUHT); SEAS Humanities (EUHS); WH UG SS: Social Science (WUSS)

From the inception of the discipline, anthropologists have applied their ethnographic and theoretical knowledge to policy issues concerning the alleviation of practical human problems. This approach has not only benefited peoples in need but it has also enriched the discipline, providing anthropologists with the opportunity to develop new theories and methodologies from a problem-centered approach. The class will examine the connection between anthropology and policy, theory and practice (or 'praxis'), research and application. We will study these connections by reading about historical and current projects. As an ABCS course, students will also volunteer in a volunteer organization of their choice in the Philadelphia area, conduct anthropological research on the organization, and suggest ways that the anthropological approach might support the efforts of the organization.

Rupa Pillai
Blog post: https://asam.sas.upenn.edu/news/2023/03/30/how-better-support-asian-amer...
Fulfills: WH UG CCP US (WUCU): WH UG SS: Social Science (WUSS)

From shopkeepers to motel owners, the Asian American entrepreneur is frequently celebrated and offered as proof that the American Dream is achievable and that the United States is a meritocracy. This seminar challenges this view. Through interdisciplinary texts, qualitative research assignments, and speakers, we will explore the transnational forces and structural limitations within the United States that produce Asian ethnic niches and the bamboo ceiling which limits the success of Asian Americans.

Jami Fisher
Fulfills: College FND Cultural Diversity in US (AUCD); NU Sector Global&Cultural Studies (NUGC)

This Academically Based Community Service course is intended to be the final course in the ASL/Deaf Studies course sequence. Students will work with a Deaf community partner to learn about the organization and work on a mutually agreed on research project. Students will also have course meetings on a weekly basis with discussions and activities centering on reflection of community experiences through linguistic as well as cultural lenses. Ongoing reflections and discussions—formal and informal—on Deaf cultural/theoretical topics drawing from readings as well as community experiences will be integral to the course experience.

Doug Jerolmack
Fulfills: SEAS Tech,Business,Society (EUTB)

Like many cities, Philadelphia was built and developed around rivers. These rivers historically provided drinking water, food, power, trade routes, and recreation. Human development, however, has led to flooding, erosion and pollution; these factors degrade the ability of rivers to provide ecological habitat, and ultimately may turn rivers from a resource into a hazard. Unfortunately, lower income neighborhoods often bear the brunt of these negative impacts. In the face of climate change, extreme floods and erosion are only getting worse. The news, however, is not all bad. With improving understanding of environmental science and engineering, techniques that counteract flooding and clean up waterways are being developed and deployed. Armed with knowledge of science, citizens can become agents of change in their communities. It is in this context that we propose a partnership among Sayre High School, Penn’s Netter Center, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to develop an Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) course on “Rivers in a changing world”. We seek to take advantage of the newly refurbished Cobbs Creek Environmental Center, which will host a brand new environmental laboratory space. A Project for Progress award from Penn has provided additional funding for state of the art equipment, including a “stream table”; this is a laboratory river that allows interactive and discovery-driven learning. The unique setting of an environmental river laboratory that is just steps from a natural river (Cobbs Creek), and close to Sayre High School, presents a special opportunity for meaningful hands-on learning of Sayre students in collaboration with Penn undergraduates. Course material will be co-developed between Sayre and Penn participants, so that learning modules in the laboratory and natural river are connected to curriculum objectives. Sayre is a Netter Center university-assisted community school and Mr. Smith has worked with Penn students in his classrooms for many years. He has a desire to bring students to the Cobbs Creek Environmental Education Center for hands-on real world environmental education and problem solving. Therefore, this is an ideal partnership for this ABCS course. Also, there is also a need for more climate-related classes at Penn and this course addresses that need.

Andrew Huemmler
DP Article: https://www.thedp.com/article/2019/12/penn-engineering-academically-base...
Fulfills: SEAS No Engineering Req (EUNE); SEAS Tech,Business,Society (EUTB); WH UG CCP US (WUCU); WH UG NSME: Natural Science, Math, Engineering (WUNM)

Students will learn about basic residential energy efficiency measures and practices from an established community based energy organization, the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia. Identify and understand fundamental core STEM energy concepts. Develop a short "energy efficiency" curriculum appropriate for middle or high school students. Teach three (3) sessions in a science class in the School District of Philadelphia.

Charles Adams
Fulfills: NU Sector Society&Soc Struct (NUSS); WH UG CCP US (WUCU); Wharton UG Core Flex GenEd (WUFG)

This course explores the relationships between forms of cultural production and transmission (schooling, family and community socialization, peer group subcultures and media representations) and relations of inequality in American society. Working with a broad definition of "education" as varied forms of social learning, we will concentrate particularly on the cultural processes that produce as well as potentially transform class, race, ethnic and gender differences and identities. From this vantage point, we will then consider the role that schools can and/or should play in challenging inequalities in America.

Aliya Bradley
Fulfills: NU Sector Society&Soc Struct (NUSS);WH UG CCP US (WUCU); WH UG SS: Social Science (WUSS)

This course represents an opportunity for students to participate in academically-based community service involving tutoring in a West Phila. public school. This course will serve a need for those students who are already tutoring through the West Phila.Tutoring Project or other campus tutoring. It will also be available to individuals who are interested in tutoring for the first time.

Taije Silverman

In this ABCS (Academically Based Community Service) course, Penn students will work with twelfth graders to write and discuss literature about the history and present tense of voting in our country. During the first of our twice-weekly class sessions, we’ll meet on campus to plan the next lesson. In the following session, we’ll bring this lesson to a high school classroom in West Philly. Sessions at the high school will meet during the same Penn time block so everyone will be free. Each week we’ll use a different poem or short essay (like Reginald Dwayne Betts’s poem about voting for Obama in a Nat Turner T-Shirt, Chanda Feldman’s poem about voter suppression among sharecroppers, and John Lewis’s graphic novel MARCH) as the model for our own creative writing about what voting means to us and what it has meant to our families before us. We’ll also talk about voting policies and structures of government in order to reflect on them in poems and prose. Penn students will gain teaching experience, creative writing techniques, and close reading skills. No previous teaching nor writing experience is required.

Lorene Cary
Fulfills: NU Sector Arts & Letters (NUAL); SEAS Humanities (EUHS)
Website: https://www.votethatjawn.com/

This is a creative writing workshop for students who are looking for ways to use their writing to participate in electoral politics. Student writers will explore a number of different forms—such as blogs, essays, op-eds, fairy tales, social media posts, short videos, or podcasts. We will publish your work, in real time, with the multimedia platform #VoteThatJawn. Launched in 2018 after the March For Our Lives urged youth to register and vote, #VoteThatJawn greatly helped increase registration of 18-year-olds in Philadelphia in 2018, 2020, and 2022. Imagine a creative writing class that answers our desire to live responsibly in the world and to have a say in the systems that govern and structure us. Plus, a course devoted to learning to write with greater clarity, precision, and whatever special-sauce Jawn your voice brings. Student writers act as an editorial group sharing excellent, nonpartisan, fun, cool, sometimes deadly earnest content for and about fresh voters. In addition, you will gain experience in activities that writers in all disciplines need to know: producing an arts-based event and a social media campaign, working with multimedia content, and collaborating with other writers, artists, and activists. You will develop greater resourcefulness and initiative in writing, connecting, researching, editing, and publishing. English 3306 will sometimes work directly with diverse populations of youth from other colleges and high schools throughout Philadelphia, too. As it performs a civic service, this class is listed as an Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) course. This course is cross-listed with Africana Studies.

Andy Tan
Fulfills: NU HealthCommMin Elec (NUHC); SEAS Social Science (EUSS)

This course is designed to explore the role of public health communication in the digital age to influence health behavior change in several areas: infectious disease pandemics, tobacco and substance use, mental health, cancer, nutrition and physical activity and others. Throughout the course, we will discuss a number of important considerations when designing and implementing public health communication interventions. Students will be introduced to theories of health behavior change, models of persuasive communication, practical issues in the design of effective health communication programs, countering misinformation, community engagement, audience segmentation, cultural tailoring to specific audiences, evaluation approaches, ethics, and communication inequalities. We will also explore the use of digital technologies and social media platforms, entertainment education, popular media, and social marketing in delivery of public health communication interventions.

Catherine Bartch
Penn Today article: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/latin-american-latinx-studies , https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/new-moas-program-promotes-international...
Fulfills: College FND Cross Cultural Analysis (AUCC); NU Sector Global&Cultural Studies (NUGC); SEAS Humanities (EUHS); WH UG CCP Non-US (WUCN); WH UG SS: Social Science (WUSS)

"Diplomacy in the Americas" an academically based community service course in which students work with Philadelphia and Norristown public school students to explore solutions to critical problems facing the Americas. Entrenched political, economic, and social inequality, combined with environmental degradation, weak institutions, pervasive health epidemics, weapon proliferation, and other issues pose formidable hurdles for strengthening democratic ideals and institutions. The Organization of the American States (OAS), the world's oldest regional organization, is uniquely poised to confront these challenges. "Diplomacy in the Americas" guides students through the process of writing policy resolutions as though the students were Organization of the American States (OAS) diplomats, basing their research and proposals on democracy, development, security, and human rights - the four pillars of the OAS. Students will also read literature about what it means to educate for a democracy and global citizenry, and they will have the opportunity to turn theory into practice by creating and executing curriculum to teach and mentor the high school students through interactive and experiential pedagogies.

: Johnny Irizarry
Fulfills: College FND Cultural Diversity in US (AUCD); NU Sector Global&Cultural Studies (NUGC); NU Sector Society&Soc Struct (NUSS); SEAS Humanities (EUHS); WH UG CCP US (WUCU); Wharton UG Core Flex GenEd (WUFG)

The purpose of this course to create a Latino Studies/Service Learning ABCS course that cultivates dialogue and knowledge about the social, political, cultural and historical complexities of the Latinx experience in the United States (Philadelphia in particular) and the roles Latinx CBO's play in meeting the needs of Latinx communities and in impacting social change.

Talya Fishman

The aim of this course is to design a Middle School curriculum on “Abrahamic Faiths and Cultures” that will subsequently be taught in local public schools. First two hours will be devoted to study and discussion of primary and secondary sources grouped in thematic units. These will explore Jewish, Christian and Islamic teachings on topics including God, worship, religious calendar, life cycle events, attitudes toward religious others; internal historical developments. During the last seminar hour, we will learn from West Philadelphia clergy members, Middle School Social Studies teachers and principals about what they regard as necessary, and incorporate their insights. During the last hour, West Philadelphia clergy members, Middle School Social Studies teachers and principals will share with us what they believe is needed to enable the course to succeed. Class participants will attend prayer services on fieldtrips to a range of West Philadelphia houses of worship. In future semesters, some class participants may teach the resulting curriculum in selected neighborhood schools.

Keith Weigelt 

Do you want to make a real difference in the lives of a student? Do you want to set kids on a path to becoming financially literate? Do you want to learn leadership skills in the classroom? Here at the Financial Literacy Community Project (FLCP) we are able to create an experience that achieves all three. We partner with various public schools around the West Philadelphia area and teach concepts integral to financial literacy. We teach a wide range of grades from middle school to high school, and work with students to help them learn how to be financially responsible. In addition to teaching in neighboring high schools, we also have group class meetings run by Professor Keith Weigelt on Mondays from 7:00 PM-8:30 PM. We learn about the disparity of wealth and how to best address it while also learning teaching techniques, classroom strategies, and overall basic financial literacy. A basic understanding of personal financial literacy is required.

Molly Mcglone
Penn Today article: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/music-connects-penn-students-and-west-p... , https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/students-penn-s-netter-center-take-soun...
Fulfills: College FND Cultural Diversity in US (AUCD); College-Sector - Humanities & Social Science (AUHS); NU Sector Arts & Letters (NUAL); SEAS Humanities (EUHS); Wharton Core Cross-Cultural Perspective: US (WUCU); Wharton UG General Education - Humanities Course (WUHM)

Music in Urban Spaces is a year-long experience that explores the ways in which individuals use music in their everyday lives and how music is used to construct larger social and economic networks that we call culture. We will read the work of musicologists, cultural theorists, urban geographers, sociologists and educators who work to define urban space and the role of music and sound in urban environments, including through music education. While the readings make up our study of the sociology of urban space and the way we use music in everyday life to inform our conversations and the questions we ask, it is within the context of our personal experiences working with music programs in public neighborhood schools serving economically disadvantaged students, that we will begin to formulate our theories of the contested musical micro-cultures of West Philadelphia. This course is over two-semesters where students register for .5 cus each term (for a total of 1 cu over the entire academic year) and is tied to the Music and Social Change Residential Program in Fisher Hassenfeld College House which will sponsor field trips around the city and a final concert for youth to perform here at Penn, if possible. Students are expected to volunteer in music and drama programs in Philadelphia neighborhood public schools throughout the course experience.

Loretta Flanagan-Cato
Penn Today article: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/penn-netter-center-science-and-service
Fulfills: Wharton UG General Education - Nat Sci, Math, Eng (WUNM)

This course is an opportunity for undergraduates to share their interest and enthusiasm for neuroscience with students in grades 9-12 attending urban public schools in West Philadelphia. The course will allow Penn students to develop their science communication and teaching skills. Students will prepare neuroscience demonstrations, hands-on activities, and assessment tools. In parallel, the course aims to engage local high school students, increasing their interest and knowledge in science, and ultimately promoting lifelong science literacy.

Monique Dowd
Penn Today article: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/penn-students-share-nutrition-and-healt...
Fulfills: WH UG NSME: Natural Science, Math, Engineering (WUNM)

Understanding and meeting nutritional needs from conception through adulthood will be addressed. Nutrition-related concerns at each stage of the life-cycle, including impact of lifestyle, education, economics and food behavior will be explored. As an ABCS course, students will be given the opportunity to address a real world nutrition-related issue in West Philadelphia in collaborations with Penn and/or local programs. Students will work in West Philadelphia with either senior citizens in the LIFE Program or with K-8 students for 2-4 hours/week outside of class time.

Alicia Kachmar, Steven Meanley
Fulfills: WH UG NSME: Natural Science, Math, Engineering (WUNM)

This course considers how nursing influences the health and healing capacities of both communities as a whole (populations) and of groups, families, and individuals living within particular communities locally and globally. It addresses the complexity of nursing practice using a public health paradigm. It requires students to draw from prior class and clinical knowledge and skills and apply this practice base to communities across care settings, ages, and cultures with different experiences of equity and access to care. It provides the tools needed to engage in collaborative community work and to give voice to the community's strengths, needs, and goals. It also moves students from an individual and family focus to a population focus for health assessment and intervention. Students consider the science, policies, and resources that support public health, and community based and community-oriented care. Clinical and simulated experiences in community settings provide sufficient opportunities for clinical reasoning, clinical care and knowledge integration in community settings. Students will have opportunities to care for patients and populations within selected communities.

Dustin Webster
Penn Today article: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/learning-civil-discourse-and-open-minde...https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/pint-size-philosophers

In this course, teams of Penn undergraduates, each joined by a graduate student in philosophy, will coach teams of high school students for participation in the National High School Ethics Bowl, an annual competitive yet collaborative event in which teams analyze and discuss complex ethical dilemmas. Cases for the Ethics Bowl will will serve as a foundational starting point for the undergraduate students' investigations into ethical theory, and the study of the Ethics Bowl itself will develop the capacities to provide coaching and mentorship to the teams of high school students from West Philadelphia and across the city. Undergraduates will travel to these school as part of the course, and there will be one or two Saturday sessions. This course will introduce the ethics bowl to many new Philadelphia School District schools and students, and it will provide Penn students with the opportunity to develop their teaching and communication skills, build collaborative relationships with community schools, and solidify their knowledge of ethical theory through coaching.

SOCI 2960 / URBS 3140: PARTICIPATORY CITIES (SNF Paideia Program Course)
Marisa Denker
Penn Today article: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/empowering-community-engagement-through...
Fulfills: NU Sector Society&Soc Struct (NUSS); WH UG CCP US (WUCU); WH UG SS: Social Science (WUSS)

What is a participatory city? What has that term meant in the past, what does it mean now, and what will it mean going forward? Against the backdrop of increasing inequality and inequity, and the rise in a search for solutions, what role can citizens play in co-creating more just cities and neighborhoods? How can citizens be engaged in the decision-making processes about the places where we live, work, and play? And most importantly, how can we work to make sure that all kinds of voices are meaningfully included, and that historically muted voices are elevated to help pave a better path forward? This course will connect theory with praxis as we explore together the history, challenges, methods, and approaches, and impact of bottom up and top down approaches to community participation and stakeholder involvement in cities. Multiple opportunities will be provided to be involved in community engagement work for live projects in Philadelphia.

Brian Peterson
Fulfills: NU Sector Society&Soc Struct (NUSS); SEAS Social Science (EUSS); WH UG CCP US (WUCU); WH UG SS: Social Science (WUSS)

This course provides students with a rich look at the historical and contemporary factors that have shaped America's wealth gaps. By studying the economic impacts of systemic forces such as discriminatory housing, predatory lending, and unbanking, students will develop a deep financial understanding of today's urban communities. Students will also explore their own financial awareness and exposure, creating personalized financial histories and empowerment plans. By breaking the silence on topics such as credit scores, auto purchases, renting vs. owning a home, insurance, retirement plans, debt management, and investing, Urban Financial Literacy will prepare students for a financially healthy life at Penn and beyond. The course will also explore larger financial examples and case studies, including endowment funds and major foundations, the promises and perils of sports and entertainment, start-ups and the gig economy, and more. In contrasting the opportunity and excess that is possible, with the debilitating realities of intergenerational poverty in America, the idea is that students will end the course with a robust appreciation for financial literacy, a portfolio of practical strategies, and a commitment to create new possibilities for financial wellness.

Michael Clapper
Fulfills: NU Sector Society&Soc Struct (NUSS); SEAS Social Science (EUSS); Wharton Core Cross-Cultural Perspective: US (WUCU); Wharton UG General Education - Social Science (WUSS)

This seminar focuses on two main questions: 1) How have US schools and urban ones in particular continued to reproduce inequalities rather than ameliorating them? 2) In the informational age, how do the systems affecting education need to change to create more successful and equitable outcomes? The course is designed to bridge the divide between theory and practice. Each class session looks at issues of equity in relation to an area of practice (e.g. lesson design, curriculum planning, fostering positive student identities, classroom management, school funding, policy planning...), while bringing theoretical frames to bear from the fields of education, sociology, anthropology and psychology.


Alissa Jordan, Daniela Brissett

In this class, you will be introduced to reproductive justice as a holistic theory and a methodological framework that can guide the practice of medicine and anthropology. You will create an oral history with a Philly-based community activist, midwife, doula, or other practitioner whose work engages with reproductive justice, understood expansively as the right to have children, to not have children, and to parent children in healthy environments free from violence and state oppression. At the end of the class, we will release these oral histories together as part of a new season of CEE’s “Reckoning and Repair in Philadelphia” podcast. Recent reports in Philadelphia have called particular attention to the severity of the maternal health crisis in the city, where black birthing people are more than four times as likely to die of preventable causes than their white peers. Such inequalities are not unique or new; Philadelphia was a crucial site where medicine broadly and obstetrics more specifically were born… . Philadelphia is the first city in the United States to have an obstetric society, and it is also the educational home of the so-called father of gynecology, James Marion Sims, who notoriously experimented on enslaved women to develop foundational obstetric procedures still in use today. At the same time, Philadelphia has also been an activist stronghold, as a site of historical Black, Caribbean, Latinx, and immigrant organizing and community care for more than a century. Today, midwives, doulas, doctors, environmental justice workers and others continue to develope nurturing models of child, maternal, and familial care that uplift communities. Many of these have been informed by reproductive justice frameworks. Engaging with a long tradition of scholar-activist ethnography, we will turn to the experiences of these community organizers, birthworkers, midwives, and doulas to gain an understanding of their battles for reproductive justice in Philadelphia: from the persistent inequities in maternal medical care, to the community work to create safe neighborhoods, to patient rights education campaigns, to medical interventions within prisons. Working one-on-one with a partner engaged in this work, students will produce an oral history of reproductive justice in Philadelphia. In the process students will learn crucial methods of critical medical anthropology, and build their skills in ethnographic listening as both a research method and a potentially transformative act of care. It is open to students with all levels of experience, including those with no prior background in audio/media production Through your podcast episodes, you'll answer the following questions: 1. How have historical medical practices and medical cultures in Philadelphia, especially in the context of clinical obstetric care, shaped the current disparities and challenges in reproductive health? 2. What cultural, social, and economic factors have influenced the development of homegrown methods of care within Philadelphia's reproductive justice community, and what do these practices provide (or avoid) that hospital practices do not? 3. How do the experiences and perspectives of doula, reproductive justice workers, and health practitioners intersect with or challenge established medical paradigms? 4. What good does listening and documenting these stories of care and resistance in reproductive justice do, if anything, at the personal, social, and institutional level. This course offers a unique, hands-on, real-world experience, enabling you to develop collaborative, ethical, and engaged work that contributes to Philadelphia's reproductive justice community.

Amitanshu Das
See recent films produced through the course: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBUfm4ggrS6syYOO58cvLTu8DtTvhXg6C

This ethnographic methodology course considers filmmaking/videography as a tool in conducting ethnographic research as well as a medium for presenting academic research to scholarly and non-scholarly audiences. The course engages the methodological and theoretical implications of capturing data and crafting social scientific accounts/narratives in images and sounds. Students are required to put theory into practice by conducting ethnographic research and producing an ethnographic film as their final project. In service to that goal, students will read about ethnography (as a social scientific method and representational genre), learn and utilize ethnographic methods in fieldwork, watch non-fiction films (to be analyzed for formal properties and implicit assumptions about culture/sociality), and acquire rigorous training in the skills and craft of digital video production. This is an ABCS course, and students will produce short ethnographic films with students in Philadelphia high schools as part of a partnership project with the School District of Philadelphia. Due to the time needed for ethnographic film production, this is a year-long course, which will meet periodically in both the fall and spring semesters.

Howard Neukrug
Fulfills: College-Sector - Natural Science Across the Disciplines (AUNM); WH UG NSME: Natural Science, Math, Engineering (WUNM)

This course will provide an overview of the cross-disciplinary fields of civil engineering, environmental sciences, urban hydrology, landscape architecture, green building, public outreach and politics. Students will be expected to conduct field investigations, review scientific data and create indicator reports, working with stakeholders and presenting the results at an annual symposium. There is no metaphor like water itself to describe the cumulative effects of our practices, with every upstream action having an impact downstream. In our urban environment, too often we find degraded streams filled with trash, silt, weeds and dilapidated structures. The water may look clean, but is it? We blame others, but the condition of the creeks is directly related to how we manage our water resources and our land. In cities, these resources are often our homes, our streets and our communities. This course will define the current issues of the urban ecosystem and how we move toward managing this system in a sustainable manner. We will gain an understanding of the dynamic, reciprocal relationship between practices in an watershed and its waterfront. Topics discussed include: drinking water quality and protection, green infrastructure, urban impacts of climate change, watershed monitoring, public education, creating strategies and more.

Maria-Antonia Andrews
Penn Today article: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/shining-light-dangers-lead
Fulfills: College-Sector - Natural Science Across the Disciplines (AUNM); NU Sector Society&Soc Struct (NUSS); WH UG NSME: Natural Science, Math, Engineering (WUNM)

Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, impaired hearing, behavioral problems, and at very high levels, seizures, coma and even death. Children up to the age of six are especially at risk because of their developing systems; they often ingest lead chips and dust while playing in their home and yards. In ENVS 1615, Penn undergraduates learn about the epidemiology of lead poisoning, the pathways of exposure, and methods for community outreach and education. Penn students collaborate with middle school and high school teachers in West Philadelphia to engage middle school children in exercises that apply environmental research relating to lead poisoning to their homes and neighborhoods.

Sue Perls, Fernando Chang-Muy

Poverty is fundamentally about scarcity—a lack of life’s basic human needs, which is not limited to what we may think such as food, water, and shelter. We often reduce poverty to simplistic terms; however, its profound impact affects people’s overall well-being and opportunities. This leaves impacted individuals, families, and communities experiencing a persistent threat to safety and security, a lack of belonging, and learned helplessness. This course addresses both the immediate needs of individuals experiencing poverty and alternatives to creating sustainable, systemic changes to promote equity, inclusion, and belonging. This community-engaged/service-learning course examines Philadelphia place-based poverty, with variations in intensity and manifestation. Students will embrace a participatory and culturally humble approach to understanding root causes of poverty through a combination of lectures, immersive classroom experiences, site visits to local nonprofits, and service-learning placement assignments. Students will gain a deep understanding of the complex and multifaceted realities of poverty, including the laws and policies that contribute to and perpetuate widespread poverty in the US. This course examines the issue of poverty within the context of domestic affairs while also considering international human rights standards. This transformative and impactful service-learning course is designed for students who are passionate about inclusivity and reducing barriers. It aims to explore how nonprofits empower economically vulnerable individuals, families, and communities to achieve an improved quality of life. The Netter Center for Community Partnerships has designated this course as an Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) course because it integrates practical engagement with the community alongside traditional teaching methods.

: Colleen Tewksbury
Fulfills: NU Sector ReaSys&Relationship (NURS); NU Sector Society&Soc Struct (NUSS); SEAS Social Science (EUSS); Wharton UG General Education - Social Science (WUSS)

This course will examine obesity from scientific, cultural, psychological, and economic perspectives. The complex matrix of factors that contribute to obesity and established treatment options will be explored.

Marion Leary
Fulfills: NU Nursing and Health Services Mgmt Minor NU Elec (NUNH); SEAS Tech,Business,Society (EUTB)

Innovation, defined as a hypothesis-driven, testable, and disciplined strategy, is important to improve health & healthcare. Employing new ways of thinking, such as with design thinking, will help open up possibilities of ways to improve health & the process of healthcare. Incorporating current & emerging social & digital technologies such as mobile apps, wearables, remote sensing, and 3D printing, affords new opportunities for innovation. This course provides foundational content & a disciplined approach to innovation as it applies to health & healthcare. A flipped classroom approach has the in-class component focusing on group learning through design thinking activities. The course is open to undergraduate nursing students as a case study & upper-level undergraduates and graduate students from across the Penn campus. The course provides a theoretical foundation in design thinking & may provide an overview of innovation technology & digital strategies as well as social & process change strategies. To enhance the didactic component, students will actively participate in a design case study. Students will be matched by interest and skill level with teams & will work with community-based organizations, healthcare providers and/or innovation partners. Student teams will meet their partners to identify & refine a health or healthcare problem to tackle. Students will work throughout the semester to create an innovative solution that will be pitched to their community-based organization, healthcare provider, and/or innovation partner at the end of the semester.

Loretta Flanagan-Cato

PSYC 4460 is an activity-based course with three major goals. First, the course is an opportunity for psychology and cognitive science undergrad majors to develop their professional and science communication skills and share their enthusiasm for these topics with high school students at a nearby public high school in West Philadelphia. In this regard, Penn students will prepare demonstrations and hands-on activities to engage local high school students, increase their knowledge in functions of the mind and brain, providing insights that may promote well being for the high school students and their community. This will be accomplished as students design and execute hands-on/minds-on activities on a range of psychology topics. There will be 10 sessions across the semester for these lessons, allowing the college and high school students to develop a consistent teacher-learner relationship. Second, students will explore the literature that discusses the need for better bridges between scientific research and the broader community. Discussions will incorporate the students' experiences, including challenges and rewards, as they bring psychology lessons to local youth. This academic portion of the course will include guest lectures from the Penn community who actively engaged in community partnerships. Third, students will be challenged to consider solutions for any problems that they encounter using a Theory of Change framework. This aspect of the course will result in a final project in which students much create logical, realistic, evidence-based links between interventions, indicators of change, and ultimate impacts to mitigate the problems.


ARCH 7280 / IPD 5280: Design of Contemporary Products: Design for Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility
Instructor: Sarah Rottenberg

The power of design to shape the world we live in is increasingly obvious, as is the responsibility of designers to challenge our assumptions about who designs, who is included or marginalized by our designs, and how we can make sure that all design is inclusive design. This course will address issues around designing for equity, inclusion and accessibility and co-design. We will ask, What is inclusive design? Who does it serve? What should it look like? To answer these questions, we will engage with the current discourse around designing for equity, inclusion and accessibility, with a particular focus on accessibility. We will engage with disability justice frameworks and critical disability studies to challenge our assumptions about disability and engagement. And we will connect with members of the disability community and co-design along with them. This course is intended for anyone who considers themselves a designer: of physical or digital products, places, or services who wants to prioritize inclusion in their practice

Joan Gluch

This course provides students with both seminars and clinical experiences in order to gain additional knowledge, skills and values to develop competency in health promotion activities. Seminars are scheduled throughout the third year and include the following topics: risk assessment for caries, periodontal diseases and oral cancer; customized oral health promotion plans to address risks and promote health; health promotion care with dentures and implants; modifying health promotion for patients with physical, developmental and emotional disabilities. Discussions also focus on communication to meet the different social and cultural needs of patients. Clinical experiences in the Primary Care Units and Community Clinics provide students with opportunities to develop skills and competencies related to health promotion. Oral health promotional activities are an integral part of the care students provide with their patients. Students complete a Caries and Periodontal Risk Assessment with each patient and provide customized oral health promotional services periodically throughout treatment. Students provide fluoride treatments, tobacco counseling and nutritional counseling as appropriate for their patients. In addition, edentulous patients receive special advice regarding mouth care, denture care and oral cancer self-examination procedures. Students must record the completion of health promotion procedures in Axium using appropriate codes to document completion of required clinical activities. In addition, students must record the completion of appropriate health promotion activities on the clinical charts.

Joan Gluch

Lectures, seminars and community experiences provide students with foundation knowledge in general principles of public health and community health, with specific application to the following dental public health concepts: access to care, cost, quality of care and international health. Students complete community experiences that provide foundation experiences in developing and implementing community oral health promotion activities.

Joan Gluch

Lectures, seminars and community experiences provide students with foundation knowledge in general principles of public health and community health, with specific application to the following dental public health concepts: access to care, cost, quality of care and international health. Students complete community experiences that provide foundation experiences in developing and implementing community oral health promotion activities.

: Joan Gluch
Penn Today article: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/dental-schools-joan-gluch-promotes-acad...

Community Oral Health Experiences in alternate oral health care delivery settings provide students with the opportunity to develop and expand their skills in providing comprehensive oral health care in community based settings under the direct supervision of faculty members. Students are scheduled in the mobile dental vehicle, PennSmiles, and are also scheduled at Community Volunteers in medicine, a community based medical and dental treatment facility in West Chester, PA. Students attend small group seminars to discuss their experiences and theoretical underpinnings of community oral health activities.

Alesha Gayle

Join the class 'Literacy in Action: Literacy Internship Experience' for the opportunity to examine literacies in situated contexts through hands-on action. An internship experience with local partners forms the cornerstone of the class, allowing students to pursue interests in preK-8 classroom and out-of-school practice, curriculum development and professional learning, or policy and research. Students will consider their own interests and positionalities, emic and etic perspectives, and the particularities of Discourse(s) within their field sites. Together, they’ll unpack literacies to partner meaningfully both inside and outside of educational spaces– that is, entering communities respectfully, assessing organizations’ needs, aligning with stakeholders’ missions and visions, and creating programming that adds to the overall success of their field site. This class provides all students with an interest in literacy with a supportive space to study and explore contemporary issues in literacy policy, research, and practice that are crucial in creating more just, equitable spaces for learning in Philadelphia and globally. No prior experience necessary.

Vivian Gadsden

This course examines critical issues, problems, and perspectives in multicultural education. Intended to focus on access to literacy and educational opportunity, the course will engage class members in discussions around a variety of topics in educational practice, research, and policy. Specifically, the course will (1) review theoretical frameworks in multicultural education, (2) analyze the issues of race, racism, and culture in historical and contemporary perspective, and (3) identify obstacles to participation in the educational process by diverse cultural and ethnic groups. Students will be required to complete field experiences and classroom activities that enable them to reflect on their own belief systems, practices, and educational experiences.

: Teaching team

Fieldwork course for TESOL students. This course focuses on reflective teaching practice, providing a space for students to combine theory and practice as they apply the theoretical constructs of TESOL coursework to their own language teaching. Students will become accurate and systematic observers of and thinkers about their own teaching methodology, in order to continue to develop into increasingly effective language teachers. The theme of a student-centered language classroom will be explored through scholarly literature, pedagogical techniques, and students' own classroom teaching. To participate in this course, a student must be teaching a language class for the majority of the semester. Prerequisite: Permission needed from the department.

Horace Delisser 

Foundations of Culinary Medicine is a one-year elective course for first year medical students at the Perelman School of Medicine. Taught by a team of culinary experts, physicians, and registered dietitians, Foundationsintegrates advanced nutrition science and the culinary arts into a hands-on, interdisciplinary experience. Each session will run during a Module 2 organ system and disease block in order to integrate nutrition education with the basic science and clinical medicine concepts of a particular organ system. This training will provide students with the knowledge to understand the impact of healthy eating on normal human physiology and disease. Through evidence-based research, case-based discussions and in-the-kitchen, hands-on training, students will learn about the role of nutrition in integrated biological systems, with a focus on dietary recommendations for real-life patient care. Students will also learn by teaching, partnering with Philadelphia schools and families to facilitate food educational programs and community dinners. It is anticipated that this course will provide a foundation for students to both understand and communicate the impact of good nutrition on their own health, as well as the health of their future patients.

Thomas Duffin
Open to all graduate/professional students.

"This course is an integral part of the Penn Restorative Entrepreneurship Program (PREP )https://www.sp2.upenn.edu/research/special-projects/prep/ and will offer a group of previously incarcerated people intensive training on developing a new business. Students from SP2, Wharton and Penn Law will work with returning citizens on teams throughout the semester which will learn to craft a viable business plan while also engaging in critical analysis of the limits of social impact entrepreneurship in addressing longstanding social problems such as mass incarceration. In the final meeting, the teams will make pitches to a panel of angel investors who are recruited to provide additional supports to the most promising proposals. This ABCS (Academically-Based Community Service) course aims to not only play an important role in reducing recidivism but to also enable Penn students the opportunity to connect with members of our broader community and engage in meaningful social change in a cross-disciplinary setting where the expectation is that all of us has something to learn from and to teach to everyone else."

Sura Lee

This clinical course is designed to help prospective advanced practice nurses develop advanced skills in physical and developmental assessment both across the lifespan and with a specific focus on children in a variety of settings. Data collection, data interpretation, and hypothesis formulations are emphasized for the purpose of clinical decision making. The role of the advanced practice nurse in assessment of child health care issues and health promotion is incorporated throughout the course. Community collaboration and evaluation of social determinants of health, as integral aspects of assessment, will be an ongoing focus.


Marcus Wright

College enrollment is a complex process that is shaped by the economic, social and policy context, higher education institutions, K-12 schools, families, and students. The course will examine the theoretical perspectives that are used to understand college access and choice processes. The implications of various policies and practices for college access and choice will also be explored, with particular attention to the effects of these policies for underrepresented groups. As an Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) course, this course is also designed to generate tangible recommendations that program administrators and institutional leaders may be used to improve college access and choice.

Laronnda Thompson
Fulfills: WH UG CCP US (WUCU); WH UG SS: Social Science (WUSS)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to consider the educational policies & practices shaping the learning and development of preschool through early elementary school children. This course emphasizes the application of development psychology and multicultural perspective to the design of effective classroom-based strategies. This course is uniquely designed for those with tangential to no classroom or young child experience, as well as those planning to go into or seeking to improve their teaching. Taking “whole child” stances, students will gain real world experience volunteering in K-4 spaces. Assignments will include the development of an educator journal. (Path@Penn description is slightly outdated)

Instructor: Ira Harkavy
Fulfills: College FND Cultural Diversity in US (AUCD); NU Sector ReaSys&Relationship (NURS); NU Sector Society&Soc Struct (NUSS); SEAS Social Science (EUSS); WH UG CCP US (WUCU)

Summer enrollment is limited to students interning with the Penn Program for Public Service Summer Internship. This course is also available for students every fall and spring semester under AFRC 1780/HIST 0811/URBS 1780. This seminar helps students develop their capacity to solve strategic, real-world problems by working collaboratively in the classroom, on campus, and in the West Philadelphia community. Students develop proposals that demonstrate how a Penn undergraduate education might better empower students to produce, not simply "consume," societally-useful knowledge, as well as to function as caring, contributing citizens of a democratic society. Their proposals help contribute to the improvement of education on campus and in the community, as well as to the improvement of university-community relations.