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Announcing 2020-2022 Provost's Graduate Academic Engagement Fellows at the Netter Center

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Dym, Kikut, Maddocks

Abigail Dym, Ava Kikut, and Sophie Maddocks

The recipients of the 2020-2022 Provost’s Graduate Academic Engagement Fellowship at the Netter Center for Community Partnerships (PGAEF @ NC) were recently named.

  • Abigail Dym, SAS (Political Science) and GSE (Education Policy)
  • Ava Kikut, Annenberg (Health Communications)
  • Sophie Maddocks, Annenberg (Communications)

PGAEF @ NC is an opportunity for PhD students across all schools and fields at the University of Pennsylvania. Fellows are outstanding students whose scholarship significantly involves Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) and related activities, including locally based community problem-solving, engaged scholarship, service learning, and learning by teaching in public schools. The Fellowship involves participation in an interdisciplinary faculty-student seminar on community-engaged research and teaching, the opportunity to design and teach an ABCS course or engage in other kinds of research and teaching in connection with the Netter Center, a $5000 research fund for each Fellow, additional support to attend and present at conferences, and a full fellowship in the students’ second year.

The 2020-22 Fellows will both build on existing work with local public schools and, through the fellowship, will design and teach new ABCS seminars.

Abigail Dym, a doctoral student in political science and education policy, hopes to collaborate with Philadelphia and Penn students to study and co-produce a survey related to youth political knowledge and civic engagement. Together they will aim to foster mutual growth of content knowledge in politics and civic education, research experience in survey design and implementation, and student self-awareness of and self-confidence in their essential role as civic agents in Philadelphia and beyond. Abigail’s PGAEF faculty advisor is Michael Delli Carpini.

Ava Kikut is a doctoral student at Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication. She is interested in youth-driven health campaigns, and their role in facilitating youth advocacy, empowerment, and health. Through this fellowship, Ava will collaborate with middle and high school students, along with Penn undergraduates, to develop media messages pertaining to health needs and inequalities in Philadelphia. Ava’s PGAEF faculty advisor is Robert Hornik.

Sophie Maddocks, also a doctoral student at the Annenberg School, intends to pilot a program of teaching and research that addresses the issue of digital abuse. Through an ABCS course, she hopes to co-develop with students a collection of ‘digital rights’ resources advocating for young peoples’ prosocial, safe, and critical engagement online. Through participatory research, Sophie seeks to investigate alongside students their lived experiences of digital abuse precarity and their reception of existing e-safety guidance. Sophie’s PGAEF faculty advisor is Julia Ticona.

Read more about PGAEF @ NC, including fuller biographies and project descriptions of the 2020-2022 fellows at:

Announcement in Penn Almanac here.