Name: Sophia Weinstein
Graduation Year: 2017
Hometown: Wynnewood, PA
Sophia Weinstein ’17 is currently doing an internship at Research for Action in Philadelphia through Bryn Mawr’s Praxis Program. Research for Action is an education research organization co-founded by Jody Cohen, a professor of education at Bryn Mawr College.
The project Weinstein is working on is an evaluation of an arts integration program being run by the Mural Arts Program in several Philadelphia schools. During her Praxis course, Weinstein has met regularly with her faculty supervisor, Term Professor of Education Alice Lesnick, and received additional support from Praxis Associate Director Kelly Strunk.
“We’re looking at successes and challenges of the program and the impact on students in different capacities, such as youth development.”
Career Exploration: So far my work at Research for Action is learning a lot about how they do research. I have been catching up on what work has been done so far on this project with Mural Arts, which has consisted of me reading interviews with teaching artists in the program, compiling a review of literature on Arts Integration, and learning to code interviews as we start analyzing data. It has informed me more of what I could do in the realm of social science research apart from becoming a sociologist. Doing this kind of work is definitely an interest that I have for after I graduate, so I felt that a Praxis Independent Study would be a great way to explore that. Right now it’s really exciting.
Interdisciplinary Learning: I was interested in doing an independent study that could combine my interests in sociology and education, because a lot of the time they feel kind of separate, and I wanted to explore how I could better connect the two.
Favorite Parts of the Internship: Feeling like I’m learning a lot of different things at once. Apart from developing research skills, I am learning my way around the city more, working with and meeting new people, and learning from my supervisor.
Why Praxis: The independent study has a less rigid syllabus—it’s much more informed by what I’m interested in. I’m currently finding the things I want to read or write more about for myself. There is a whole additional component of responsibility and freedom introduced when you partner with a professor to plan your coursework.
On Philadelphia: Being in an internship that is centered in Philly—particularly on a project about the Mural Arts Program, which is really central to this area—has informed how I think about where I am in the world and has helped to ground my learning in this course.