CoursesFellows Proseminar I
COMM 025

Fellows Proseminar I

The SNF Paideia Fellows Proseminar I introduces sophomore Fellows to academic research and practice related to the civic engagement mission of the SNF Paideia program. We engage diverse perspectives on the purpose of higher education, the nature of citizenship, the value of civility, and the relationship between individual and community wellness.

Students will develop their personal civic identity and wellness goals through intentional course exercises and assignments. This includes identifying potential avenues for civic engagement within their academic discipline, selecting and practicing wellness strategies tailored for their lives and goals, and crafting concrete plans to cultivate civil dialogue and service at Penn and beyond. The goal of the course is to equip students with the knowledge, skills, experiences, and ethical frameworks for healthy, sustainable and robust civic leadership at Penn and in their local, national, and global communities. This course is open only to SNF Paideia Fellows, who are required to take it during the fall of their sophomore year.

Course sessions will address the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of a Penn education?
  • What is Paideia?
  • What is citizenship?
  • Is civility outdated?
  • What does civil discourse look like?
  • Wellness and civic engagement: A non-sequitur?
  • Strategies for wellness and civic engagement?

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EDUC 2500

Nature RX


  • Elizabeth Mackenzie


Fall 2022

This course is designed to introduce students to an emerging field, one that explores the connections between nature and human health. A growing body of literature suggests that exposure to natural settings supports human health in a variety of ways. The healing powers of nature appear to be demonstrable scientifically, with research studies spanning various aspects of social, mental, and physical health. The course also invites students to consider the ways in which humans can contribute to the healing of ecosystems. Contemplative practices (e.g., meditation, journaling) will be woven throughout. The course will be linked to the Nature Rx@Penn Program, with opportunities for active and experiential learning.


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ENGL 2145

Failure to Communicate


  • Carlin Romano


Fall 2022

The phrase “failure to communicate” became iconic in American English from the 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke,” in which Paul Newman played a convict who refuses to listen or follow orders. The film raised questions about the multiple ways we understand “failure to communicate” and its consequences. Is it sometimes a decision to resist a presumption, a premise, an interpretation, an argument, a directive from authority? Is it at other times simply a mechanical failure?

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