Gretel is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences with a prospective Anthropology and Psychology major and Urban Education minor. Her interest in the SNF Paideia Fellows Program stems from her interest in learning to navigate difficult conversations that arise in spaces where change happens.
Gretel is interested in and actively working towards addressing education and health inequities. As a student in the same public school district in St. Paul, MN for 11 years, Gretel experienced firsthand the importance of inclusive curriculum. During her senior year of high school, amidst an increase in racial incidents and faculty awareness brought upon by George Floyd’s murder, Gretel saw educators who were willing to go beyond their training and advocate for students. Gretel co-founded a student equity coalition her senior year in which she learned about the importance of navigating curricular conflict. At Penn, she has continued to explore the concept of education al equity in her academic and community-based learning. “This semester, I am continuing to explore the nuances of working directly in a school setting, especially with students in city schools through EDUC202, an academically based service course on education policy in relation to Sayre, a Philadelphia high school. Through developing the research content for my proposal and collaborating with Sayre students, I have a renewed appreciation and energy to explore the trials and tribulations of our education system.”
Gretel is also interested in public health equity and during her first semester at Penn became a research assistant for PhillyCEAL (a Penn Nursing led initiative) on combating COVID-19 disparities. “Growing up in Minnesota, I was unfamiliar with the inner workings of Philadelphia’s health department and the relationship to the communities it serves. In working directly under Annenberg Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Andy Tan, I focus on identifying COVID-19 related injustices, such as lack of access or information on vaccines and testing.” Through PhillyCEAL, Gretel advises Philly-centered healthcare organizations on developing culturally appropriate communication intervention.
As an SNF Paideia Fellow, Gretel looks forward to continuing to fine-tune her skills, theoretical understanding, and practice of dialogue across difference. She also is eager to engage with a cohort of other Penn students equally committed to being responsive leaders in their communities.