Welcome, Summer Researchers!

June 22, 2022

We are so pleased to welcome a new cohort of summer researchers to PPEH! These interns, about whom you can learn more about below, will engage with our My Climate Story initiative to create and establish Climate Classrooms in the Philadelphia School District High Schools and to cultivate emergent international partnerships. Fellows will collaborate with current and prospective community partners, including Cosmic Writers and our Climate Champion high school teachers, and develop public engagements, including lesson plans and field trips. Welcome, team!


A person with long brown hair stands in front of a tree. They are smiling and wearing a green shirt..

Emma Fogel (she/they) is a student in Penn’s Graduate School of Education in the Education, Culture, and Society M.S.Ed. program. Her master’s thesis focuses on environmental empathy, and how environmental education that promotes deep care for and a sense of oneness with the natural world can be a valuable strategy for tackling climate change. Emma is particularly interested in exploring how narrative and storytelling can cultivate environmental empathy and facilitate environmentally-conscious action. 

A person with long brown hair stands in front of a house. They are smiling and wearing a blue dress..

Emma Davey (she/they) is a rising sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences and plans to study Political Science or Urban Studies. Emma grew up in Orlando, Florida and loves to hike and read in their free time. During their freshman year, Emma worked as a mentor in the Community School Student Partnerships program through the Netter Center, and developed a passion for teaching and education. Emma has expressed that this program not only combines their love of nature and education, but it does so in a very personal way— that is, through experiences and stories. Emma believes that it is through these intimate connections that the greatest changes will be made in the world.

A person with short hair stands in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. They are smiling and wearing a leather jacket.

Ikym Simon (he/they) is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying Health and Societies, with a concentration in Health Policy and Law and a minor in Consumer Psychology. They grew up in Philadelphia, in the Point Breeze section of the city. They have long been interested in how one’s environment influences one’s well being and capacity to obtain and cultivate health on both personal and communal levels. Some of their research interests include health equity, population health, and health and environmental policy. Ikym was drawn to PPEH’s commitment to arts-driven approach to cultivating personal experiences with climate change, in ways that both connect humans to care without inciting fear or distance that leads to inaction.

A woman sits in tall grass and flowers. She is wearing glasses and a gray tshirt.

Rachel Swym (she/her) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2022 with a degree In English Creative Writing and minors in Consumer Psychology and Environmental Humanities. She is fascinated with the broad question of how to communicate psychologically effectively and convincingly—and thinks answering this question in regards to climate change, technology’s impact on health, and other international issues of safety is a pressing concern. PPEH’s commitment to accessible and multimodal climate communication drew her to the department and their My Climate Story project. When not writing, Rachel can be found thrifting, embroidering, and keeping her cat out of her cactuses—unsuccessfully.