And the winner is...

Urban Studies Fieldwork 2014 Goes Visual

Students in URBS300, the Urban Studies Fieldwork course, selected the best of their class’s short documentary films as winners of the first ever “Urbie Awards” (our equivalent to the Oscars). While in the past, Fieldwork students presented a written account of what they learned in their internships and presented to their fellow classmates via a poster session, this year’s group accepted the challenge to use film as a medium. Urban Studies students rose to the occasion, each creating a 3-5 minute short documentary. 


Reflecting the range of internships and students’ imaginations, the films were each quite unique. Some students put themselves in their videos in various ways – leading the viewer through a house as we learned what to keep in mind in purchasing a house, skillfully illustrating the different software tools that planners use, walking a food cart through an urban supermarket in evaluating the access to healthy food. Others used archival footage to historicize the lessons of their internships, showing, for example, the difference between old and new manufacturing in the city. Many interviewed people in their offices, interspersing photos and clips to illustrate and enliven the words. Several included humor to temper the seriousness of the lessons learned – for example, showing the “dark side” of real estate with a clip of a character from the film Glengarry Glen Ross noting that the field takes “brass balls.”

Out of the class of forty-three students (in four sections), their classmates chose fourteen as the top films. On April 28, 2014, the last night of class, the instructors announced the winners and presented the awards in each section and then we watched the winning films.

These are winners and their internship sites: 

Jenna Goldstein -- Mastery Charter School
Samantha Osaki -- Education Law Center
Jenny Chen -- Amy Hillier
Melanie Young -- Mayor’s Office of Education
Nolan Burger -- Center City Proprietor’s Association
Jack Washington -- Esperanza
Alin Hanessian -- LIFT
Jack Park -- May 8 Consulting
Jordan Hillier -- Olin Studios
Marlie Winslow -- Brown & Keener Urban Design
Daniella Castillo -- Interface Studio Architects
Estee Einhorn -- Iron Stone Strategic Capital Partners
Qingying Xia -- CBRE Real Estate Group
Jennifer Preys -- Community Legal Services of Philadelphia