Tulsa Schweitzer Fellowship celebrates leadership and community service

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is a 12-month leadership and service program for Tulsa-area graduate and professional degree students who are passionate about addressing unmet health needs in the Tulsa area and sharpening their leadership skills. The fellowship is grounded in the legacy and philosophy of physician and humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer.

The Tulsa Schweitzer Fellowship is housed at The University of Tulsa Oxley College of Health Sciences. TU President Dr. Gerard P. Clancy began the effort to bring the fellowship to Tulsa in 2015 as part of his focus on community service and addressing health issues.

On May 1, 11 fellows graduated from the program and shared accounts of the work they had accomplished during the past year. Alumna Erin Anderson learned more about herself during her fellowship. She explained, “Although my fellowship year has come to an end, I am leaving with the tools necessary to continue leading projects that will make a difference in the city of Tulsa,” said Anderson, who now holds a masters degree in speech-language pathology from TU.

Graduating 2018-2019 cohort

“I strongly encourage other graduate students to take advantage of this experience, as not only do you get a chance to create something bigger than yourself, but the impact it has made on me will have a resounding effect forevermore. Take the leap, make something that will be sustained after your time is over, and I promise you will leave equipped with the confidence and desire to continue going into the world and creating change,” said Anderson.

Since its inception in 2015, the Fellowship has launched 30 health projects that range from medication adherence education for homeless adults to Erin Anderson’s project, which was a sibling support workshop series at the Little Lighthouse, a school for children with special needs. The majority of Schweitzer Fellowship projects get sustained past the Fellowship year.  When reflecting on accomplishments of this year’s graduating class and looking ahead to the incoming 11 Fellows, fellowship director Rachel Gold said  “this year’s Schweitzer Fellows have made great strides improving the health of Tulsans and have graduated from the Fellowship as leaders equipped to tackle health disparities for the long-haul. The Fellowship and the broader community are eager to see the impact that the incoming Fellows will make on the health of Tulsa in the coming year.”

Graduating Fellows’ projects, 2018-2019 cohort

Erin Anderson, Speech-Language Pathology
The University of Tulsa
Anderson partnered with Little Lighthouse to address the emotional needs of siblings of children with special needs. Little Lighthouse’s mission is to improve the quality of life for children with special needs, their families and their communities.

Alec Bracken, College of Law
The University of Tulsa
Bracken taught students at Will Rogers High School about their legal rights related to immigration and other topics most relevant to their lives. His project was in partnership with Communities in Schools.

Alex Button, Doctor of Nursing Practice
The University of Tulsa
Button’s project was based at the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, where he worked to improve the rate at which homeless adults with low health literacy took their medications.

Mollie Rischard Kimrey, Clinical Psychology
The University of Tulsa
Kimrey’s goal was to improve functioning and resiliency among children enrolled in a trauma-focused group psychotherapy program at Positive Changes, a day-treatment psychiatric facility.

Katie Nelson, Speech-Language Pathology
The University of Tulsa
Nelson’s project provided foundational literacy skills for children and families through individualized and hands-on educational tools. Her site partner was Communities in Schools at Kendall-Whittier Elementary School.

Brendon Glon, Counseling Psychology
Jess Westcott, Counseling Psychology
Oklahoma State University
Glon and Westcott’s project was at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. They created, implemented and supervised a mental health referral and helpline for LGBTQ+ Oklahomans and established a workshop series for peers and families.
 
Patrick Grayshaw, Human Development and Family Science
Oklahoma State University
In partnership with the North Tulsa Community Coalition, Grayshaw’s project was a Dialogue to Action program that allowed community members to come together to address their common health needs. The program involved a diverse group of residents to facilitate action planning and asset-based community development.

Iman Chaudhry, OU-TU School of Community Medicine
Ashley Sells, College of Allied Health

University of Oklahoma – Tulsa
Chaudhry and Sells provided exercise and wellness support to low-income Muslim women in Tulsa who were dealing with a variety of health and physical challenges. Their project, which was in partnership with the YWCA, gave participants the tools to take a more active role in their health.
 
Ashten Duncan, OU-TU School of Community Medicine and Public Health
University of Oklahoma – Tulsa
Duncan’s project leveraged hope in Tulsa’s chronically and transiently homeless in order to promote more successful transitions to stable housing situations. He partnered with the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma.

Incoming Fellows, 2019-2020 cohort

Incoming Fellows 2019-2020 cohort

The celebratory evening also welcomed 11 new Fellows for 2019-2020
Julianne Clark, University of Tulsa – Fine Art
Gabrielle Cozart, University of Tulsa  Speech-Language Pathology
Emily Gore, University of Tulsa – Speech-Language Pathology
Catherine (Cassie) McGough, University of Tulsa  Speech-Language Pathology
Autumn Slaughter, University of Tulsa  Clinical Psychology
Katelyn Willis, University of Tulsa College of Law
Rockolyn Daniels, University of Oklahoma Social Work
E’ula Green, University of Oklahoma Social Work
Trang Kieu, University of Oklahoma Medicine
Angela Clifton, Oklahoma State University Medicine
Toni Nigro, Oklahoma State University Medicine