2 TU students among first Schweitzer Fellows

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) has announced the selection of its inaugural class of Tulsa Schweitzer Fellows. Eleven graduate students from The University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that affect health and developing lifelong leadership skills. In doing so, they will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, for whom their fellowship is named.

ASF-Logo“We could not be more proud of our inaugural class of Schweitzer Fellows. There was great interest in the program, and we are excited to see what our talented students accomplish during the next 12 months,” said Rachel Gold, director of the Tulsa chapter of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. “We are confident that the Tulsa Schweitzer program will have a positive lasting effect on the health of communities in and around Tulsa as our fellows learn to serve and support vulnerable people in living healthier lives, and then take those skills with them when they establish themselves professionally as leaders in their fields.”

Schweitzer Fellows develop and implement service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities while fulfilling their academic responsibilities. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based health and/or social service organization. The Tulsa Schweitzer program’s inaugural class of fellows will address an array of health issues affecting a range of populations, from a parenting program for veterans to community building for teens who are deaf or hard of hearing to a wellness program for Tulsa-area Latinos living with chronic disease. Fellows come from many academic disciplines: medicine, occupational therapy, social work, psychology and other allied health fields.

Schweitzer Fellowships have an intensive leadership component, so that fellows can go on to inspire others to improve the health of those who experience barriers to care. Fellows work under the close guidance of community and academic mentors during their fellowship year.

“We are so pleased to bring The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship to Oklahoma. Our program has a ripple effect in communities as Schweitzer Fellows improve the lives not only of those they are directly serving but their circle of family and friends as well. So there is a lasting community impact,” said Sylvia Stevens-Edouard, executive director of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. “Additionally, the process of moving their fellowship projects from an initial concept to completion teaches Schweitzer Fellows valuable skills in working with others in allied fields. As Schweitzer Fellows develop professionally, this skill is critical to their ability to effect larger-scale change among vulnerable populations.”

The 11 Tulsa participants will join approximately 240 other 2016-17 Schweitzer Fellows working at program sites around the United States, as well as one in Lambaréné, Gabon, at the site of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital, founded by Schweitzer in 1913. Upon completion of their fellowship year, the 2016-17 Tulsa Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of more than 3,200 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in and committed to addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers.

The Tulsa Schweitzer program is based at The University of Tulsa and also is supported by the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. The Tulsa chapter is ASF’s 14th U.S.-based program. Additionally, ASF also has a program chapter based in Lambaréné, Gabon, at The Albert Schweitzer Hospital.

The 2016-17 Schweitzer Fellows from TU are:

  • James Scholl, clinical psychology, who will coordinate care for the medical and behavioral health concerns of underserved patients in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood and surrounding areas. His community sites are the True Blue Neighbors Behavioral Health Clinic and OU Bedlam Longitudinal Clinic.
  • Danielle Zanotti, clinical psychology, who will create and implement a program to help veterans strengthen parenting skills and gain developmentally appropriate knowledge about what to expect from their children. Her community site is the Coffee Bunker: A place for veterans to connect.

For more information, please contact Rachel Gold at 918-728-1652 or rachel-gold@utulsa.edu.