Outgoing Schweitzer fellows reflect on their projects

You don’t need a white coat to heal the community, you just need listening ears: 14 Schweitzer Fellows conclude their year of service and launch their next chapter as leaders.

On Wednesday, April 25, Tulsa’s second cohort of Albert Schweitzer Fellows concluded their year of service at a celebration event at the Gilcrease Museum. The Schweitzer Fellowship’s aim is to address health gaps in Tulsa and develop leaders committed to ongoing efforts to improve health outcomes. Over 12 months, fellows design and implement 200-hour projects that address an unmet health need in Tulsa. Upon completion, fellows join a national fellows-for-life community that fosters continued learning, leadership development and support for ongoing work to move the needle on health outcomes.

The outgoing Schweitzer Fellowship cohort included four TU students — Emily Kibler (speech-language pathology), Mary Clancy (speech-language pathology), Devin Howell (fine art) and Leslie Briggs (law).

At the event, graduating fellows reflected on their experience, sharing insights about effective community-based work, anecdotes about increased self-efficacy and remarks about their deepened ties to Tulsa.  Here are some excerpts of fellow speeches:

“I learned that you don’t need a white coat to heal the community, you just need your listening ears.”

“I used to only see problems in the community. Now I look for solutions.”

“I now joke that I could run a nonprofit one day.”

“For my project to really work, I had to pivot from my original plan.”

“Tulsa now feels like home.”

“I had to take off my superhero cape.”

“I found my voice through the Schweitzer Fellowship.”

“If I knew then that I was this capable, I would have started a lot sooner.”

“People have started turning to me for answers about the community.”

Mary Clancy and Emily Kibler addressed literacy gaps in their Schweitzer Projects, Mary at Lindsey House and Emily with the Parent Child Center of Tulsa. Devin Howell introduced an art program at the Resonance Center for Women, and Leslie Briggs implemented a restorative justice program at Webster Middle School in partnership with Communities in Schools.

All four TU Schweitzer graduates said that they feel more deeply connected to the community and more confident in their own ability to lead community efforts.

The incoming class of Schweitzer Fellows includes six TU students — Alex Button (nursing), Erin Anderson and Katie Nelson (speech-language pathology), Alec Bracken and Sarah Young (law) and Mollie Rischard Kimrey (psychology). This group, along with six others from area graduate and professional degree programs, will showcase their work as Schweitzer Fellows at an April 2019 reception.