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Three UTSD Students Named Schweitzer Fellows

Friday, May 16, 2014 - 12:30pm

Nicholas Ayoade

Alejandro Barrera

Brittany Gillard




Three University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston students are among 13 graduate students selected to be in the 2014-15 class of Houston-Galveston Albert Schweitzer Fellows. 

Nicholas Ayoade, Alejandro Barrera and Brittany Gillard will spend the next year developing and implementing service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities.

In doing so, they will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, MD, for whom the Fellowship is named. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based health and/or social service organization.  For Barrerra and Gillard, that will be Bering Omega Community Services, while Ayoade plans to work with Ruby L. Thompson Elementary School in Houston.

Ayoade will be instructing children on oral hygiene and nutrition. Additionally, he hopes to stimulate interest in math, science, and engineering through the use of science fair projects. His faculty mentors are Professor C.D. Johnson, DDS, MS, and Assistant Professor Ana Neumann, DDS, PhD.

 Barrera and Gillard will address the issue of dry mouth in patients suffering from HIV/AIDS by providing oral hygiene consultations and facilitating support groups aimed at empowering these patients to take charge of their oral health. Distinguished Teaching Professor Catherine Flaitz, DDS, MS, and Adjunct Associate Professor Mark Nichols, DDS, are faculty mentors for Barrera and Gillard.

About The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is improving the health of vulnerable people now and for the future by developing a corps of “Leaders in Service” — professionals skilled in creating positive change with and in our communities, our health and human service systems, and our world.

To date, nearly 3,000 Schweitzer Fellows have delivered approximately
500,000 hours of service to almost 300,000 people in need. Additionally, more than 100 Fellows have provided care at the 100-year-old Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Africa. Through this work and through the contributions of Fellows whose professional careers serve their communities, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship perpetuates the legacy and philosophy of physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer.