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Four UTSD students are selected as Albert Schweitzer Fellows for 2019-2020

Published: December 20, 2019 by Rhonda Whitmeyer

Albert Schweitzer Fellows for 2019-20 from UTSD include (clockwise from top left) dental students Lejla Zoronojic and Mohammad Eyad Albaba, along with dental hygiene students Vishwa Bhatt and Kristen Valenzuela.
Albert Schweitzer Fellows for 2019-20 from UTSD include (clockwise from top left) dental students Lejla Zoronojic and Mohammad Eyad Albaba, along with dental hygiene students Vishwa Bhatt and Kristen Valenzuela.

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Houston Galveston will mentor 37 fellows from UTHealth Houston in its 2019-20 class, including four from UTHealth School of Dentistry.

Dental students Lejla Zoronojic and Mohammad Eyad Albaba will provide oral health screenings and education seminars to the refugee community in Houston at five separate locations to promote refugees’ overall wellness and health.

At Memorial Hermann TIRR, dental hygiene students Kristen Valenzuela and Vishwa Bhatt will work with spinal cord injury patients and their families/caregivers, teaching oral hygiene instruction and myofunctional therapy skills to promote a more independent lifestyle.

The 37 fellows from UTHealth are among approximately 300 other 2019-20 Schweitzer fellows at 15 program sites throughout the U.S., partnering with local community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong mentored service projects that improve the health and well-being of underserved people. The fellowship also provides mentoring to develop lifelong service leadership skills in accordance with Albert Schweitzer’s message of service. Schweitzer was a Nobel Peace Prize awardee, physician, and humanitarian.

Each fellow commits to 200 hours of service work during their fellowship year through a partnership with a local nonprofit agency, where they develop and implement a sustainable project that provides a minimum of 100 hours of direct service for the target group.

Upon completion of their year, the participants become Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in and committed to addressing the health needs of underserved people.

The fellowship invites UTHealth graduate students to consider applying to be a Schweitzer Fellow for the upcoming academic year.  Contact ASFHG Executive Director Gabrielle Hansen, PhD for more information.  Applications are accepted through mid-February, but those interested are encouraged to discuss the proposed project with Hansen and learn more about the year of service before applying.

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