Meet the 2020-21 Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows!

Meet the 2020-21 Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows!

The Schweitzer Fellows Program supports and trains emerging health-focused graduate and professional students in creating and carrying out service projects to address unmet community needs. The Fellows carry out an April-to-April community service project of at least 200 service hours, with at least 100 hours involving direct client contact. Fellows partner with an existing community agency in the Columbus or Athens area and have both an academic and a community-based mentor.

The faculty director for the Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows Program is Lorraine Wallace, associate professor in the College of Medicine.


Photo of Jenifer Akinduro and Belle Benanzea-Fontem

Jenifer Akinduro and Belle Benanzea-Fontem

The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Community Site: TBD

Benanzea-Fontem and Akinduro created an initiative called 'Workin' it Out! Understanding wellness WITH your healthcare provider'. This program is designed to increase physical and mental health healthcare literacy and trust in minority women. These sessions will consist of workouts as well as group discussions about navigating the healthcare system, understanding the roles of your providers, and addressing prohibitive factors to healthy lifestyle change in everyday life all by the side of future providers.

Photo of Yang Chu and Cindy Ding

Yang Chu and Cindy Ding

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy

Community Site: National Church Residencies

Ding and Chu propose to promote health and well-being of the residents of primarily Asian independent living facilities in Franklin County, by designing and implementing interactive activities, providing health related presentations, and ultimately sharing companionship with the residents.

Photo of Katherine Kieninger

Katherine Kieninger

Ohio University Patton College of Education

Community Site: Northeast Ohio High Schools

Kieninger proposes to develop and deliver financial literacy courses to individuals participating in the Aspire Grant Program in Athens, Ohio.

Photo of Raven Lynch

Raven Lynch

The Ohio State University College of Social Work

Community Site: TBD

Lynch proposes an identity development program for multiracial, multicultural, interfaith, multilingual, transracially adopted, or any other adolescents that feel they struggle to balance and navigate belonging in conflicting identities. The program will be a once weekly, one hou r program for 10 weeks focused on different aspects of identity development to increase self-esteem and sense of belonging and decrease anxiety symptoms.

Jodie Makara

The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Community Site: Mozaic

Makara facilitates poetry writing workshops and resilience-based discussions for individuals who fall under the trans or queer umbrella, with an emphasis on serving people of color. These workshops will provide a creative outlet for queer youth and young adults to find confidence and community wherever they are.

Photo of Laurel Myers Hurst

Laurel Myers Hurst

The Ohio State University College of Nursing

Community Site: Talbot Hall Addiction Medicine (Wexner Medical Center)

Myers Hurst plans to form drumming groups among inpatient and outpatient clients at Talbot Hall Addiction Medicine of the Wexner Medical Center. The groups will deliver self-care and social and emotional skill building activities in a framework of drumming.

Photo of Angela Provenzano

Angela Provenzano

The Ohio State University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Community Site: Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center

Provenzano is addressing social support for kinship caregivers by leading an online support group. The group will meet once a week and address different psychoeducational topics followed by sharing and discussion. Topics could include but are not limited to dealing with trauma, compassion fatigue, addiction, financial resources and child education, especially during COVID-19. Provenzano will also interview a group member each week to conceptualize their story. At the end of project, Provenzano will tell the kinship caregiver's stories in a way to raise awareness about the struggles and lack of support of this population.

Photo of Ayah Shehata

Ayah Shehata

Ohio University - Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Site: US Together

Shehata proposes to create lessons and activities for refugees/immigrants on mindfulness-based stress reduction through US Together. The sessions aim to increase feelings of self-efficacy when coping with stress and taking care of one's mental wellbeing as well as provide social support.