Six WSSU Students Named Schweitzer Fellows

Dr. Peggy Valentine

Dr. Peggy Valentine

May 24, 2012

      Six students from Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) have been named to the 2012-13 class of North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellows and will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health and also developing lifelong leadership skills.

     “We are thrilled that six of the 29 graduate students selected for this year’s class of Fellows in North Carolina are from our university,” said Dr. Peggy Valentine, dean of WSSU’s School of Health Sciences.  “We had one of the first physical therapy students in the state to be selected in 2009 and last year we had two more physical therapy students participating in the program.  In addition to our four PT students in the 2012-2013 class, we also have the first two occupational therapy students in North Carolina to be selected.  

     “This recognition for the abilities of our students and of our programs means a great deal to all of us,” Valentine added.  “While we stress academic achievement, we also want our students to gain practical experience that allows them to understand the importance of giving back to the communities where they will live and work.”

    The Schweitzer Fellows from WSSU will be joining approximately 220 other graduate students at 12 program sites through the United States in partnering with local community-based organizations to develop and implement mentored service projects that improve the health and well-being of underserved people. Their projects are conducted in addition to their regular academic responsibilities.

 The WSSU students selected as Schweitzer Fellows and their service projects are:

  • Logan Barbour and Daniel Metzger, doctorial students in physical therapy, who will conduct pediatric development screenings, enroll children in health insurance, and work with their families to establish a medical home as an expansion of the work initiated through the WSSU Rams Know H.O.W. mobile clinic by Clinton Serafino and Timothy Serrano, 2011-2012 Schweitzer Fellows from WSSU.
  • Nnonyem D’Martin and Lesianelle King, physical therapy doctorial students, will conduct a dance and exercise program for underserved children ages 8 through 12 at the Winston Lake Family YMCA.
  • Charles Mullen and Chelsea Simpkins, occupational therapy graduate students who are Kate B. Reynolds Schweitzer Fellows, will work with the Area Agency on Aging to conduct fall prevention screenings through the mobile clinic and offer fall prevention education classes at senior centers in the community.

    Dr. Dorothy Bethea, professor and department chair, Dr. Megan Edwards and Dr. Darlene Perez-Brown will serve as mentors for the occupational therapy students. Dr. Dora Sole, clinical associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, will serve as mentors for the projects from that area.

    Established in 1992, the U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Program is designed to deliver immediate impact on the root causes of health inequities by partnering with community-based organizations on year-long, 200-hour service projects. The Fellowships’ leadership programming also develops health professionals who understand not only clinical issues, but also the social determinants of health.   Upon completion of their initial year, students become Schweitzer Fellows for Life with a commitment to addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their professional careers.  

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