Fellows & Projects 2016-2017

Tochi Ajiwe, UT Southwestern Medical School

Ajiwe is addressing nicotine dependence among homeless populations in Dallas by expanding a smoking cessation program for men at a local men’s homeless shelter to include relaxation techniques. The program will educate men on the long-term effects of smoking, provide group therapy and relaxation classes for those seeking to quit, and provide follow-up resources and tools for further support. Men who attend the classes will be encouraged to set a “quit date” when they will stop smoking and will be guided through a process of mentally preparing for withdrawal and relapse.

Community Site: Union Gospel Mission, Calvert Place Men’s Shelter

Joyce Brooks, Southern Methodist University

Brooks is addressing the issue of unemployment in the city of Conroe, Texas.   Special emphasis will be placed on developing job readiness skills for unemployed persons and connecting them with employers in the area for job placement.  

Community Site: Community Development Program, Union Center African Methodist Episcopal Church 


Athena Davies, Texas Woman’s University

Davies is addressing skin cancer and other skin disorders in Dallas by providing education and awareness on skin cancer and other skin disorders in the homeless and underserved of Dallas.  In addition to education, the project will also provide skin cancer screenings and assist with referrals when needed.  The main focus of the project will be to enhance the understanding of general risk factors of skin cancer and promote behavioral changes to prevent skin cancer in the future. 

Community Site: The Salvation Army



Hillary Evans, UT Southwestern Medical School

Evans is addressing college and career readiness through a summer program preparing high school sophomores-seniors for undergraduate (4 year) education, community college, post-school occupations, and trainings. The program will last for 8 weeks throughout the summer and be open to a group of 30 students within the zip code served by Brother Bills. During the school year, she will have monthly meetings with the students to discuss where they are with their plans and how they want to proceed.

Community Site: Brother Bill’s Helping Hand Clinic


Krystal McDaniel, Texas Christian University

McDaniel is addressing diminished school readiness in Central Fort Worth, Texas by establishing a parent training program for preschool through kindergarten aged children in the Morningside community. Parent trainings will emphasize communication strategies that enrich parent-child interactions and will incorporate ways to embed these strategies into everyday activities. Additionally, the program will offer free hearing screenings for all child participants. Ultimately, the project will educate families on the importance of hearing health and promote how the quality of parent-child interactions facilitates childhood language development, which can influence future literacy skills among the children who participate.

Community Site: Miller Speech and Hearing Clinic and Morningside Children’s Partnership


Haley Mowdy, Texas Woman’s University

Mowdy is addressing rhetorical self-advocacy, long-term financial security, and health care access by providing free, one-on-one writing tutoring to Denton students grades 6-12 in the areas of academic, professional, and creative writing, geared towards setting students up for lifelong academic and professional success. This program aims to give students the academic confidence to succeed in their work for school while preparing them for college through assistance with admissions essays and standardized testing help through the guidance of trained collegiate tutors who also benefit in their learning outcomes. Most importantly, the free services can help to bridge the resource gap that currently makes it significantly more difficult for low income and minority students to achieve the same levels of long-term success. Community Site: The Koan School


Elesha Roberts, University of Texas, Arlington

Roberts is addressing hypertension among community dwelling African American older adults living on the east side of San Antonio by establishing a health program to improve blood pressure and promote healthy lifestyle practices. This program will help individuals build lasting relationships, increase their knowledge about hypertension, and teach methods that can be used to promote healthy lifestyle practices. Participants will be assigned a peer mentor, also known as a health accountability partner, that will encourage them to participate in activities that promote healthy lifestyles and workshops designed to improve blood pressure.

Community Site: Dellcrest Church of Christ

Chloe Rogers, Texas Woman’s University

Rogers is addressing colorectal cancer in the Oak Cliff region of Dallas, Texas by implementing the “Make Your Bottom a Top Priority” program for men and women ages 40-75. The program intends to address the community need for access to adequate health information and health resources to prevent colorectal cancer within their community. Equally, the program aims to promote proper physical activity and nutritional practices to reduce the risks of colorectal cancer. Additionally, in providing community awareness and working with prominent non-profits focused on colon cancer, the program will not only strive to build a network of community support and resources for colon cancer, but also create a sense of empowerment among all who are impacted by the disease.

Community Site: Oak Cliff Family YMCA

Margaret Tolman, Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing

Tolman will be implementing a volunteer doula program for underserved pregnant women in Dallas, TX.  The program aim is for volunteer doulas to provide emotional and physical comfort to women throughout their labor and delivery process. Doulas have immense documented benefits of decrease length of labor, decrease rates of cesarean delivery, decreasing need for pain medicine, and increasing childbirth satisfaction.

Community Site: Lover’s Lane Birth Center