Fellows & Projects 2018-2019

Kathryn Anderson, University of Texas, Dallas

Anderson is working to promote the quality of life in Collin County by helping design and implement a college readiness program for first generation and low income college applicants. The program will offer 14 biweekly seminars and the option for one-on-one mentorship to assist students and their parents with the application process. This program hopes to help prepare students for a healthy and productive college experience.

Community Site: Assistance Center of Collin County



Janie Cao, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Cao is addressing childhood obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes at TJ Rusk Middle School by teaching middle school students about healthy eating habits and helping them develop their leadership skills. Partnering with a teacher, she will teach a sixth grade leadership class through lessons that cover what constitutes a healthy diet and help them design their own nutrition advocacy community service project.

Community Site: TJ Rusk Middle School



Ashlee Hansen Bell, University of Texas, Arlington

Hansen Bell is addressing maternal morbidity and mortality in Dallas/Fort Worth by establishing educational workshops to empower pregnant and postpartum women in the local community. Her project, titled Expectant Self-Care to Thrive: Educating and Empowering Moms (ESTEEM), will include workshops covering expectations in the immediate postpartum period, self-care at home, and potential complications to include warning signs requiring attention. Factors that increase a woman’s risk of complications will be discussed as well as lifestyle changes that can be made while still pregnant to improve outcomes. In addition to these topics, the program will educate and empower women to self-advocate should complications arise. Ultimately, the program aims to help women better understand what is normal and what is not post-delivery and get needed help to decrease maternal morbidity and death.

Community Site: Catholic Charities of Dallas

Jeffrey Li, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Li is addressing health literacy gaps in West Dallas by creating a comprehensive health curriculum at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand. In addition to creating new courses such as back and orthopedic health and skincare and summer safety, he will work with community members individually through one-on-one health coaching to help each individual reach their personal health targets. A major goal of this project is to give the West Dallas community a level of foundational knowledge that will empower them to make better decisions regarding their health, pursue lifestyles that encourage physical and mental wellness, and make the most of local health resources.

Community Site: Brother Bill’s Helping Hand

Stephanie Lopez-Neyman, Texas Woman’s University

Lopez-Neyman is addressing community-level food environment on individual dietary behavior among adults in CitySquare Destination Home program in Dallas, TX. The program, Living Well in My Food Environment, provides weekly hands-on health and nutrition education activities, group discussions on the relationship between diet and various health outcomes, and individual coaching on how to adjust behaviors and attitudes about nutrition and health.

Community Site: CitySquare



Priya Mathew, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Mathew is addressing nutrition education in Dallas by partnering with Crossroads Community Services food pantry and its Community Distribution Partners to provide interactive cooking demonstrations. These demonstrations will follow the evidence-based culinary medicine initiative. The program will aim to help people take control of their health by equipping participants with a knowledge of how to cook high-quality meals on a budget, how to be efficient in the kitchen, which foods can help prevent or treat disease, and food mindfulness.

Community Site: Royal Haven Baptist Church


Thanos Rossopoulos, UT Southwestern Medical Center


Rossopoulos is improving health and wellness services at Union Gospel Mission’s Calvert Place Men’s Shelter. This goal will be accomplished through an expansion of the clinic’s outreach programs. Specifically, he is working to improve the current smoking cessation program, incorporating a fitness class, and improving health education through implementing of a health and screening fair. Ultimately, the program will aim to foster health and wellness habits at the shelter by offering several avenues for the men to participate in and empowering them to lead healthier lives.

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


Darsh Shah, University of Texas, Dallas

Shah is implementing a health education program for high school youth focused on three important topic areas: mental health, sexual assault, and substance abuse. Goals for this project including increasing participant understanding of each topic area, decreasing stigma surrounding sexual assault and mental health, identifying and preventing harassing behaviors, and teaching students to become active bystanders in helping mitigate these issues in their peer groups. This project will ultimately provide students with the necessary knowledge and tools to maintain good mental health, avoid substance abuse, and identify and prevent sexual assault.


Tina Tran, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Tran is addressing healthy child development and literacy in Dallas by conducting child developmental screenings (vision, speech, hearing, and developmental milestones) for children residing at a women’s and children’s shelter. The objective is to identify children at risk for developmental delays and connect them and their parents to appropriate medical resources. In addition, Tran will also expand the Reach Out and Read program, a clinic-based literacy program designed to promote early learning and problem solving. Ultimately using this multi-pronged, multi-disciplinary approach, the program will aim not only to support at-risk children with medical needs, but also empower them with self-confidence and perseverance to approach any problem.

Community Site: Union Gospel Mission Center of Hope

Vanessa Uzoh, Southern Methodist University

Uzoh is addressing nutrition and a lack of physical activity by creating a wellness program. Her program aims to increase physical activity and healthy eating in north Dallas young adults aged 18-35. In addition, Uzoh is partnering with local leadership in the area and church ministry to increase her reach within the community.

Community Site: Covenant Church



Camille Walker, Southern Methodist University

Walker is addressing food insecurity in the local Dallas area through a community garden. This project seeks to address access to fresh food in by teaching local teenagers ages agricultural and entrepreneurship skills and subsequently planting a sustainable community garden. During meetings, students will participate in educational and team building activities geared toward education in agriculture and entrepreneurship. Through using a social entrepreneurship model, this curriculum seeks to foster entrepreneurial interest among participants throughout the year in order to increase the number of students who feel confident they could one day start a small business.

Community Site: Owenwood Farm & Neighbor Space, White Rock United Methodist Church

Amy Xia, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Xia is addressing the mental, emotional, and physical health of homeless women and children at Center of Hope by implementing an educational class at Center of Hope on parenting, educational play for the children, and/or health literacy. Goals for this project include creating and implementing a community needs assessment to focus the curriculum on the greatest needs, developing the curriculum for the class and altering it based on participant feedback, and training new volunteers to ensure the continuity and sustainability for the project.

Community Site: Union Gospel Mission Center of Hope