Fellows & Projects 2020-2021

Tyler Jean Dukes, Texas Christian University, English Literature/Medical Humanities (Ph.D.)
Dukes is providing evidence-based childbirth education and birth support in Fort Worth and across the U.S. by contributing her skills to Evidence Based Birth (EBB) and building The Fort Worth Doula Project from the ground up. Both EBB and The Fort Worth Doula Project aim to provide evidence-based, and historically-informed information to birthing individuals, their families, and birth workers. Dukes will provide birthing individuals with a fact-based, contextual understanding of childbirth, so that they can make informed decisions about future birthing experiences, or make sense of previously experienced births through her work with EBB. The goal of the Fort Worth Doula Project is to improve birthing individuals’ access to information about doulas in Fort Worth, and to do so in a comprehensive, unbiased, and educational manner. Ultimately, increasing childbirth education and access to doula support, therefore, leading to better birth outcomes.
Community Sites: Evidence Based Birth & The Fort Worth Doula Project

Leslie Ekpe, Texas Christian University, Higher Education Leadership (Ph.D.)
Ekpe is addressing health and wellness for adolescents in the Fort Worth community by implementing a mentorship program that addresses the three “P” used to excel student athletes: persistence, patience and practice. In addition to providing opportunities for high school student athletes to be physically active, the project will also incorporate post-secondary education elements that provide resources on continuing The overarching objective of my project is to promote community awareness of choices, pathways, and outcomes for higher education. Ultimately, the program will aim not foster positive physical activity, but also to build beneficial mentoring relationships and generate a greater sense of determination and persistence among the participating adolescent boys and girls.
Community Site: Fort Worth Children’s Partnership

Rhonda Hodge, Southern Methodist University, MLS
Hodge is addressing the issue of food insecurity within the student body community of Paul Quinn College, located in the southern sector of Dallas. Located in a federally recognized food desert, Paul Quinn educates primarily minority students, many from underserved, under-resourced, and underprivileged backgrounds. The Quinnite Student Food Pantry will strive to help alleviate the added burden of adequate healthy and nutritious food options, outside of their budget or immediate neighborhood.
Community Site: Paul Quinn College

Joella Ibe, Nursing (MSN)
Ibe is addressing the incidence of STIs, teenage pregnancies, and positive self-image reported among adolescent girls from the local community. The “Love First” program for adolescent girls will not only teach adolescent girls about STIs, safe sex practices, and self-care, but also foster positive self-image, reinforcing the theme of support and unity. Ultimately, the program will aim to promote the betterment of emotional and sexual health and overall well-being among the adolescent girls who participate.
Community Site: Manifest Igniting Your Purpose

Lindsay Johnson, UT Southwestern, Biomedical Engineering (Ph.D.)
Johnson is establishing a yoga and mindfulness program to serve a adults in recovery from substance abuse and mental health related issues. Movement and breath will be taught as a tool to calm the mind and lower stress levels. Further, yoga postures will be taught as tools to tolerate the uncomfortable feelings and sensations of the body, that when not controlled can lead to relapse. In addition to helping lower stress levels, the program will incorporate workshops related to caring for the mind and body such as mental health, proper nutrition and sleep. Overall, the program will encourage participants to take a more active role in maintaining their own physical and mental health and provide healthy tools to manage feelings of stress and anxiety.
Community Site: Nexus Recovery

Shayla Jordan, Southern Methodist University, Divinity/Higher Education (M.Div/M.Ed.)
Jordan's project will be working with immigration, asylum-seeking, and undocumented community in Richardson, TX. She has partnered with Arapaho UMC and will be coming alongside and expanding the services they currently offer. Jordan will act in a variety of roles such as case manager and community resource person to address the unmet needs of the community. The project will aim to offer and inform the community about their resources and options when addressing healthcare needs. The project will be executed through appointments at legal meetings, partnering with the local school district, and going door-to-door in the neighborhood Arapaho has identified as high in immigrant, asylum-seeking, and undocumented families.
Community Site: Arapaho UMC

Alison Liu, UT Southwestern, Medicine (MD)
Liu is addressing healthcare access in DFW by establishing a patient navigator program to help bridge disparities among individuals experiencing homelessness. Teams of trained student volunteers will 1) follow a caseload of patients from Center of Hope, assisting in long-term navigation of the healthcare system, and 2) offer short-term assistance to patients who receive acute referrals at Calvert Place, ensuring linkage into follow-up care. The program will also work with community organizations to consolidate resources, services, and long-term support in a comprehensive resource database for individuals experiencing homelessness.
Community Site: Union Gospel Mission

Breanna Mask, Texas Woman’s University, School Psychology (SSP)
Breanna is addressing mental health and school safety of LGBTQ+ youth and their families in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by conducting a series of trainings for educators and medical professionals. In addition to training educators in how to improve classroom safety, the program will empower LGBTQ+ families to advocate for themselves while navigating the school system.
Community Site: Outlast Youth

Julie Rauer, UT Dallas, Telecommunications Engineering (Ph.D.)
Rauer is improving iPhone and Android smartphone technical skills within the Dallas / Fort Worth area among older adults. Ultimately, the program will aim not only to foster positive attitudes and behaviors related to iPhone or Android phone usage, but also to build strong relationships and engender a broader sense of self-confidence, perseverance, and empowerment among the seniors and their families who participate.
Community Site: Senior Source

Meghana Reddy, UT Southwestern, Medicine (MD)
Reddy is addressing disparities in health literacy in Dallas by creating a health workshop series for residents of a local women’s shelter. The workshops will address health topics that the female residents have a particular interest in and will be led by local experts on the particular topic. Additionally, the program will include small group health coaching for women interested in setting health goals and making positive behavior modifications. Ultimately, the program aims to lessen the health literacy gap that unhoused populations are more susceptible to face and empower these women to make informed decisions about their health behaviors.
Community Site: Union Gospel Mission Center of Hope

Whitney Stuard, UT Southwestern, Medicine/Biomedical Sciences (MD/Ph.D.)
Stuard is addressing the need for educational activities for homeless children in shelters by establishing a “STEM Educational Empowerment Course” for early adolescent children at the Dallas local community shelter, Center of Hope. In addition to creating fun and educational activities to foster children’s excitement and a positive attitude towards learning, the program will incorporate educational development elements to engage families of these students in learning best practices for their children to be successful in school. Additionally important, this project will provide outstanding educational opportunities and a solid platform for these children to build upon as they continue through school.
Community Site: Union Gospel Mission Center of Hope

Harini Suresh, UT Southwestern, Medicine (MD)
Suresh is addressing veteran health literacy in Denton County by establishing monthly health literacy workshops at the Mullins Transitional House for Female Veterans. The workshops will cover a wide range of topics from women’s and mental health to skin and preventative health. Workshops will help provide community and VA resources for residents to access healthcare and treatment. In addition, one-on-one coaching sessions will encourage participants to set personalized health-betterment goals and build a structured plan for achieving them.
Community Site: Mullins Transitional Home for Female Veterans