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GCSW Students Named Albert Schweitzer Fellows

 

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January 10, 2022

(HOUSTON, TX) - MSW Students Tanner Raab (left) and Laura Reid (right) have been selected to serve as fellows for the Houston-Galveston Chapter of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.

The fellowship is "dedicated to training the next generation of professionals to serve and empower vulnerable people to build healthier communities and live healthier lives."

Tanner's fellowship project is with Northwest Assistance Ministries & Meals on Wheels and Laura's project is with the University of Houston Wellness Center.

We spoke with both Tanner and Laura about why this fellowship opportunity will expand their chosen career paths. 

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Name: Tanner Raab
Expected Graduation Year:
(MSW '22)

The mission of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is to "prepare the next generation of professionals who will serve and empower vulnerable people to live healthier lives and create healthier communities." Why is this mission important to strive for in today's society?

The constant bombardment of the message that our people and nation are fracturing is everywhere. The distance and disconnection between individuals are only increasing. It is increasingly important to turn to the domain of health, broadly defined, to mend this fracture and bridge the gaps. Significant change can only occur if the foundations of one's health and well-being are maintained and supported. Empowering vulnerable populations to lead healthier lives and guiding others in this mission is a critical necessity for rebuilding the lost sense of community in our current society. 

What do you hope to gain by the end of this experience?

Above all else, I hope to gain deeper connections to future healthcare professionals outside of my discipline. Additionally, I hope that this experience will further hone my program evaluation and implementation abilities. 

What has been a highlight of your time at the GCSW thus far?

One thing that has stood out to me has been the availability of the GCSW's professors to meet outside of the classroom. While no one meeting has been a particular highlight, this cumulative experience has vastly improved my post-graduate journey. 

Who is someone that inspires you, and why?

It seems wrong to suggest someone else beyond the person whom the fellowship is named after. Dr. Albert Schweitzer was an influential and inspirational figure in healthcare. While I have only started to learn about Dr. Albert Schweitzer at the start of this year, I continue to be amazed by his accomplishments, consequential legacy, and the incredible one-liners he has produced. Within each of our fellowship's weekly updates, we get a different inspirational quote to boost our endeavors for the days to come, and some of them are genuine gems.

I will include a few below: 

  • "There are only three ways to teach a child: the first is by example, the second is by example, the third is by example."
  • "Train yourself to never put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude."
  • "Seek always to do some good, somewhere."
  • "Every patient carries his or her own doctor inside."

What do you hope to accomplish once you graduate?

Once I graduate, I hope to enter the behavioral healthcare field and engage in individual and group therapy, working with adults. 

Anything else you would like to share?

I have loved my field placement so far. My time at the Baylor Psychiatry Clinic has been precious, and I am incredibly grateful to have been placed there. 

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Name: Laura Reid
Expected Graduation Year:
(MSW '22)
Pronouns:
she/hers

The mission of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is to "prepare the next generation of professionals who will serve and empower vulnerable people to live healthier lives and create healthier communities." Why is this mission important to strive for in today's society? 

This mission is critical to strive for because professionals must understand and address how racism, economic inequality, and other social and structural determinants of health perpetuate health inequities and disparities in vulnerable communities. Because these issues are so complex and may present differently in various communities, professionals have to be prepared to work in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams to develop and tailor solutions that maximize benefits for and minimize harm to communities. Being competent is embedded into the ideals of all health-related professions, including social work. Social workers and other professionals must contribute to developing innovative and sustainable solutions that ensure holistic health and wellness are a reality for all communities

Congrats on being named an Albert Schweitzer Fellow. What do you hope to gain by the end of this experience? 

Thank you! By the end of this experience, I hope to gain insight and knowledge on how to successfully apply my transferable skills to any role so that I can break into the international social work sphere. With guidance from my community and academic mentors, I hope to gain experience managing and mentoring other UH students serving as Cougar Peer Educators through the UH Wellness Center.

I look forward to becoming a Fellow for life.

What has been a highlight of your time at the GCSW thus far?

One of the highlights of my time at the GCSW thus far has been that I had the opportunity to complete 1002 field hours during my generalist field placement at Legacy Community Health, which allowed me to get certified as a Community Health Worker. In 2020, I decided to transition from a career in teaching to a career in social work, and the opportunities and networks I have had access to at the GCSW in the last 18 months make me confident that I made the right decision.

Who is someone that inspires you, and why? 

Anyone who has the confidence and courage to be unapologetic about their authentic selves inspires me. I am fortunate to have people like this in my life who have challenged me to live as a "human being" instead of a "human doing."

What do you hope to accomplish once you graduate? 

Once I graduate, I hope to earn my LMSW and pursue a career in international social work, focusing on global SRHR (sexual and reproductive health and rights). I hope to have the resources and opportunity to visit every continent on the globe one day.

Anything else you would like to share? 

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a Schweitzer Fellow. I encourage all GCSW students to get involved on campus and in the community. My experience at the GCSW has been infinitely better because of the people I have connected with within the short time I have been here. If you are reading this and doing international social work or public health work, I would love to connect!