Find News and Events


IL: CCOM Students Earn Prestigious Schweitzer Fellowship

June 27, 2019

by Office of Communications

Two Midwestern University students have been selected for the nationally-recognized Schweitzer Fellowship, a program for graduate students who aspire to become lifelong leaders in community service. Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine students Fatima Hooda and Fariha Siddiquie will participate in the year-long service learning program that empowers Fellows to design and implement projects that help address the health needs of underserved Chicago communities.

For her service project, Ms. Hooda will partner with Heartland Alliance, Marjorie Kovler Center, to build a curriculum and develop workshops aimed at improving the quality of lives of immigrant survivors of politically sanctioned torture. "I will have the fortunate privilege of serving survivors of intentional torture. This particular community faces many barriers in achieving optimal health, from dealing with psychological trauma to finding economic stability," Hooda said.  

Ms. Siddiquie's project will initiate sexual health and literacy classes for at-risk Muslim women through the organization HEART Women and Girls, which promotes sexual health education and sexual violence prevention in Muslim communities through health education, advocacy, research, and training. The classes will address cultural and religious barriers for refugee, college age, and immigrant women. "In the Schweitzer Fellowship, I found a group of public health professionals who defined 'success' the same way as I always have-not to simply increase our own prominence and prestige, but to utilize these things to initiate real change in the world, especially for the underserved," Siddiquie shared.

Named in honor of humanitarian and Nobel laureate Albert Schweitzer, the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program encourages students to "make their lives their argument" by helping address unmet health needs among vulnerable Chicago residents. In collaboration with existing clinics, schools, social service agencies, and other community organizations, each Schweitzer Fellow provides 200 hours of direct service, separate from and in addition to their already demanding academic and clinical requirements. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, the program exposes Fellows to real-world interprofessional collaborative care and aims to develop lifelong leaders in service.

This year's 31 Fellows include students from 11 schools, 11 disciplines, and 20 academic programs, ranging from nursing to disability studies and public health. The exceptional class of Fellows was selected from a pool of many applicants through a competitive process. As new Schweitzer Fellows, Ms. Hooda and Ms. Siddiquie join the more than 600 Chicago Schweitzer program alumni who have provided over 120,000 hours of community service to more than 150 community groups over the course of the program's 20-year history.

More Information

For more information, please contact:
Office of Communications
630.515.7333 (IL) or 623.572.3353 (AZ)