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Congratulations to Robert M. Bennett, LISW, who has been selected as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow.  Albert Schweitzer’s message of service guides the Fellowship, and this year’s Fellow’s group consists of student professionals from across the university and Central Ohio.  The Fellows are dedicating the next year to influencing the social factors that impact health through programs they developed.

Bennett will provide leadership to a community garden in Olde Towne East, a neighborhood on the near eastside of Columbus, Ohio.  He is planning to meet immediate human need while providing educational programs.  Bennett will donate the produce from the community garden to local residents and social service organizations.  He received a $1,900 grant from The Franklin Park Conservatory, The Columbus Foundation, and Scotts Miracle Grow Company to support gardening activities.

Bennett’s scholarly research is at the intersection of poverty in the United States, community organizing, and social work pedagogy.  While acquiring specialized knowledge in each area, he is especially interested in how social workers can be trained to effectively intervene to change poverty in the United States.  Currently, there are over 44 million people living in poverty in the United States (US Census, 2013).

Bennett will join some 220 other 2013-14 Schweitzer Fellows at 13 program sites throughout the U.S. and one in Lambaréné, Gabon at the site of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital.  This year is the 100th anniversary year of the building of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné. The Albert Schweitzer Hospital continues to serve people in need, and it is a living monument to Dr. Schweitzer’s commitment to service and peace and his philosophy of Reverence for Life.

When Bennett completes his year of service, he will become a Schweitzer Fellow for Life and join the more than 2,700 Schweitzer alumni meeting the needs of vulnerable and underserved people.

The Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows Program was launched in 2011.  It is hosted and sponsored by The Ohio State University College of Medicine. More information is available at www.schweitzerfellowship.org/columbus.