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Changing the World One Neighborhood at a Time: Nursing students named fellows of Austin civic engagement program

Posted: Nov. 26, 2013

Nursing students Clay Clark and Brittany Castañeda were recently selected as fellows of the Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement–City Hall and will join other UT Austin students in assisting Austin neighborhoods through community service projects starting in spring.

Brittany Castañeda and Clay Clark

Students selected as fellows of the program will have the opportunity to engage in discussions with residents and neighborhood associations in communities across the city and organize alongside residents to explore and define community priorities for revitalization. Advised by community and city leaders, LCCE-City Hall fellows will develop community-building, facilitation and team-building skills.

“Brittany and I are very much looking forward to working with our city’s residents and leaders in the hopes of improving their — and in turn — our lives,” said Clay, a senior from Knox City, Texas, and president of the University of Texas Nursing Students Association (UTNSA). “We’re both very grateful for this opportunity and hope to represent the School of Nursing well as we bring a unique, health-focused approach to this community project.”

Brittany, a senior from San Antonio, agrees. “After spending last summer as an extern at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., I had the opportunity to engage daily with others who need help in their day-to-day activities. Learning to be a nurse means helping wherever you see a need.”

“Both Clay and Brittany have demonstrated a high level of engagement with the community through the outreach and networking pillars of their UTNSA leadership this year,” said Linda Murphy, RN, MS HEd, and UTNSA faculty advisor. “Their unwavering commitment to addressing the social determinants of health when serving populations is exemplary.”

The City Hall Fellows program is a joint project of the Longhorn Council for Civic Engagement (LCCE) and the City of Austin and designed to develop civic leaders among students across all disciplines at The University of Texas at Austin.

“Because of their training, I’m confident that our students will bring a thoughtful, proactive and caring approach to their service in Austin communities,” said Alexa Stuifbergen, dean of the UT Austin School of Nursing. “Their participation in this service project is just one more example of nursing going beyond the walls of hospitals.”