Obama honors EMPOWER project

A delegation from UNMC's EMPOWER project was among 15 student groups honored by President Barack Obama on March 15 at the White House.

EMPOWER was established in 2008 as a partnership with the Women Center for Advancement and the Service Learning Academy of the College of Public Health. The program is run by an interprofessional student board.

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At the White House: Ruti Margalit, M.D.; Christine Hauschel; Sarah Jones; and Tessa Commers.
EMPOWER works to address health disparities of women affected by domestic violence while exposing students from all health professions to the relevant issues.

The UNMC project was among the national finalists in the White House's 2012 Campus Champions of Change Challenge, which highlighted U.S. student leaders engaged in extraordinary projects.

"The visit solidified our commitment to continue and engage with our community and assist our students in engaging and taking a leadership role in projects that address some of the most pressing issues in our city," said Ruti Margalit, M.D., director of the Service Learning Academy and an associate professor in the College of Public Health.

The White House reception included remarks by Obama and a panel discussion by leaders of the top five student projects. Below UNMC students reflect on the experience.

"It gives me courage to pursue passions that may seem unconventional because I now know, somewhere, that others are also fighting a similar fight." -- Tessa Commers, third-year medical student

"The sentiments expressed were refreshing and challenging. They left me wondering how I can measure success beyond myself." -- Sarah Jones, third-year medical student

"I felt honored to be included as a part of such an ambitious, motivated and talented group and left with incredible insight and inspiration to move EMPOWER to the next level." -- Christine Hauschel, MPH student


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March 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Congratulations for a great job!

Sara Pirtle
March 27, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Congratulations to this great group of women for this fine accomplishment!