Community Engagement

Igniting Passion

For one OU alumna, getting involved stirred a passion that continues to impact our community

A woman with her hand in her pocket, smiling, with people sitting at a table behind her.

Photo by Robert Hall.

School of Health Sciences

icon of a calendarMay 17, 2021

icon of a pencilBy Rebbecca Steketee

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Making an impact in the community is important to Olivia Schwager, SHS ’15, who has been committed to outreach since her first days on Oakland University’s campus.

When Schwager started at OU, she became involved in the campus community through her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma. Initially, she helped with formal recruitment of new members but as her talents and positive energy became realized, she found herself in more important leadership positions. “Our sisterhood is extremely special because everyone is always looking out for each other and wanting to help each other succeed,” Schwager says.

It was through her sorority sisters that Schwager first heard about the Global Medical Brigades (GMB) and the impactful work they do. GMB is an international group that coordinates student volunteers and medical professionals to travel to remote, rural and under-resourced communities endeavoring to implement sustainable health care systems and to educate the community on preventative care. In her senior year,

Schwager traveled with a group to Panama where they assisted medical professionals and provided clinical care in health education, dentistry, pharmacy and family medicine. Schwager counts her time teaching the children about dental hygiene as some of her fondest memories. “I would say working with this organization helped me become more passionate about health education because so much can be prevented if people just knew the ‘why’ or ‘how,’”
she explains.

Today, Schwager works as a well-being consultant at Health Alliance Plan (HAP) where she plans, implements and evaluates health and well-being programs for corporate clients and their employees. In this role, Schwager continues to help people achieve health and wellness on a daily basis. Additionally, she is now the owner of Stretch-n-Grow of Macomb County where she continues to pursue her passion for promoting and teaching health education to children.

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