Swope, Lewis Named as 2014 Weir Fellows

Julie Lewis
Julie Lewis
Lexia Swope
Lexia Swope

April 23, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University students Lexia Swope ’15 and Julie Lewis ’16 have been named 2014 Weir Fellows by the University’s Action Research Center (ARC). The award offers fellowships valued up to $2,500 to students who successfully implement a project that makes a meaningful impact in the community.

Swope, a psychology and sociology double major from Springfield, Ill., created her program, Track Your Life, for the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal. “It is a healthy lifestyles program aimed at promoting and teaching youth to live and eat healthily, as well as exercise,” she said.

“I hope that this project inspires the kids to live healthier lives, and that they can set an example for their peers and families,” Swope said.
The fellowship helps provide healthy snacks, field trips and equipment. Swope will work at the Boys & Girls Club this summer to implement a new service learning program involving older students volunteering in the community. Swope is a member of Illinois Wesleyan’s women’s track and field team and the service organization Circle K International.

A native of Glenview, Ill., Lewis will use the fellowship for Mini Masters, a student-run program originating from ARC. The Hispanic Studies and sociology double major is president and director of the program, which invites Illinois Wesleyan students to give one-on-one music lessons to young residents of Bloomington-Normal.

Lewis, who plays clarinet in the University’s Wind Ensemble, said that more disadvantaged youth from the community will be able to get involved with the help of the award. “The Weir Fellowship allows funds to provide instrument repairs, high quality instruments, T-shirts and musical opportunities at the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts and Illinois Wesleyan's musical performances,” she said. 

Elizabeth Weir, a 1950 Illinois Wesleyan graduate with a degree in sociology who has maintained an active presence in community service, founded the fellowship. The grant may be utilized by awardees as income or assistance in project development.  

For additional information about the Weir Fellowships, contact ARC at (309) 556-1000 or arc@iwu.edu.

Contact: Tia Patsavas ’16 (309) 556-3181, univcomm@iwu.edu