|The magazine of University of Houston-Clear Lake
spring 2012 | volume 18 | number 2
For the Record
UHCL chosen for mental health workforce development grant
UHCL's Office of Counseling Services is one of three grant sites chosen for a $1.6 million initiative to create internships for doctoral psychology students that will help alleviate mental health workforce shortages in Texas.
The university received a five-year, $509,082 grant from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin. The grant will fund a new internship program that will enable students to get a year of supervised training and experience required for a doctoral degree in psychology.
Twelve interns will be trained during the five-year initiative, with their salaries and the cost of their training to be paid by the grant. In return, the interns will expand the university's capacity to provide mental health services to a student population of more than 8,000.
"Mental health services in Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties are severely lacking, especially for students who don't have insurance," says UHCL Associate Director of Counseling and Training Cynthia Cook. "With this grant, our center can serve more students, and the interns will gain invaluable experience working with people from all walks of life who are dealing with a variety of challenges."
Michele Guzmán, assistant director of research and evaluation at the Hogg Foundation and a clinical associate professor in counseling psychology, finds psychology workforce trends in Texas troubling. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of practicing psychologists in 77 counties decreased, and 102 counties had no practicing psychologists in 2009. The shortages have been most severe in rural areas, especially in South Texas, West Texas and the Panhandle.
Two other sites participating in the initiative are Scott & White Healthcare System in Temple and Travis County Juvenile Probation Department in Austin. The three programs combined will train an estimated 38 interns during the next five years.
The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by funding mental health services, policy analysis, research and public education. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Governor James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.
CREATIVE MASCOT WINNERS
As part of Phase II of the Mascot Search Project, UHCL solicited illustrations and naming options for the top four mascot options: the hawk, buck, blue heron and egret. Artists had a chance to have their mascot concept help shape the official UHCL mascot's image and to win cash prizes for the mascot's illustration or name.
Alumnus Faisal Ali and student Don Suttajit were selected as the Mascot Creative Contest winners. Ali, who graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Applied Design and Visual Arts in 2011, won for his hawk mascot concept. Current graduate student Suttajit won with his blue heron and buck artwork. Suttajit is pursuing a graduate degree in digital media studies.
HONOR THROUGH SCHOLARS
Four UHCL students will continue to pursue an education with financial assistance from the M.L. Wismer Scholarship Endowment. Undergraduate students Natalie McKenney, Monique Martinez and Tracy Furman, as well as graduate student Ambericent Cornett received the scholarships.
"This is an outstanding example of how generous alumni and contributors can make a difference in the lives of students who might otherwise be unable to pursue their degrees," says UHCL Associate Vice President for University Advancement Dion McInnis.
The two community and business leaders created the M.L. Wismer Scholarship Endowment in 1993, the university's first private scholarship, to honor Ann's father, M.L. Wismer, as well as to aid students in attaining their chosen educational goals. The couple has helped establish three other endowments.
"The Landolts are very supportive of UHClear Lake and its students," says McInnis. "Their passion for the university and their generous personalities are apparent when they meet the scholarship recipients."
Michael Landolt, a local certified public accountant, serves as a senior financial adviser for Merrill Lynch. He is a recipient of a 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award, the 2005 UH-Clear Lake Community Partnership Award and the 2000 President's Cabinet Leadership Award. 1993 Distinguished Alumna Ann Wismer-Landolt remains very active in the community.
NEW MASTER'S DEGREE APPROVED
The School of Human Sciences and Humanities expanded its roster of degrees with a Master of Arts in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the new program in November 2011, bringing UHCL's total number of graduate-level programs to 45.
Students enrolled in the program will learn about assessing and evaluating organizational theories and interventions, as well as gaining knowledge of psychological theories and principles. Formerly a sub-plan of the Master of Arts in Behavioral Sciences – General, the degree program includes core course requirements such as Personnel Psychology and Change and Organizational Development. Since 2002 when the program was first introduced as a sub-plan at UHCL, enrollment has shown a continual increase.
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