2014 Mental Health Research Grants

Nine Assistant Professors Receive Mental Health Research Grants in Texas

June 5, 2014


AUSTIN, Texas – Nine tenure-track assistant professors in Texas have been awarded $173,250 in grants by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to conduct innovative research in mental health.

The grants are capped at $19,250 each. The nine research projects were selected from a pool of 51 proposals from universities across Texas.

The goals of this initiative are to increase the pool of junior faculty doing quality mental health research and to encourage the disbursement of research findings to other researchers, policy makers and service providers through presentations at state and national conferences and meetings.

“We are immensely proud of this year’s crop of mental health research grantees,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation and vice president for diversity and community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. “The work of these talented researchers will result in enduring contributions to our understanding of mental health.”


The recipients of the 2014 Mental Health Research Grants for Tenure-Track Assistant Professors in Texas are:


  • The University of Texas at El Paso: Dr. Erin Barnes, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences Counseling, will examine the relationship between the attributions (the cognitive strategies individuals use to understand events) of veterans with service-connected mental health conditions and recovery.
  • University of Houston: Dr. Jodi Berger Cardoso, Graduate College of Social Work, will study mental health and parenting stress in Latino immigrants and their children within the context of deportation risk.Dr. McClain Sampson, Graduate College of Social Work, will study the feasibility and effectiveness of a home visit intervention for postpartum depression in a primary care setting that predominantly serves low-income women of color.
  • The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston: Dr. Sara Nowakowski, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will examine the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of insomnia among peri- and postmenopausal women with major depressive disorder.
  • The University of Texas at Austin: Dr. Samuel S. Richardson, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, will lead a project that uses ArGIS software and census tract data to create interactive maps that precisely represent the mental health workforce shortage in Texas. Dr. Christopher P. Salas-Wright, School of Social Work, in collaboration with Dr. Lori Holleran Steiker, also of the School of Social Work, will pilot test a student veteran-adapted version of the “Keepin’ it REAL” intervention, which focuses on the development of decision-making and substance use resistance skills among student veterans experiencing psychological distress.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio: Dr. Donna Roybal, Department of Psychiatry, will study the association between early life stress, epigenetics and brain activation in anxious children at high risk for bipolar disorder.
  • Sam Houston State University: Dr. Adam T. Schmidt, Department of Psychology and Philosophy, will conduct a study that examines mental health symptoms and protective factors in children of incarcerated fathers.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston: Dr. Anka A. Vujanovic, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, will examine the effects of posttraumatic stress symptom severity and distress tolerance on treatment adherence, treatment duration and treatment response in an inpatient psychiatric facility population.


The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by supporting mental health services, policy analysis, research and public education. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.