2021 Ima Hogg Scholars

Each year, the Hogg Foundation awards Ima Hogg Scholarships to graduate social work students who have committed to joining the mental health workforce.

An investment in their post-graduate careers is an investment in improving the quality of mental health services across Texas, where the mental health workforce is in critical condition. Reports from 2015 revealed that more than 70 percent of counties across the state didn’t have a single psychiatrist in residence, leaving 3 million Texans without access to psychiatric services.

This year, 20 graduate social work students from across Texas received scholarships of $5,000 each. Nominated by the heads of their social work programs, these students were chosen for their potential to bring renewed energy to the Texas mental health workforce.

The 2021 recipients are:

Gloria Atkinson, Abilene Christian University
“Social work to me is finding the ways that systems can be improved in order to best help the people we serve.”

Jaclyn Berger, The University of Texas at El Paso
“My motivation to pursue social work came from working and volunteering in the community and seeing a lack of services and providers for those in need.” 

Doraelia Blake, The University of Texas at San Antonio
“My career goals are to make Macro Level policy changes and implementation of programs that aid the individuals from the Hispanic and Black communities who are experiencing severe mental health issues and who are also involved with the carceral system.” 

Samantha Dehner, Texas Christian University
“Due to my own experience with mental health, I have decided to help others, especially adolescents and young adults with their own mental health journeys.”

Briana Fowler, Baylor University
“All of my childhood adversities I have conquered unexpectedly led me to the field of social work and I would not change a thing.”

 Amanda Gage, Texas A&M University-Commerce
“Social work within the hospital setting has created opportunities for me to advocate for others when they are in crisis.”

Susana Gutierrez, Texas A&M University-Kingsville
“I see social work as a profession rich with meaning, and power to make a positive difference.”

Elizabeth Huss, Tarleton State University
“My passion is working in community mental health, serving adults with serious mental illness.”

Marley King, Texas State University
“Surviving my own experiences as well as helping others as a crisis advocate have solidified my passions for mental health, social work, and transgender advocacy.”

Lisa Lopez, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
“I have a passion for helping other individuals in need as I see this as my purpose. This passion for helping others is my focal point in establishing a professional career in social work.”

Jamie Lowe, The University of Texas at Arlington
“Mental health is where I want to focus my career and more specifically, in suicide prevention through the creation and implementation of services that are as effective as they are welcoming.”

Lynne McCabe, University of Houston
“I came to social work after a career as a socially engaged artist, writer and director of a queer art gallery.  Over time, my practice expanded from merely exploring social injustice to attempting to rectify, ameliorate, and offset the inequity and trauma caused by it.”

Deeanna Moore, Angelo State University
“I believe that if we can help children when they are young, we will have a greater opportunity of having healthier adults.”

Daniel Moreno, The University of Texas at Austin
“I intend to help bridge the gap in mental health services that BIPOC and Spanish-speaking inmates face.”

Shay Palmer, Stephen F. Austin State University
“Upon completing this MSW program, I will be excited to continue working with the geriatric population with an emphasis on mental health.”

Benjamin Ramirez, West Texas A&M University
“What I appreciate about social work is that not only does it consider the individual, but also the communities to which they belong, from family to vocational environments, and everything in between.”

Jamie Simmons, Texas Tech University
“I hope to work with adolescents in an in-patient facility because they are an extremely underserved and vulnerable population.”

Andrea Smith, Texas A&M University -Texarkana
Don’t strive for a piece of the pie…go get the whole recipe.”

Mary Spry, Our Lady of the Lake University
“I want to use my MSW to improve access to mental health services, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and reduce the high turnover in clinicians in the community mental health clinics.”

Emily Williams, University of North Texas
“My passion is working with those that are currently experiencing foster care or those that have experienced foster care at some point in their lives.”


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