The Hogg Foundation is excited to announce that 11 Texas graduate social work students will each receive a $5,000 scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year. These scholarship recipients have demonstrated a strong commitment to providing mental health services in Texas.

The Ima Hogg Scholarship for Mental Health was established in 1956 and addresses the need for more trained social workers who can deliver quality mental health services for Texans.

“Over fifty years after this scholarship program was established by Miss Ima, it continues to be significant as Texas faces a widening gap between demand for and availability of mental health professionals,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation.

The 2012 recipients are:

Tara B. Pannell, Baylor University

Pannell graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts. After visiting and working at the Texas Tech Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery, she was moved to pursue a career in social work. In her first year in Baylor’s graduate program, Pannell was employed with the Waco Center for Youth as a treatment services intern. She worked with new admissions and participated in treatment team meetings and consultations. This year, Pannell will again work with the Study of Addiction and Recovery program at Texas Tech University.

Rebekah Valenta, Our Lady of the Lake University

Valenta completed her undergraduate degree in social work from Our Lady of the Lake University in May 2012 and is currently pursuing her master’s degree at Our Lady of the Lake’s Worden School of Social Service. Most recently, Valenta held a social work field education internship with the District 1 City Council Office in San Antonio, where she practiced direct service through case management and researched key constituency issues.

William Windham, Stephen F. Austin State University

Windham earned his bachelor’s degree in social work from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2011. As a senior, he completed a field placement in the investigations unit of Child Protective Services – Nacogdoches. There he recognized the need for mental health professionals in rural areas. After he graduates with his master’s degree, he hopes to become a licensed advanced generalist social worker in addition to earning his license in marriage and family therapy.

Rachel Parker, Texas A&M University – Commerce

Parker earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at The University of Texas at Dallas. After graduating, she began working with Metrocare Services in Dallas as a qualified mental health professional, a state hospital liaison and a mental illness court liaison. Her time at Metrocare has given her insight into the gaps in the existing delivery system. With a master’s degree in social work, she plans to serve individuals with mental health conditions and hopes to become an advocate for recovery-based mental health treatment.

Nicole Leonard, Texas State University

Leonard graduated with a bachelor of applied arts degree in social work from Texas State University. During her undergraduate studies, Leonard worked as an intern at the Marbridge group homes in Manchaca, conducting clinical assessments of residents, collaborating with residents to develop individual treatment goals, facilitating a variety of groups based on resident need and incorporating concepts from the Eden Alternative. She has also spent a number of years as a caregiver for the elderly with TLC Austin Home Care Services. After she completes her master’s degree, Leonard hopes to employ her knowledge at a state hospital or a community agency.

Jamie Chinn, University of Houston

Chinn graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Prairie View A&M University. After working as a direct care professional at Bethesda Lutheran Home, she realized she wanted to supplement her passion for service with the clinically relevant experience and knowledge that come with a master’s degree. Chinn aspires to become a clinical social worker with a specialization in mental health disparities, contributing to the field by addressing issues of cultural competency during diagnosis and disparities in treatment among different populations.

Brittany Eghaneyan, The University of Texas at Arlington

Eghaneyan earned her bachelor’s degree in cognitive science and psychology from The University of Texas at Dallas. As a Hispanic woman, she identifies with this underrepresented population and its unique mental health service needs. After she graduates with her master’s degree in social work, Eghaneyan wishes to continue work on integrating mental health care into primary care settings for the Hispanic population.

Sarah Fankhauser, The University of Texas at Austin

Fankhauser earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and economics from Southwestern University in 2008. Soon after graduating, she became a bilingual AmeriCorps member at Casa Marianella, helping uninsured immigrants receive mental health counseling and transition services. Through this experience, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in social work and plans to use her degree to provide mental health services to underrepresented populations in Texas.

Daniel Fierro, The University of Texas at El Paso

Fierro received his bachelor’s degree in social work from The University of Texas at El Paso in 2011. During his undergraduate studies, he was a volunteer at El Paso’s Center Against Family Violence, working with both family violence survivors and offenders to address underlying conflicts, and mental health and substance abuse issues. He has worked at the center as a group facilitator for the Teen Intervention and Prevention Program in conjunction with the El Paso Juvenile Probation Department and its First Offender Program. After graduation, he hopes to continue his work in family counseling as a clinical social worker, specifically focusing on individual and family therapy along the Texas/Mexico border.

Leslie Moya, The University of Texas – Pan American

Moya was raised in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and enlisted in the U.S. Marines upon graduating from high school. She earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies through the U.S. Army ROTC program at The University of Texas – Pan American. Her service in the military and her upbringing in a Hispanic home in Texas helped her recognize key populations where gaps in mental health coverage still exist, either because of a persistent stigma within those communities or lack of access. She hopes to use her master’s degree to work with underserved and vulnerable populations in the future.

Annette Kampman, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Kampman earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, her master’s in sociology from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and her master’s in education from the University of Hawaii. She has worked as an intern for San Antonio Metropolitan Ministries on case management, intake and assessment procedures alongside her work as an adjunct professor of sociology at various community colleges across San Antonio. Due to the influence of personal experience and professional development, Kampman has become especially interested in women’s issues and the ways that mental health impacts women and their families. After completing her master’s work, she hopes to stay in San Antonio and give back to the community by helping under-insured and uninsured women receive mental health services.