(July 19, 2010)--Melba Gomez knows about mental illness. She has seen family and friends battle to live in the grips of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia and major depression. She could write volumes on caring for a husband and son coping with post-traumatic stress disorder after their tours of military duty.
So, helping others through their struggle is natural for Gomez, an attorney for nearly 20 years and a current student at UTSA working on a master's degree in social work. Her determination and passion to help people who have mental illnesses are among the reasons she recently received the Ima Hogg Scholarship in Mental Health.
The annual $5,000 scholarship is given to graduate students in social work who demonstrate a strong commitment to providing mental health services after graduation. Application is open to students enrolled in one of 11 Texas graduate schools accredited in social work, but only five applicants are chosen. Because this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, which awards the scholarship, 10 applicants were chosen.
"The Ima Hogg Foundation for Mental Health scholarship is a step forward in my career. It is a prestigious organization in the field of mental health," Gomez said. "The distinction of receiving this award is very encouraging, and I feel honored to be one of the recipients."
After graduation, scheduled for summer 2011, Gomez plans to be an advocate for the rights of the mentally ill along with providing mental health services. She especially would like to help Hispanic/Latino and Spanish-speaking populations who are greatly underserved, and she wants to help veterans and their families as they cope with the effects of traumatic experiences.
"Melba has a great deal of wisdom because of her previous work and life experiences," said Rosalie Ambrosino, UTSA professor and interim chair in the Department of Social Work in the College of Public Policy. "What makes her especially outstanding is her passion for helping people with mental health needs and her realization after playing other helping roles that she thinks she can do that best as a social worker."
The Hogg Foundation was established in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James Hogg to promote mental health for the people of Texas. In 1956, daughter Ima Hogg created the scholarship program to increase the number of trained social workers delivering quality mental health services in the state.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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