(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 institute will feature a performance from Eva Ybarra, the “Queen of the Accordion.” Manuel Medrano will premiere a documentary on Ybarra’s career. Two people receive free admission with a voucher available here.
Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Take the short drive up I-35 to root on your Roadrunners in this I-35 Showdown.
Bobcat Stadium, 1100 Aquarena Springs Dr., San Marcos
Get involved and register to vote. Click on the link to find out the locations on the Main and Downtown Campuses.
Multiple locations on the Main and Downtown Campuses
Learn about products and services available for studying, working, and making it to graduation! Speak directly to OIT managers, provide feedback on UTSA tech, and have your voice heard! Lunch and OIT gear provided. RSVP at: www.utsa.edu/oit/sic.
University Center, Denman Ballroom (2.01.28), Main Campus
Come meet the candidates looking to take home the crown as Mr. and Ms. UTSA 2017-2018. This is your opportunity to hear the candidates platform and learn how they plan to represent and transform UTSA.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
UTSA's Friends of Shakespeare hosts this annual performance seried by Actors from the London Stage, Sept. 27, 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (ARTS 2.03.02), Main Campus
The Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery will prepare a mandala sand painting on the main exhibit floor and offer various lectures and activities.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Meet researchers and practitioners from academia, industry and government who are working to address smart cities related issues. Register here: https://utsaresearch.wufoo.com/forms/smart-cities-networking-luncheon/
Durango Building, La Villita Room (DB 1.116), Downtown Campus
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