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Texas State grad student awarded Hogg Foundation scholarship

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
July 1, 2010

Arnold Williams

Arnold Williams

Texas State University-San Marcos student Arnold Williams is one of 10 students in Texas graduate social work programs to receive $50,000 in special scholarship awards honoring the 70th anniversary of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.

Williams, a former journalist and a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, has a special interest in working with military veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life. A master’s degree in social work will better equip him to work with men and women who experience mental health conditions as a result of multiple tours of duty and exposure to combat and its related traumas.

“Men and women in the military attach such a high level of stigma to mental health issues while on active duty. They don’t want to be seen as a liability to their fellow soldiers and they place the utmost value on combat readiness,” Williams said. “When they return to civilian life, they often carry that same stigma and hide their symptoms. Attending to both their mental and physical needs is crucial to successful readjustment to civilian life.”

In recent years the Hogg Foundation has awarded five $5,000 Ima Hogg scholarships annually to graduate social work students who plan to provide mental health services after graduation. The scholarship program was created in 1956 by Ima Hogg to attract students to mental health careers.

This year, the Hogg Foundation doubled the number of scholarships to mark its 70th year of promoting mental health in Texas. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Governor James S. Hogg and has awarded millions of dollars in Texas to support mental health services, research, policy analysis and public education.

“Miss Ima truly was gifted in her vision for improving mental health in Texas. The scholarship program she created five decades ago is more relevant than ever today as Texas faces a serious and widening gap between the mental health workforce and the need for services,” said Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation.

Scholarship recipients must attend a Texas graduate social work program that is accredited or pending accreditation by the national Council on Social Work Education.

The Hogg Foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. For more information, contact Merrell Foote at (512) 471-9142 or via email at merrell.foote@austin.utexas.edu.