MSW Graduate Student Receives $5,000 Scholarship for Mental Health Studies

Thursday, Jun 16, 2016

ARLINGTON, Texas – Rebecca Liles, masters of social work graduate student at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work, received a $5,000 scholarship June 1 from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.

Liles received one of 14 scholarships given to promising graduate social work students in Texas each year by the Hogg foundation. The scholarship is named after and was created in 1956 by Houston philanthropist, Ima Hogg. The foundation provides support to students who show an interest in mental health services and plan to work in Texas and in that field as a trained social worker.

According to the foundation’s website, Texas ranks below the national average in the number of mental health professionals per 100,000 residents. The website further states, in 2009, 173 counties in Texas were designated as mental health profession shortage areas and 40 counties did not have a single social worker in this field.

The foundation supports nonprofit advocacy and public policy work that helps to improve these conditions and the lives of people with mental health conditions in the state of Texas.

“The Hogg Foundation is a leader in encouraging and supporting students like Rebecca to complete their graduate studies and enter the field of mental healthcare in the state of Texas,” said Dr. Scott Ryan, dean of the UTA School of Social Work and Jenkins Garrett Professor. “We congratulate Rebecca and thank the Hogg foundation for its continued service to the residents of Texas.”

Scholarship recipients must attend an accredited graduate social work program in Texas and be nominated by the head of their program. The children of Texas Governor James Hogg established the foundation in 1940 with a $2.5 million endowment from the estate of the eldest child, Will C. Hogg. Siblings Ima and Mike Hogg continued building and growing the foundation.

“I greatly appreciate this award from the Hogg foundation,” said Liles. “It will help me to continue to pursue my passion of improving the quality of mental health services provided to Texas residents and it will help offset some of my graduate studies costs.” 

After completing her studies, Liles wants to work with organizations that help victims of domestic violence and other traumatic crimes receive timely and quality mental health care services.  As a licensed social worker, she advocates for more support services in underserved and underrepresented communities, which often lack the necessary mental care resources.

Liles is from Ardmore, Okla., and in 2014 she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La.  She is in her second year of graduate studies here at UTA.  Click here to view the video.

Each year, for the last nine years, a deserving UTA School of Social Work graduate student has received a Hogg foundation scholarship or grant.