Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia counseling psychology student Eliza Wells has received the Doctoral Scholar Award from the Southern Regional Education Board in recognition of her outstanding scholarship and dissertation.
The award includes a year of tuition and fees, a $15,000 stipend, a $500 research allowance and the cost of attending the Compact for Faculty Diversity’s annual institute on teaching and mentoring. The SREB Doctoral Scholars Program was developed with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Ford Foundation. It is part of a nationwide initiative to produce more minority Ph.D.s and to encourage them to seek faculty positions. The SREB Doctoral Scholar Award is presented to students who have completed all their coursework, comprehensive exams and defended their dissertation prospectus.
Wells, a fourth-year student in the College of Education’s counseling psychology program, is investigating perceived racial microaggressions and professional burnout in graduate students of color who are preparing for careers in the helping professions such as education, counseling, psychology, social work, and student affairs.
She will complete her clinical internship at the University of Memphis’ Center for Counseling, Testing and Learning this year, and plans to graduate in August of 2009.
Wells, originally from Atlanta, made returning to her home state a priority after earning a bachelor’s degree at Xavier University and a master’s at Loyola University, both in New Orleans, La. Her research focuses on wellness, self-care, burnout in minority graduate students and other issues affecting underserved populations.
The SREB created the State Doctoral Scholars Program in 1993 to address concerns that there are few minority faculty members on many college campuses in America. The program has produced more than 385 graduates and currently offers guidance and support for more than 300 minority students interested in earning a doctoral degree. The program also assists graduates and higher education institutions to identify employment opportunities.
UGA is dedicated to outreach efforts to attract and retain minority students and faculty members. In the College of Education, 17.9 percent of faculty members are people of color, far surpassing the national average. Nearly half of those are associate or full professors with tenure.