Why I give
Catherine Mullan (MSSW ’05) was working as a hospital social worker after graduating. She decided that she wanted a nursing degree, too. “I am a better nurse because I was a social worker first, and I always tell people this when they ask me,” she said.
Mullan is now a day hospital program therapist at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago. She works with inner city populations in an intensive outpatient program, delivering therapy for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder who have been in combat or are survivors of military sexual trauma.
She still remembers the excitement and energy she felt during her time in the master’s program by simply sharing the classroom with people who were so committed to the social-work field. She also remembers her face hurting from smiling so much at graduation and how fortunate she felt that her field instructor came all the way from Houston to see her walk across the stage.
“I am grateful for my experience at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. I give to show my appreciation for the investment everyone at the school made in me,” Mullan said.
Supporting students in their internships
Mary and Brian Mulvaney Endowed Scholarship in Social Work
Brian and Mary Mulvaney are thankful for the scholarships that allowed them to attend UT Austin and be proud Longhorns for life. As a member of the social work clinical faculty, Mary (MSSW ’80) knows first-hand about students’ need for financial assistance while they are completing their required internships. The Mulvaneys established this endowment to meet this need.
“Internships are incredible opportunities for professional and personal growth because students experience different social-work roles and responsibilities, from direct client interactions to advocacy and group work,” Mary said. “We want to help students as they go through this experience. My hope is that students who pursue a career in social work will be as happy with that choice as I have been.”
Educating leaders to fight poverty
The Honorable Elliott Naishtat Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Social Work
As a young VISTA volunteer, Elliott Naishtat (MSSW ’72) learned to combat poverty through grassroots organizing. When he joined the UT Austin graduate program in social work, his field placement revealed another arena for addressing the needs of vulnerable populations: the
Texas Legislature. As a member of the Texas House of Representatives (1991–2017), Elliott was an unrelenting advocate for health and human services.
Elliott hopes this endowment will help deserving students majoring in areas such as social policy and community organizing pay for their education. His advice to these students? “Never forget that the Declaration of Purpose of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which authorized the creation of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, was ‘to eliminate the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty in this nation.’ There is still a lot of work to be done.”
Helping students achieve their dreams
Andrew and Stacey Cernicky Endowed Scholarship in Social Work
Neither Andrew nor Stacey Cernicky attended UT Austin but they understand the positive impact that high-quality college education can make in our communities. They also know that the Steve Hicks School of Social Work is uniquely qualified to make a difference in Texas, in our nation, and beyond. They hope that this endowment will help social work students achieve their dreams and become community leaders committed to make this world a better place for everyone.
Their advice to these students is “learn and expand your viewpoint, embrace different cultures, build strong relationships with your peers, challenge professors with your thoughts and ideas, and be the social worker you would want to have if you needed one yourself.”
Giving back to social work
Camille D. Miller Endowed Scholarship in Social Work
Anna Camille Dvorsky Miller (MSSW ’72) chose social work to become an interpersonal counselor but discovered policy. “Professor Anne Wilkins recognized a special ability in me to see the big picture and challenged me to use this gift to make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Miller said. She is eternally grateful to professors Wilkins, Williams, Lauderdale, Hess, Austin, Shuttlesworth, Laughlin and Herbert.
Miller was only able to attend college by working and by the assistance of scholarships. “This endowment is my way of giving back to the school to make it possible for students who are in situations similar to mine in my student days to overcome financial barriers and accomplish their dreams,” she said.
Educating future leaders
James W. and Carla S. Vick Endowed Scholarship in Social Work
Jim and Carla Vick are passionate about UT Austin programs focusing on social policy and responsibility. Moreover, through her job as an elementary school teacher, Carla is well aware of the need for social services that support children and families. For both reasons, the Vicks were very excited when they learned about the Steve Hicks School of Social Work.
“It was easy to make the decision of establishing this endowment,” they said. “The school’s mission aligns with our goal of supporting the education of the future leaders of our communities, corporations and country. We want to help pay for the education of talented individuals who can support the growing challenges that our society faces today and in the future.”