TWU's Mootz named international student research award recipient
DENTON — Jennifer Mootz, a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at Texas Woman’s University, is one of only five recipients of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2013 International Student Research Award. She received the award for her dissertation, “Gender-Based Violence in the Internally-Displaced Olilim Community in Northeastern Uganda.”
The APA is the world’s largest association of psychologists, with more than 134,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members.
“It felt good to be acknowledged in that way,” said Ms. Mootz, of Dallas. “This is very important research, and (the award) helps elevate it to a more public forum.”
For this study, she partnered with a non-profit based in the area and a community group that had formed to address gender-based violence. Her study found a relationship between stress resulting from armed conflicts in the area and incidents of violence — primarily by husbands against their wives.
In examining ways to prevent gender-based violence, Ms. Mootz determined that alleviating poverty – a major issue in the region – could help. While some needs – such as improving the area’s infrastructure – must be addressed on a different level, Ms. Mootz is doing her part by working to establish a non-profit organization to provide monetary support for people in the community.
“Many people in Olilim don’t have the money to pay their children’s school fees,” she said. “Helping the children complete their education could go a long way in breaking the cycle of poverty and reducing gender-based violence.”
Ms. Mootz plans to continue conducting research after graduation, and to one day teach. She expects to receive her doctorate in summer 2015.
page updated 8/25/2014 4:22 PM