School psychology doctoral student awarded Melanie Foundation scholarship
Andrea Wierzchowski, a third-year school psychology doctoral student at Texas Woman’s University, has received a 2017 Melanie Foundation scholarship for her work promoting mental health awareness and treatment for underserved children and their families. Her $1,500 award will go toward furthering her educational goals, which includes completing her doctorate and becoming a licensed psychologist.
Wierzchowski earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Texas at Tyler and her master’s degree in psychology from the University of Dallas in Irving. Seeking an opportunity to advance her skills in working with children in the mental health field, she chose TWU's school psychology program, which follows the scientist-practitioner model and offers a well-rounded education that can be applied in a variety of settings.
According to Wierzchowski, her graduate education has helped her understand the importance of early intervention, support and stability throughout a child’s development.
“We are exceptionally proud of Andrea’s work and her commitment to making an impact on children’s lives,” said Shannon Scott, Ph.D., professor and chair of the TWU Department of Psychology and Philosophy. “The receipt of external scholarships such as this one reflects the ethos of our faculty and program, which is to maximize our students’ influence on the greater community.”
The Melanie Foundation was created in 2006 to honor the life and legacy of Melanie Merola O’Donnell. One of the aims of The Melanie Foundation is to provide ﬁnancial assistance for graduate students in mental health ﬁelds. The foundation’s annual scholarship is awarded in O’Donnell’s name, promoting her legacy of helping others through the exercise of wisdom and compassion. Recipients are selected based on their ability to devote their energies and talents to the needs of victims, emergency management professionals and health care practitioners.