Marriage & Family Therapy PhD Program
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Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration Fellows
Narkia Green       Darren Moore        Jamie West        Isha Williams      Tanisha Garnier     Hoa Nguyen   Tenille Richardson  Mathis Kennington   Renu Aldrich

Nine current and former students have been awarded the largest nationally competitive federal fellowship open to marriage and family therapy students, the AAMFT Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Doctoral Minority Fellowship.  This award features a large yearly stipend as well as funds for conference travel and seminars on the challenges of working with substance abusing clients and with minority populations.

Narkia Green, who entered our program in 2007, was our first SAMHSA fellow.  Isha Williams, Tenille Richardson, '15, in private practice in Miami, and Darren Moore, '12, now a professor at Mercer School of Medicine, followed.  Mathis Kennington, who graduated in 2013, and Tanisha Garnier, who entered our program in 2011, were next.  Our latest fellows are Hoa Nguyen, who started our program in 2012, Jamie West, who entered in 2013, and Renu Aldrich, who joined us in 2014.

Narkia came to us from the department's master's MFT program in Falls Church.  Isha is a graduate of the East Carolina master's program, Tenille came from the University of Maryland, and Darren from Valdosta State, which is also Hoa's alma mater.  Mathis is a master's graduate of Abilene Christian University, Tanisha of the University of Alabama, Jamie of Colorado State, and Renu of Hofstra University.

The SAMHSA Doctoral Minority Fellowship Program, which oversees the AAMFT fellowship program, is intended to help reduce healthcare disparities and increase positive outcomes for ethnically diverse U.S. populations.  It also aims to increase the number of culturally competent practitioners for under served populations.  Since 1974, SAMHSA has provided competitive grants for U.S. clinical doctoral students in family therapy, psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social work, and clinical counseling.

SAMHSA Minority Doctoral Fellow Mathis Kennington wrote of his experience:

"The AAMFT SAMHSA Minority Fellowship was a transformative experience because its diverse body of fellows created a cultural crucible that caused me to confront hidden prejudices and embody a more diverse family therapy practice.  The fellowship provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with other developing scholars in the marriage and family therapy field.  Justice, diversity, competent cultural practice, and prevention of substance abuse across a range of demographics were the formidable themes that organized events like think tanks, national conferences, and research-based projects that enhanced collaboration among the fellows when we weren’t together.  Perhaps the most valuable aspect of my two years with the fellowship was the relationships that I established with other fellows.  I still maintain these relationships, which provide a safe place to discuss cultural and general professional issues of a wide variety." 

The AAMFT SAMHSA fellowship program was initiated in 2008 after many years of lobbying for inclusion in the SAMHSA program by AAMFT staff and officers.  Learn more about this important program, including how to apply for the fellowship, by clicking here.