The consortium gives 10 awards each year, funded through the Mental Health Services Act (2005) and administered by the consortium Phillips Graduate Institute and the MFT Consortium of California. FPU winners were Kimberly Becker and David Tan. Mary Schmidt and Monica Cabrera-Pulley were the runners-up.
Fresno Pacific's graduate students went through a long process just to apply. To be eligible, the applicants had to have shown experience in the field of mental health and be in the process of completing or have completed a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy. Evaluators considered the applicants' involvement in wellness and recovery programs funded by the government, their experience in different cultures and values, and whether they've had experience with mental health issues and recovery in their own lives. "All of those things are ranked and scored and then the students with the top scores get the stipend," said David Bruce Rose, Ph. D., associate professor and chairman of FPU MFCC program.
This award is competitive. The Central Valley region stretches from Stockton to Bakersfield. In addition to 10 entrants from Fresno Pacific, students from CSU Stanislaus, CSU Fresno, CSU Bakersfield, Brandman University, and National University in both Stanislaus and Fresno also applied.
The goal of the stipend is to recruit, prepare and employ students in mental health, wellness and recovery with the emphasis on serving clients in lower-income and culturally diverse communities. "You're committed to one year after graduation to work in your area for an agency funded by the government that works in the wellness and recovery program," Rose said.
Selectees have experience in a multicultural environment, but more important, have experience with mental health, wellness and recovery. Rose puts it this way: "You respect everybody. You have hope for everybody. You help people from where they are and how you can. If people have slips or relapses you don't write them off. This sounds like Christian values."