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Grateful Southern Miss Social Work Alumna Establishes Annual Scholarship PDF Print E-mail
Friday, April 16, 2010
Contact Amy Martin, 601.266.6853   

With a gift of $30,000 to The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, alumna Jane Parker recently established the Jane Parker Social Work Annual Scholarship to honor her alma mater and show gratitude for the opportunities Southern Miss provided her.

After receiving a master’s of social work from Southern Miss in 1979, Parker gained experience working for Ellisville State School, Pine Belt Mental Health Care, the Hospital Corporation of America, Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Tulane University, where she is currently employed as the director of the Institute for Psychosocial Health.

“The master’s of Social Work program at Southern Miss offered me the opportunities to work in health and mental health as both a clinician and organizational leader,” said Parker.

Through the establishment of her own consulting firm, Parker and Associates, Parker has trained and worked with more than 150 health and human service agencies, providing consultation to businesses and industries, including the National Football League and major airline companies.

Another inspiration for Parker to give back to her alma mater came in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. After being displaced from New Orleans by the storm in 2005, Parker was welcomed with open arms by faculty and staff from the College of Health at Southern Miss. Provided with office space, telephone access and moral support, Parker was able to coordinate with other displaced Tulane administrators and faculty to set up remote classes for their students within two weeks of the storm. 

In 2006, Parker was named Alumna of the Year by the College of Health at Southern Miss. “The whole affair seemed reversed to me,” recalled Parker. “I felt like I should be handing Southern Miss an award.”

“It is a good thing when individuals make contributions to support student scholarships,” said Dr. Tim Rehner, director of the School of Social Work. “It is terrific when alumni invest in their alma mater and in students. Jane Parker’s gift is a very special gift for both the School of Social Work and our students.”

The Jane Parker Social Work Annual Scholarship will be awarded to a student in the master of social work program with a minimum 3.3 grade point average who demonstrates an interest in mental and health care social work fields. “The scholarship is designed to encourage more student interest in excellent clinical social work practice in health care, including behavioral health,” said Parker. “Our country is moving toward more decentralized, holistic health care and social workers can be major players in assuring that the psychosocial needs of individuals and families are addressed.”

Parker remains grateful for the education and opportunities she received from Southern Miss. “My parents persistently taught me the value of a good education, stressing that it exponentially benefits not only the one educated, but the communities in which they serve as well. A scholarship continues to influence the world long after the initial monies are spent,” she said.“As the grateful recipient of different scholarships across my educational endeavors, I am now able to give something back and say ‘thank you’ to Southern Miss.”

For more information on the Jane Parker Social Work Annual Scholarship, contact Meredith Cothern, development officer for the College of Health, at 601-266-6100.


Jane Parker

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu
                                                                   
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