Master’s student Monique Vasquez is the recipient of the 2017 Kenneth H. Ashworth Fellowship. Vasquez was the only student selected from across the state of Texas for the 2017 award. The value of the award is $5,000, and is intended to provide financial assistance to Texas students pursuing careers in public service.
“My love of public service started in high school, when I started volunteering actively, and continued as a Peace Corps community health volunteer in Madagascar,” Vasquez said. “My professional goal is to work on health equity issues in a nonprofit or a governmental agency. I want to help develop agency practices that improve the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable while being conscious of the barriers these populations face, which include but are not limited to historical oppression, systemic racism, classism, and disempowerment.”
Vasquez is pursuing a dual degree program that the School of Social Work offers in collaboration with the UT Health Science School of Public Health for students who wish to combine social work and public health education using an interdisciplinary perspective. In Spring 2017 she joined the Dell Medical School’s Department of Population Health as a research assistant. In this capacity, she helped in the preparation of a strategic plan under the Collaborative Population Health Innovation and Implementation Initiative.
“Monique is deeply committed to working with diverse populations and contributing to a socially just society,” said social work professor Michele Rountree.
The Ashworth fellowship was established in 1997 by members of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to honor Dr. Kenneth H. Ashworth for his services as commissioner. Deans and other administrators of graduate programs in various disciplines, including criminal justice, public affairs, public health, and social work, are invited to nominate students. A maximum of two students are selected each year.