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May 8, 2008

Williams receives national MFT fellowship

Maria Williams, a first year Ph.D. student in the University of Louisiana at Monroe Marriage and Family Therapy Program was awarded the two-year American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists Minority Fellowship April 18.

The fellowship will facilitate therapy services for those among the underserved minority community and persons who are also dealing with substance abuse issues. Williams received a scholarship that will be used to further her professional training.

Already, Williams has worked at Serenity House, one of the nation’s largest substance abuse centers, in Abilene, Texas, while working on her masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has also taken a leadership role in numerous civic organizations in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Monroe that aid the underserved population.

Certified as an HIV/AIDS and Sexual Assault Counselor, she has also led in the Upward Bound program at Dillard University, the Arc of Greater New Orleans and the McNair/SROP Research program at Michigan State University. She has worked to help minority children improve their standardized test-taking skills, to assist children with intellectual disabilities and delays, and to teach children life skills that reduce the likelihood of substance abuse.

Williams is a Baton Rouge native who received her undergraduate degree from Dillard and her master’s degree from Abilene Christian University. At ULM, Williams is finishing her first year as a doctoral student. She works as a student intern at the ULM Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic. Through research, she hopes to contribute to the mental health of ethnic minorities and to substance abuse prevention. Williams wants to open a private Marriage and Family Therapy practice and author books, offering practical and accessible approaches to creating and maintaining healthy family and marital relationships.

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