Rachel Weber, a master’s student in the College of Education and Human Development’s Department of Counseling, is the first student to receive the Laura Carter Memorial Fellowship, a newly created fellowship that offers $2,500 annually to a student in the UTSA Counseling Program.
“Our department lost a valued member of our community and this fellowship is a wonderful way to honor Laura Carter. She was known to many in the department for her outspoken spirit and her humor. She is greatly missed,” noted Heather Trepal who is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling. “Through this fellowship, we are able to celebrate her life and memory.”
Thanks to this award, Weber will continue her studies in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and will graduate in May of 2016.
“I feel so much gratitude towards the Carter family for this opportunity. This fellowship will help with my academic expenses in my last semesters of graduate school. This will help a great deal in my ability to focus on school and helping others instead of worrying about money,” said Weber.
The Laura Carter Memorial Fellowship was established in June by James Carter and J’Ann Rodriguez-Carter to honor their daughter Laura Carter who was a student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program before passing away at the beginning of the year.
Rodriguez-Carter said: “The fellowship would work to help a fellow student in pursuit of the same goal as Laura’s, a master’s in counseling. If she couldn’t get there, someone else could with help from her, as this would, in effect, be her inheritance.” They hope this fellowship will keep the memory of their daughter alive.
“I heard recently someone describe death as one, when the heart stops beating; two, when a person is cremated or buried; and three, when someone’s name is spoken for the last time. With an endowed fellowship, hopefully number three will never be reached, fulfilling our dream of keeping her alive in a way that we can,” said Rodriguez-Carter. “I once had received the Mary Margaret Moran Scholarship while in the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio’s School of Nursing. It was established by her father in 1976 after his daughter, a nurse who was working in a San Antonio hospital, was killed in 1975. It was a very strange feeling I had realizing that now Laura’s father and I, too, would be helping students pursue the path our daughter walked.”
Concluded Weber: “I want to use this fellowship as inspiration to help those who are grieving from loss of a family member. This is a specialty that I have a passion for. I remember Laura as an outgoing and passionate individual. She was one of the first people to volunteer in class and always contributed. She brought a positive atmosphere to class. I hope that by receiving this fellowship, I can do my best to honor her memory. I will hold Laura and her family in my mind as I help others.”
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