Ida M. Green Award honors clinical psychology student

By Jeff Carlton

Award presentation
Candace Thoth, right, accepts this year’s Ida M. Green Award from Rust Reid, former Trustee and Vice President of the Cecil and Ida Green Foundation, and Kathleen M. Gibson, President of Southwestern Medical Foundation.

Candace Thoth can pinpoint the moment she decided to become a scientist: shortly after reading an autobiography of Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut.

“I read the book from start to finish, deeply inspired by her life and achievements. It was then I knew I wanted to become a scientist,” Ms. Thoth said.

She came to UT Southwestern Medical Center to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology, acquiring an impressive list of academic and extracurricular credentials.

Ms. Thoth’s commitment to academics and community service helped earn her the 2013 Ida M. Green Award. Now in its 27th year, the Ida M. Green Award recognizes a female student in the UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences who demonstrates outstanding commitment to community service, the well-being of other students, and research excellence.

At a ceremony in April, she received a certificate and $2,000 from Kathleen M. Gibson, President of Southwestern Medical Foundation, and Rust Reid, former Trustee and Vice President of the Cecil and Ida Green Foundation.

It’s one of many honors for Ms. Thoth, who in her first year at UT Southwestern received the Children’s Medical Center Cultural Diversity Fellowship. She also has received the Dean’s Competitive Scholarship, maintaining a 3.95 GPA in a demanding program that packs six years of training into four years.

In addition, Ms. Thoth helped teach two graduate school classes, published two peer-reviewed articles and a book chapter, and presented at two professional meetings. As a researcher, she has investigated the ethnic differences in the presentation of depressive symptoms in children and is currently examining the impact of physical symptoms on treatment outcomes in depressed adolescents.

Ms. Thoth served as president of the Clinical Psychology Diversity Club, coordinated the Clinical Psychology mental health booth at United to Serve, and volunteered to aid homeless children, the elderly, the mentally disabled, and families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

She is on schedule to graduate in August and then leave for a one-year fellowship at the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System in Honolulu.

Dr. Sunita Stewart, Professor of Psychiatry and a mentor to Ms. Thoth, called her “intellectually curious, determined to learn, and a very worthy recipient of the Ida M. Green Award.”

“She brought strong analytic and conceptual skills to her research,” Dr. Stewart said. “She is a talented clinician who has received rave reviews from her supervisors in settings as different as a juvenile detention center, Parkland Memorial Hospital, and Children’s Medical Center Dallas.”

Dr. Stewart shared student comments about Ms. Thoth at the reception. One classmate described Ms. Thoth as a role model: “I would consider myself successful if I can emulate – even to a small degree – Candace’s warmth, leadership, and kindness.”

The Ida M. Green Award was established by Southwestern Medical Foundation in honor of Mrs. Green, who died in 1986. Her husband, Cecil Green, worked at General Electric and later co-founded Texas Instruments. Mr. Green died in 2003. Mrs. Green provided unrestricted gifts to many community organizations, including a major bequest to Southwestern Medical Foundation.