Grad student Hughes wins Ida M. Green Award

By Aline McKenzie

Jennifer Hughes, a graduate student in clinical psychology, has been awarded the Ida M. Green Award for 2009.

The award, intended to recognize both quality research and service to the community, recognizes Ms. Hughes’ work studying suicide treatment and prevention in adolescents. Her interest in suicide primarily stemmed from her role as a study coordinator in a multisite study of teens who had attempted suicide. In addition, last summer Ms. Hughes was chosen to participate in the Summer Research Institute in Suicide Prevention, a National Institute of Mental Health-funded weeklong program at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Jennifer Hughes, winner of the Ida M. Green Award, is congratulated by Daniel K. Podolsky (left) president of UT Southwestern, and (from left) Rust Reid, Cecil Green estate trustee; Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president of Southwestern Medical Foundation; and W. Plack Carr Jr., executive vice president of Southwestern Medical Foundation.

“I want to mix research and clinical work, although clinical is my passion,” she said. “I truly love psychology, and I’m blessed to be part of the
UT Southwestern clinical psychology program.”

“She’s just phenomenal,” said Dr. Steven Krebaum, assistant professor of psychiatry. “Her maturity and professionalism exceed what I would expect from a graduate student. She’s uniformly well respected by both faculty and students.”

Dr. Betsy Kennard, associate professor of psychiatry and Ms. Hughes’ adviser, praised the student for her achievements, including being a co-author on eight journal articles in her three years at UT Southwestern. Several more articles have been submitted.

She also was a consultant on a documentary by local filmmakers called “A Reason to Live.” She helped locate documentary subjects, advised on aspects of the film and collected feedback on a shorter version to be used in schools.

“I would put Ms. Hughes in the top 1 percent of graduate students we’ve had in the last 20 years,” Dr. Kennard said. Ms. Hughes has played numerous roles in her graduate program, including president of FOCUS, a student-faculty organization in which she coordinated several social and community service projects.

A native of Joshua, Texas, Ms. Hughes received her bachelor’s degree at Baylor University and is pursuing a Master of Public Health degree from the UT School of Public Health in Houston as well as a doctoral degree at UT Southwestern.

She was presented with a certificate and $2,000 by Dr. Kern Wildenthal and W. Plack Carr Jr., president and executive vice president, respectively, of Southwestern Medical Foundation; and Rust Reid, trustee of the Cecil Green estate, at a reception held April 27 on the 14th floor of the T. Boone Pickens Biomedical Building.

Ms. Hughes’ parents and two sisters attended the ceremony.

The Ida M. Green Award was established by Southwestern Medical Foundation in honor of Mrs. Green. Her husband, Cecil Green, worked at General Electric and later co-founded Texas Instruments. Mrs. Green died in 1986 and Mr. Green in 2003.

Mrs. Green provided unrestricted gifts to many community organizations, including a major bequest to the foundation.