Doctoral Students Receive National Recognition

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy honors minority students with fellowships.

Written by: Georgia Godfrey

Four Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral students in the College of Human Sciences have received national recognition as 2008 Minority Fellowship Program Fellows. The program is sponsored by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Sara Blakeslee of Muskogee, Okla.; Martha Morgan of Apple Valley, Calif.; Megan Oka of Las Vegas, Nev.; and Erica Wilkins of State College, Pa. each received $25,000 in support of their doctoral school work, and professional travel and training at conferences and other developmental functions.

“These students have excelled in bringing rich diversity and cultural distinction to our Marriage and Family Therapy program,” said Linda Hoover, dean of the College of Human Sciences. “I look forward to watching them excel to even greater heights throughout the rest of their doctoral process and then in their professional field.”

Sara Blakeslee is a member of the Prairie Band Potowatomi, an ethnic group of American Indians. She currently conducts research with the Southwest Institute for Addictive Diseases, as well as the plight of the Descendents of the Freedmen, a group of African Americans who share Native American ancestry.

Martha Morgan works with adolescents at the Lubbock County Juvenile Justice Center and with individuals and families in Pediatric Oncology, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Covenant Hospital. Morgan’s dissertation topic focuses on the experiences of black graduate students.

Megan Oka’s interests include families with young children, eating disorders, self-harm and partner violence. Oka is currently researching issues of family violence and safety, including intimate partner violence and intergenerational transmission of violence.

Erica Wilkins’ research interests include studying the residual effects of slavery on the African American family, self-of-the-therapist issues and cultural competency. She is also currently assisting with the completion of a textbook chapter regarding culture, ethnicity and addiction.


Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 742-2136. Photos courtesy American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Marriage Therapy

The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program is part of the College of Human Sciences.

MFT master's and doctoral programs provide clinical and academic training grounded in systems theory to students wanting careers as marriage and family therapists.


Family Therapy Helps Recovery of Seriously Ill Children

Jealousy: Character Flaw or Health Emotion?