February 22, 2024
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Binghamton University students among first recipients of New York state mental health scholarship program

Three Binghamton students receive scholarships that aim to expand and diversify New York state’s mental health workforce

Three Binghamton University students are among the first recipients of a scholarship through a new mental health scholarship program that aims to expand and diversify New York state’s mental health workforce.

The $4 million scholarship program was created to support underrepresented students entering or enrolled in SUNY and CUNY mental health degree programs, with the first group of recipients announced this week by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Binghamton’s students — three of the 11 recipients from six different SUNY campuses — are:

  • Daisy Calvario Velasco, a sophomore human development major
  • Jeannette Guasio, a first-year master’s student in social work
  • Quinn Hendershot, MS ’22, a second-year doctoral student in clinical psychology

“All of us at Binghamton are delighted that these students have received this scholarship,” said Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. “This is an outstanding program that will pay long-term benefits for the people of New York state and strengthen the mental health support network that our communities desperately need.”

“That three individuals from Binghamton received this award indicates not only the strength of our academic programs, but also the University’s commitment to providing education that addresses our state’s most pressing challenges,” Stenger added.

The scholarship program, announced in August 2022, was created in reaction to a lack of sufficient representation of ethnic and racial minorities in the state’s mental health workforce, especially in roles requiring advanced degrees or education-based certifications. Made possible due to a federal grant awarded to the New York State Office of Mental Health, the program provides recipients with a monetary scholarship, mentorships and enrichment programs with mental health professionals, and internships.

Hendershot said she is grateful for the new opportunities the scholarship will provide, and noted that it will allow her to attend more conferences to share her research.

“This award will also allow me to take practicum positions that I would otherwise be unable to take due to financial constraints,” she said. “Additionally, this award will help me spend more time focusing on my research over the summer rather than focusing on securing summer funding.”

Learn more about the scholarship program here.