Scholarships & Awards

Scholarship and Award Descriptions

Dr. Joe Kortz Spirit of Leadership Award

The “Dr. Joe Kortz Spirit of Leadership Award” is given annually to honor the memory of Dr. William “Joe” Kortz, who graduated with his Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership in 2002. Established in 2010, the award is presented to an outstanding doctoral student in Education Leadership who best exhibits the excitement, enthusiasm, and joy for learning and education that Joe exemplified. 

Outstanding Counseling Student and Chi Sigma Iota Genevieve H. Brown Scholarship Award

Chi Simga Iota is am honorary society for graduate students majoring in Counseling. Beta Kappa Tau is the Sam Houston State University Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, and gives a monetary award to the Outstanding Counseling Student from the graduating classes of the preceding year. The Counseling Faculty select the outstanding graduate on the basis of academic and clinical excellence, leadership and service. The monetary award is given in honor of the former chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling, Dr. Genevieve H. Brown.

W. Tom Thweatt, III Memorial Graduate Fellowship Award

W. Tom Thweat, II was an outstanding graduate student at SHSU in 2003 through 2005, working towards his Master of Arts degree in Counseling, which was granted posthumously in August 2005 following his untimely death in March 2005 at age twenty-nine. He loved to learn and to teach, valuing education, counseling and teaching as goals in themselves rather than as a means to a higher paying job or social status. Tom touched the lives of countless people and will continue to teach and help other SHSU counselors through this memorial fellowship.

Emly DeFrance Counseling and Development (Play Therapy)

Dr. Emily DeFrance is a former faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling. Dr. DeFrance has been very active in promoting play therapy at the state and local level. She served Sam Houston Association for Play Therapy in several positions including many years as newsletter editor. She has also served on the Texas Association for Play Therapy board. She has mentored many future and current play therapists through her teachings are SHSU and through her presentations at SHAPT workshops.

Emily Oe Counseling and Development (Play Therapy)

This scholarship is for students expressing a commitment to enroll in play therapy coursework.

James O. Mathis Scholarship Award

Recipients shall be selected by a scholarship committee composed of faculty of the graduate committee composed of faculty of the graduate counseling program in education. The recipient shall have satisfactorily completed at least 30 semester credit hours in the graduate counseling program in education and be deemed by the faculty of the program to have demonstrated exceptional potential both as a counselor and as a leader in the counseling profession.


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