A little gratitude goes a long way

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An Augusta University graduate student was so thankful for the scholarship she received that it prompted the donor to double the original endowment gift.

The John L. Rosenkoetter Scholarship Endowment Fund for Clinical and Counseling Psychology was established July 1, 2021, through a gift from John Rosenkoetter of Brunswick, Georgia. Rosenkoetter, husband of the late Dr. Marlene M. Rosenkoetter and career psychologist, created the scholarship to support students who aspire to make an impact on their communities by pursuing a career helping individuals, couples and families better manage everyday challenges through addressing their mental health needs.

“As someone who was involved in the mental health area for 46 years,” said Rosenkoetter, “I had many opportunities to witness what the efforts of clinicians, therapists and others could accomplish. Hence, continuing to support budding practitioners along that avenue seemed a worthwhile pursuit.”

Augusta University student, Nhi Tran was the first recipient to receive the John L. Rosenkoetter Scholarship Endowment Fund for Clinical and Counseling Psychology award and seems to exemplify the qualities Rosenkoetter had in mind when establishing the endowment.

Tran, a first generation Vietnamese American, graduated with a Master of Science degree in the clinical/counseling psychology program in May 2022. She also interned at Augusta University Student Counseling and Psychological Services. Additionally, she spent six months providing mental health assessments and brief counseling interventions to rural primary care patients, many of whom had no other access to mental health care otherwise, as part of a Behavioral Workforce Education and Training grant from HRSA (Health Resources & Services Administration).

Tran expressed a longtime interest in psychology and would like to ultimately become a therapist working with college students or with populations that are often underserved in the mental health field. Tran is currently pursuing work in Atlanta.

“I really want to say thank you for helping me to achieve my dreams on this journey,” Tran said, expressing her gratitude for the award. “I hope to use this contribution to make you (Mr. Rosenkoetter) proud and to help benefit the community at large.”

Rosenkoetter’s generosity funded two scholarships this year. Psychology students Janny Liu and Madeleine Matthews each received funding to help them get closer to realizing their careers. Liu, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania hopes to work in person-centered therapy with college students or adults in a university or practice setting. Matthews is from Roswell, Georgia and before coming to Augusta University completed an undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina double-majoring in experimental psychology and dance performance/choreography. Her goal is to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and to continue clinical work within the realm of substance use working specifically with minoritized populations.

While this may be Rosenkoetter’s first gift to the Department of Psychological Sciences, it is not his first gift to Augusta University. He and his late wife Marlene have a history of philanthropy at the institution. Previous gifts include the Marlene M. Rosenkoetter Research Award Endowment and the Marlene M. Rosenkoetter Research Professorship Endowment which both went to support the College of Nursing. Giving back is just something they thought they should do.

“Our intent throughout was we have been blessed richly as we come to our twilight years, and we genuinely wanted to return, give back, some of what we had gained,” Rosenkoetter said thoughtfully. “Both of us were the first in our families to go to college and achieve graduate degrees. To say we came from humble beginnings would be accurate. And yet we reached the end of our working careers in a comfortable place. It seemed the right thing to do to ‘give back’ in the areas from which we had gained.”

For information about how you can support this or other scholarships, please contact Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement or make an online gift directly to the John L. Rosenkoetter Scholarship Endowment Fund for Clinical and Counseling Psychology.

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Written by
Valerie Emerick
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