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Psychology student awarded Lela Winegarner Scholarship

Gabriel Sarpong is a first-year graduate student in the Clinical-Counseling Psychology program.

Gabriel Sarpong, a first-year graduate student in the Clinical-Counseling Psychology program, has been selected as a 2017 Lela Winegarner Fellow.

After graduating from the University of Ghana with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Sarpong completed a one-year mandatory national service as a health counselor at Komfo Anokye, Ghana’s second largest teaching hospital. It was during this mandatory national service that he realized the diminished state of mental health in Ghana. Sarpong’s passion and dedication in matters related to psychological and mental health challenges in his home country strongly influenced his decision to pursue a master’s degree in Clinical-Counseling Psychology.

In 2016, Sarpong began his pursuit of a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health at Southern Arkansas University, where he maintained a 4.0 grade point average. He also worked as a research assistant at the Magale Library before transferring to Illinois State to study in the Clinical-Counseling Psychology program. Sarpong currently works at Chestnut Global Partners as a Case Manager/Graduate Assistant and plans to eventually obtain a Ph.D. in a clinical psychology program.

“Looking at the future,” Sarpong said. “I plan to establish a mental health-focused nongovernmental organization in Ghana which will serve for oversight responsibilities by the government. A decade from now, I envisage myself as a staunch mental health advocate and an established clinical psychologist.”

The Lela Winegarner Scholarship is awarded to promising international students who are pursuing careers of service to their country. All international students admitted to Illinois State University Graduate School programs whose career objectives meet the above criteria are eligible.


Congrats Gabi you've made us proud