MACON – Mercer University School of Medicine Master of Family Therapy (MFT) student Quinten Oppong recently received this year’s Christus Powell Minority Fellowship from the Georgia Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (GAMFT).
The fellowship is awarded annually to one Georgia student of minority background who shows promise in and commitment to a career in MFT education, research or practice.
Oppong, from Ghana, is an MFT student on the Macon campus and previously earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in public health from Mercer.
He has worked full-time as an employment specialist at River Edge Behavioral Health Center in Macon since 2018, assisting a diverse population of clients in gaining employment. Prior to that, he worked in a variety of positions serving the health and educational needs of the local community, including elementary school reading tutor, personal care home volunteer and First Step family screener.
An African immigrant familiar with the realities of child soldiers in various African countries, Oppong is interested in the effects of trauma on child and adolescent mental health. He also has interest in the intersection between couples therapy and immigration, having personally seen the difficulties immigration can sow in family dynamics.
“It is a blessing and an honor to have received this award,” said Oppong. “I believe therapists have yet to exhaust the need our diverse communities face. This fellowship will continue to help me identify effective tools and therapy models that can adequately address the specific needs of immigrant and minority communities.”
Oppong intends to work in direct client contact and also has aspirations on the nonprofit and human resources side of mental health service to ensure proper care and resources for burnt-out employees in underserved areas in Central Georgia.
“Quinten is an eager and involved student learner. He is known for excelling at identifying the ways in which social location, power and family interactions are influenced by larger diversity and contextual factors. He often encourages discussion in class on families who have immigrated from other cultures,” said Andrea Meyer Stinson, Ph.D., associate professor and associate director of Mercer’s MFT program.
“Quinten is a warm and engaging individual who is dedicated to a career using the systemic skills of MFT to address diversity and mental health issues in Central Georgia. His faculty members affirm total confidence in his ability to carry out his goals and substantially contribute to the MFT profession in Georgia,” added Bowden Templeton, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
About Mercer University School of Medicine (Macon, Savannah and Columbus)
Mercer University’s School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Today, more than 60 percent of graduates currently practice in the state of Georgia, and of those, more than 80 percent are practicing in rural or medically underserved areas of Georgia. Mercer medical students benefit from a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School opened a full four-year campus in Savannah in 2008 at Memorial University Medical Center. In 2012, the School began offering clinical education for third- and fourth-year medical students in Columbus. Following their second year, students participate in core clinical clerkships at the School’s primary teaching hospitals: Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon; Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The School also offers master’s degrees in family therapy, preclinical sciences and biomedical sciences and a Ph.D. in rural health sciences.