The Hope and Healing Center & Institute’s (HHCI) Fellowship Program seeks to stimulate investigation and program development by early-career scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year research fellowships are awarded to individuals in recognition of their distinguished performance and unique potential to make substantial contributions within the programs and initiatives of the HHCI. Fellows represent many different disciplines and may include persons from religion, history, psychology, sociology, anthropology, medicine, social work, philosophy, epidemiology, or theology. Fellows can extend their time at the HHCI beyond two years if they are able to obtain external grant funding to support their work.


Several data sources show the relevance of Serious Mental Illness in Houston’s daily life.

According to the Mental Health Needs Council of Harris County in 2015, about 516,000 adults in the area suffered from a psychiatric disorder and nearly 143,000 struggled with serious mental illness. A large majority of individuals did not have access to any public or private treatment.

The reasons for the lack of mental health care include: individuals are often trapped in the misinformation about severe psychiatric illness and the available programs for specific social and clinical needs.

Where do adults in the Houston community go for mental health treatment? The Lumpkins Fellowship in Serious Mental Illness will answer that question by building a detailed and collaborative tool to help find qualitative information on inpatient and outpatient services in the community and beyond.

Meet our Lumpkins Fellow – Adriane Barroso, PhD


Aging is a universal experience that results in significant and profound changes, impacting all aspects of a person’s life and relationships. To meet the needs of our aging population the Hope and Healing Institute (HHI) has established the William K. McGee Jr. Fellowship in Bioethics and Aging. The McGee Fellowship is awarded to a distinguished scholar in recognition of his/her past performance and unique potential to make a substantial contribution to the Institute’s program on Successful Aging and Later Life.

Bioethics is a multidisciplinary area of inquiry that blends philosophy, theology, history, and law with medicine, nursing, health policy, and the medical humanities. The goal of the William K. McGee Jr. Fellowship is to merge the heart of pastoral care with the academic curiosity of bioethics in the development of practical programs, training, and resources that facilitate humane, compassionate care for the aged and support for their families. In pursuit of this goal, the McGee Fellow works directly with a number of constituencies including physicians, nurses, mental health care professionals, clergy, caregivers, and the elderly. Topics to be investigated within bioethics and aging at the HHI include end-of-life treatment and decisions, quality of life, confidentiality, mental competency, caregiver support, and spirituality in medicine.

Meet our William K. McGee Jr. Fellow – Peggy Determeyer, PhD


Behavioral health encompasses behavioral factors in chronic illness care, care of physical symptoms associated with stress rather than diseases, and health behaviors, as well as mental health and substance use conditions and diagnoses.  The Murphy-Petersen Fellow will develop resources, training and models related to equipping faith communities to become restorative partners for those in recovery from legal and illegal substances.  Topics of interest will include harm reduction strategies, naloxone distribution and training as well as new approaches to peer-delivered recovery coaching.

The Murphy-Petersen Fellow will also be involved in ongoing projects at the HHCI in bioethics and aging, mental health policy and the development of a county wide peer warm-line.  The Fellow will be involved in the development of independent lines of inquiry consistent with the mission and interests of the HHCI, public outreach in research dissemination strategies and writing for lay journals, news media, on-line publications, blogs and publishing in relevant peer-reviewed journals.

Meet our Murphy-Petersen Fellow – Crystal Collier, PhD, LPC-S


The goal of the Zorich Fellowship is to guide and develop mental health policy that benefits individuals in Texas living with mental illness and their families. The Fellow will work to education the public, state policy makers and allied professionals about issues related to persons with mental illness. Working with affiliates, staff, volunteers, consumers, family members and advocates, the Fellow will endeavor to develop and coordinate priorities in state mental health policy.

The Fellow will interact regularly with stakeholders and legislative decision makers to raise the level of discourse and improve the care and treatment of people with mental illness in the state of Texas. The Fellow will have the ability and training to become a statewide authority on the treatment and recovery of persons with mental illness.

Meet our Zorich Fellow – Erica Fletcher, PhD