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Patsy Stice Memorial Graduate Fellowship in Social Work

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Dr. James Stice, professor emeritus of the Department of Chemical Engineering, created the Patsy Stice Memorial Graduate Fellowship in Social Work in 1998. Patsy Stice received an MSSW from the School in 1984. The fellowship funds benefit graduate students with an above-average cumulative grade point who plan to major in the counseling area and who meet additional criteria for the award.

Patsy Stoner Stice was born Dec. 26, 1931, the youngest of three children. She died in 1994. She spent her childhood in Chicago raised by her stay-at-home mother and her father, a printer who worked the night shift during the Depression and war years. She was surrounded by an extended family who lived in the house with her parents. 

Patsy started working in the fifth grade — baby-sitting and helping her neighbors with chores around their homes. Among her high school summer jobs she worked at the Kool-Aid factory and as a mail girl for Johnson & Johnson.

Patsy began her college studies as a political science major at Illinois Institute of Technology but switched to home economics, a serious and highly technical program at that institution. It was there that she met her future husband, Jim, left school, married, and moved to Arkansas in the fall of 1951.

Patsy once said she felt her life began when she met Jim. They had children, moved from Arkansas to Chicago and back again but eventually settled in Austin after Jim got a job offer from The University of Texas. After settling in Austin, Patsy took a part-time job at KLRU in 1972. 

During that time, her husband worked on faculty development programs and learned of a paraprofessional program at the counseling center. Patsy interviewed and was accepted into the initial group of four students under the direction of Dr. Ira Isco. Patsy completed the program and later her BA in psychology in 1980 and her master’s in social work in 1984. After graduating she continued to work at the center as an active clinician focused on couples counseling and group therapy work. She loved the excitement of continually creating a conceptual framework that encompasses all the aspects of human experience.

A longtime co-worker and colleague, Augustus Baron, described Patsy in this way:

“She was a challenging yet supportive supervisor of our social work interns and did her work with much humor. I miss her hearty laughs. She could be counted on to provide critical commentary on our policies and procedures when needed but was always a good-natured and collegial member of our counseling center staff. She expected honesty from herself and others, and I respected her for that. She and her husband, Jim Stice, were marvelous hosts, and her wit and charm will be remembered by all who knew her.” 

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