Texas Tech University

Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy Doctoral Student Awarded Dissertation Research Fellowship

Matilda Beckanovic

July 11, 2023


Zachary Trevino will complete his dissertation on understanding the lived experience of Latino Men through funding from the Frances Fowler Wallace Memorial Award

Zachary Trevino, a current Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy (CMFT) Ph.D. student, received the Frances Fowler Wallace Memorial Award, an invitation-only award. Trevino was awarded $3,000 for research-related expenses to support his dissertation study titled Understanding the Lived Experience of Latino Men: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study. The primary objective of this study is to gain insight into how Latino men benefit from counseling services, considering the societal and cultural factors that often influence men's help-seeking behaviors.

Trevino will have the opportunity to conduct in-depth interviews and engage in other data collection methods to gather rich and nuanced insights from participants. Through rigorous analysis and interpretation of their narratives, he will strive to identify common themes, patterns, and meanings that emerge from their accounts. 

“Bringing together the voices of Latino men will contribute to a deeper understanding of the therapeutic experience of Latino men and the factors that contribute to their well-being,” Trevino said. “This research has the potential to make a valuable contribution to the field of mental health, as it focuses on an often understudied and underserved population. The findings of this study may inform and guide mental health professionals, counselors, and policymakers in developing culturally attuned and effective interventions and support systems.”

Trevino's time in the doctoral program has been instrumental in preparing him to be a qualified candidate for this fellowship. The combination of professional training and personal support equipped Trevino with the necessary skills, knowledge, and dedication to produce important research and contribute meaningfully to the field. He said the doctoral program has provided him with a solid foundation in research methodologies, data analysis techniques, and theoretical frameworks relevant to the study of mental health and counseling. 

“Through coursework, seminars, and discussions with faculty and peers, I have developed a strong understanding of the complexities surrounding mental health issues, particularly as they pertain to underrepresented populations like Latino men,” Trevino said. “Moreover, the program has fostered a scholarly environment that encourages critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and interdisciplinary collaboration.”

The Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy doctoral program is the supportive culture that permeates the academic community. The atmosphere of collaboration, encouragement, and professional growth fosters a sense of belonging and inspires students to reach their full potential as a scholar. Trevino said his previous time in the CMFT master's program had a profound impact on him, and instilled in him a deep inspiration to continue his academic journey and pursue a Ph.D. within the same program.

“As a first-generation Latino male, I felt a strong sense of support and empowerment throughout my master's studies,” Trevino said. “The faculty and the community as a whole embraced and celebrated diversity, fostering an inclusive environment where I felt valued and capable. This positive experience instilled in me a deep inspiration to continue my academic journey and pursue a Ph.D. within the same program.”

Trevino's plan is to continue to work in a private practice setting as a licensed marriage and family therapist associate, focusing on serving the community of Lubbock. Trevino intends to leverage his skills and knowledge to champion a mental health initiative aimed at raising awareness and promoting mental health at a local children's hospital, providing mental healthcare to children and their families. By combining his clinical practice with advocacy and community involvement, Trevino aims to make a positive impact on the lives of those he serves and the broader mental health landscape. Trevino believes that his time in the College of Human Sciences has propelled him to live out our model of enhancing and improving the human condition.