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Counseling Graduates Ann Abbrecht and Michelle Hernandez Receive the The Regina Matthews Oehmig Award for Excellence in Counseling

The Regina Matthews Oehmig Award for Excellence in Counseling is awarded annually to a graduating student who has earned a distinguished academic record, interacts in a professional manner with professors, classmates, clients, and supervisors, and possesses strong clinical skills. In addition, the recipient must display a commitment to the integrity of life, the demonstration of providing services to others, and embodying the warmth, compassion, and genuineness of Regina Matthews Oehmig for which the award is named. The Oehmig family created an endowment in Gina’s name, which is attached to this award, so our recipients will also receive a post graduate scholarship in honor of their accomplishments.

Two students were chosen to receive this award. Both of these students embody many of the wonderful qualities we knew in Gina. They show a dedication to the Jesuit traditions of life, love, values, and integrity. They have families to whom they are dedicated, and they engaged in leadership and academic excellence throughout their tenure at Loyola.

The first recipient is Michelle Hernandez.

Michelle, holds a B.A. in Religious Studies and Secondary Education from Loyola University New Orleans. In addition, Michelle has spent the past fifteen years teaching high school religion and working in campus ministry in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, at Immaculata High School, and most recently at Holy Rosary High School where she specializes and teaches special needs children Michelle has challenged herself in her experiences at Loyola to work in both a school setting and for Family Services New Orleans on Canal Street; where she served a population of people who would more than likely not receive mental health services otherwise. She maintained a 4.0 as a dual degree student in LIM & Counseling while raising a family and working full time.

The second Regina Matthews Oehming Award goes to Ann Abbrecht.

Ann is a native New Orleanian. She graduated from the University of Florida in 1971 with a major in History and English with a minor in education. Her 30+ years in education included teaching a range of students from nursery school to seniors in high school in public, parochial and private schools. Ann was a leader in our department and she is profoundly missed. She did so well in her internship she was offered a clinical position upon graduating. She demonstrated a type of honesty and presence as a student and clinician that is hard to come by.