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Student Section

Welcome to the Student Section of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.  As a student member of ISTSS, you will receive many opportunities to enhance your knowledge of research and training in trauma and become involved in ISTSS.

If you are not yet a member of ISTSS, please review the benefits of joining:

Membership Benefits

Student membership in ISTSS includes a subscription to the Journal of Traumatic Stress, the peer-reviewed bimonthly journal of ISTSS, and Traumatic StressPoints, a bimonthly newsletter with new developments in the field and the latest news associated with the society.

As a student member, you will also receive the following benefits:

  • Reduced membership fees.
  • Reduced registration fees for the ISTSS annual conference where you will find opportunities to learn from and network with senior researchers and professionals in the field as well as fellow students. Students may also present their own scholarly work at this conference.
  • Access to a student listserv, where student members can post questions, provide information and communicate with peers who share similar interests.

Please join us and become a student member of ISTSS by applying online or contacting ISTSS Headquarters at The student listserv is for members only. To join the listserv, email

Student Section Leadership

Leadership for the student section includes a Chair and Vice Chair, who oversee the section, plan student-focused activities and events for the annual conference (including luncheons, internship and postdoc networking fairs, panels, presentations, and other social events) and manage the student awards.  These individuals are elected into these positions by the student membership and serve two-year terms. 

Current Student Section Leaders

Stephanie Wells, BA, Chair, 2013-2015, is a first-year graduate student at the joint doctoral program at University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University under the direct supervision of Steven Thorp, PhD. During her undergraduate career and while working for the National Center for PTSD she has had the opportunity to work with several subpopulations within the field of traumatic stress including maltreated children, veterans, and survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Her current research interests include treatment outcome, the impact of trauma on interpersonal functioning and relationships and understanding the impact of trauma across the life span. Outside of her academics and research, Stephanie has been involved with several non-profit organizations that benefit at-risk and under-privileged populations. Her commitment to underserved populations and the field of traumatic stress has resulted in academic honors, awards and VA Achievement Awards.

Bob McKinney, LCSW, PIP, ACSW, Vice Chair, 2013-2015 is a third-year doctoral student at The University of Alabama School of Social Work, where his major professor is Debra Nelson-Gardell, PhD. He has been the assistant director of a large, nonprofit, social service agency and the director of a secure, residential treatment facility for adolescent girls who are adjudicated by the state and who have mental health diagnoses. In his tenth year as a yoga instructorBob is interested in the effectiveness of complementary and alternative interventions for survivors of trauma. His research interest is on the effects of childhood trauma on adolescent health and mental health, particularly in how adolescents present to their primary care physicians. He is currently a clinical social worker at The University of Alabama University Medical Center, where he has worked for two years.

Student Section Awards 

Learn more about the recognition awarded to outstanding students and mentors through the student section.

Student Section Research Grants

Learn more about the Student Research Grants offered each year.