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giorgio-trovato-_XTY6lD8jgM-unsplash.jpgIt has been an honor to chair the ISTSS Awards Committees in 2023. We would like to gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Winnie Lau, Belinda Liddell, Kathy Margruder, Naser Morina, Christin Ogle, Ulrich Schnyder and Jennifer Wild from the Professional Awards Committee, and Faith Nomamiukor, Krithika Prakash and Betty Lai of the Student and Mentor Awards Committee. We would also like to acknowledge Michele Bedard-Gilligan, the incoming co-chair of the committee. Finally, our thanks also go to former-chair Angela Nickerson and Diane Elmore Borbon of the ISTSS Executive Office, for their support throughout the process.
ISTSS offers a variety of awards that recognize the research, clinical, policy and advocacy achievements of individuals in the field of traumatic stress. Each of our award winners this year made an outstanding contribution in their area. It is with pleasure that we introduce you to the 2023 ISTSS Award Winners.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. George Bonanno
George Bonanno, PhD, is professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University’s Teachers College, where he leads the Loss, Trauma and Emotion Lab. Dr. Bonanno has undertaken an extensive internationally recognized program of research over more than 30 years. Over this time, he has made leading contributions to our understanding of the course, precipitants and consequences of traumatic stress. In particular, he has been a pioneer in our understanding of human resilience in the face of loss and potential trauma. He has published hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles, multiple books (including The End of Trauma), and is one of the most highly cited scientists worldwide. He has received lifetime achievement awards from both the Association for Psychological Science (2019) and the International Positive Psychology Association (2019).
Outstanding Service Award
Dr. Ulrich Schnyder
Ulrich Schnyder, MD, PhD, is Emeritus professor of psychiatry and psychotherapy at the University of Zurich. He is an internationally leading expert in the traumatic stress field. Dr. Schnyder’s award reflects over 20 years of dedication and support as an active member of ISTSS. This includes being a member of the ISTSS Board between 1999 to 2001 as ex-officio board member representing our affiliate organization, ESTSS. From 2002 to 2010 he served as a formal elected member of the ISTSS Board of Directors. During this time, he served twice on the Executive Committee as Vice-President and was President of ISTSS in 2010. His exceptional contribution to ISTSS includes being an active member of many ISTSS committees and task forces, including the Finance Committee, Awards and Nominations Committee and Global Meetings Committee. In 2019 he was the inaugural chair of the Global Initiatives Committee. In 2016, Prof Schnyder received the ISTSS Lifetime Achievement Award. Prof Schnyder is a much respected and admired colleague within the ISTSS community.
Robert S. Laufer Memorial Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement
Dr. Carla Danielson
Carla Danielson, PhD, is professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina. A long-time ISTSS member, Dr. Danielson has made an outstanding contribution to the field of traumatic stress over her 20-year career. This is particularly evidenced via her development and evaluation of an integrative treatment for co-occurring PTSD and substance abuse problems in teens, called Risk Reduction through Family Therapy (RRFT). RRFT is the only empirically supported treatment for this population worldwide. Dr. Danielson was a recent Fulbright Senior Specialist Awardee and has received significant competitive research funding and awards across her career. She shows a continual dedication to translating research to improve the lives of trauma-exposed individuals and groups, and in particular high-risk adolescents and those from traditionally underserved populations.
Chaim and Bela Danieli Young Professional Award
Dr. Matthew Yalch
Matthew Yalch, PhD, is Associate Professor in Department of Psychology, Palo Alto University. Dr. Yalch’s research focuses on the impact of interpersonal trauma and war-related trauma on personality and interpersonal traits and mental health. He leads two labs,  one focused on the intersection of trauma and personality and the other focused on suicide in U.S Army soldiers. He has already published over 90 articles and chapters, and a book, and has presented over 120 talks at national and international scientific conferences. He is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Traumatic Stress and is associate editor for the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation and the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma. Dr Yalch was also a previous recipient of the ISTSS Outstanding Student Achievement Award.
Mid-Career Innovation Award
Dr. Talya Greene
Talya Greene, PhD, is associate professor in clinical psychology at University College London. Her research aims to improve the prediction, prevention and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by identifying and intervening on the dynamic processes involved in the development and maintenance of symptoms. Dr. Greene has shown substantial innovation in research methodologies. In particular, her unique combination of using ecological momentary assessments (EMA) with dynamic network and structural equation modelling, has led to increased understanding in the complex nature of trauma reactions and the daily life experiences of symptoms. Dr. Greene was the first to apply a dynamic network model to traumatic stress data and pioneered these methods to provide insight into mental health during and after disasters and mass traumas, including war and terrorism.
Sarah Haley Memorial Award for Clinical Excellence
Dr. Jessica Carlsson
Jessica Carlsson, PhD, is a clinician and associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, and head of research at the Competence Centre for Transcultural Psychiatry in Denmark. Dr. Carlsson has dedicated her clinical and research career to improving the lives of refugees and asylum seekers. She has developed and implemented the Treatment and Research Integrated Model (TRIM), a unique way to gather scientific evidence about treatments for trauma-affected populations. As a leader in the clinical and academic field of traumaticstress, Dr. Carlsson has also shown exceptional dedication to mentoring and supporting future generations of clinicians and academics. In 2021 Dr Carlsson was awarded Denmark’s best supervisor by the Danish Association for Young Psychiatrists, for her exceptional efforts in educational, clinical and scientific supervision. She has advocated for improving mental health support and treatments for trauma-affected populations, particularly refugees, through podcasts, public media and numerous lectures. In her clinical work with refugees with complex presentations, she draws on the latest empirical evidence to ensure she is delivering high quality care, including the multiple randomized controlled trials that she has led and supported.
Award for Excellence in Trauma Services for the Underserved: Policy, Advocacy, Research and Clinical (PARC) Award
Dr. Denise Hien
Denise Hien, PhD, is the Helen E. Chaney Endowed Chair in Alcohol Studies and Professor at Rutgers University. She is recognized as a leader in the field of post-traumatic stress and addiction. Dr. Hien has demonstrated a sustained commitment to trauma work with underserved populations and made pivotal contributions over the past 30 years in how to address the needs of people with PTSD and alcohol or substance use disorders. Much of her significant profile of NIH-funded research has focused on understanding and treating traumatic stress among women and historically marginalized or minoritized populations, with a key goal of addressing health inequalities and understanding the ways in which race/ethnicity, culture, gender and other aspects of social identity influence treatment utilization and outcomes. Through her work, the field has made significant strides in understanding trauma-related disparities and how to deliver evidence-based care to potentially vulnerable or underserved populations.
Distinguished Mentor Award
Dr. Arash Javanbakht
Arahs Javanbakht, MD, is an Associate Professor and psychiatrist in the School of Medicine, Wayne State University. He is the director of the Stress, Trauma and Anxiety Research Clinic (STARC). His clinical work is focused on anxiety and trauma-related disorders in civilians, first responders, law enforcement, refugees and victims of torture and human trafficking. Dr. Javanbakht’s award reflects his commitment to mentorship over the course of his career, where he has shown exceptional support for his trainees and other junior researchers. His genuine commitment to supporting and upskilling his team was clear, as was his guidance in supporting junior researchers to secure their own publications and independent research funding. His nomination and award reflect a true commitment to mentorship and enthusiasm for supporting junior researchers to meet and exceed their career goals in the clinical and academic field of traumatic stress.
Outstanding Student Achievement Award
Shelby McGrew
Shelby McGrew is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Student Achievement Award. She is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Texas A&M University, where her research focuses on transdiagnostic factors influencing treatment outcomes for individuals with comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD). Shelby’s nomination and award reflect her dedication to advancing research on PTSD and SUD comorbidity to improve evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, particularly among underrepresented and underserved groups. Shelby is actively engaged in advocacy and leadership at ISTSS, serving as the Student Co-Chair of the ISTSS Trauma and SUD Special Interest Group. ISTSS extends its congratulations and wishes Shelby success in her doctoral dissertation and future professional endeavors.

Frank W. Putnam Trauma Research Scholars Award

Mariel Emrich

Mariel Emrich, a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at the University of Connecticut, was awarded with this year's Putnam Award. Her doctoral research is dedicated to the examination of sexual assault-related trauma and its repercussions, utilizing a holistic appraisal-focused model of trauma. The study, titled "Do Changes in Trauma Appraisals Predict Change in Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Over Time? A Cross-Lagged Panel Analysis in Women Sexual Trauma Survivors," seeks to investigate the longitudinal associations between alterations in trauma appraisals and shifts in posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Employing cross-lagged panel analyses, the study focuses on women who are survivors of sexual trauma. ISTSS extends congratulations to Mariel on her receipt of the Putnam Award and anticipates the successful execution of her study along with the subsequent publication of its findings.

Sarah Stevens

Sarah Stevens, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Irvine, was also awarded the Putnam Award. Her doctoral research explores the role of sex hormones in fear learning among individuals with a history of childhood abuse. Her proposed Putnam project, titled "Investigating the Influence of Estradiol and Progesterone on Fear Learning Processes in Female Survivors of Childhood Abuse," seeks to enhance our comprehension of the distinct effects of estradiol and progesterone, both in isolation and in correlation with each other, on fear learning outcomes in survivors of childhood abuse. ISTSS extends congratulations to Sarah and expresses its best wishes for the smooth and successful execution of her research.

Student Travel Award

Teplong Ibrahim

Teplong Ibrahim is a clinical psychologist from Nigeria and current doctoral student at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. Teplong’s doctoral research is dedicated to understanding and reporting the trauma-related experiences and general wellbeing of migrants, with a specific focus on internally displaced persons in North-Central Nigeria. Recognized for her active involvement in ISTSS, Teplong was featured in the ISTSS newsletter's students' section as the student of the year in February 2023.