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2014 Leadership Awards

November 17, 2014

(left to right) E. Alison Holman, Roxane Cohen Silver, Stevan Hobfoll, ISTSS then-president Nancy Kassam-Adams, Erika Wolf, Bruce Shapiro, Charlotte Heleniak, Diana Bennett, Mary Beth Williams

In November, ISTSS honored the recipients of its 2014 Leadership Awards at their Annual Meeting in Miami, Florida. ISTSS wishes to extend special thanks to the 2014 Student Research Grant Committee, 2014 Awards Committee, and the 2014 Program Committee for their contributions to the 2014 awards program.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor given by ISTSS. It is awarded to the individual who has made great lifetime contributions to the field of traumatic stress.The 2014 recipient is Stevan Hobfoll, PhD.

Dr. Hobfoll is Chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences, and The Judd and Marjorie Weinberg Presidential Professor, at Rush Medical College. He has a conjoint appointment as professor of preventive medicine and professor at the College of Nursing at Rush University Medical Center. He is a senior fellow at the Center for National Security Studies, University of Haifa in Israel. Dr. Hobfoll’s major contributions have spanned more than three decades. In 1989, he provided the first look at Conservation of Resources theory in his landmark paper in the American Psychologist, and again in his critical 1991 paper in Anxiety Research. It has become a foundational publication, incorporated in the Marine Corps Stress Manual, the World Health Organization’s Disaster Planning, and the work of NGOs as far away as Nepal. It was used as a foundation document by the Japanese cabinet in strategizing about responses to the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster.

The Frank Ochberg Award for Media and Trauma Study recognizes significant contributions by clinicians and researchers on the relationship of media and trauma. The 2014 recipient is
E. Alison Holman, PhD, FNP and Roxane Cohen Silver, PhD.

Dr. Holman and Dr. Cohen Silver from the University of California, Irvine, have focused on psychological and/or physical health implications of repeated exposure to traumatic material in the media. Dr. Holman’s and Dr. Cohen Silver’s careful and provocative work challenges the notion that direct exposure is necessary to experience stress-related outcomes. Their papers have been published in highly respected journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Psychological Science. This work has worldwide implications as vivid images become even more available through social media and on every individual’s smart phone. The recent tragic deaths of journalists and others, with images widely distributed online, underscore this point.

The Public Advocacy Award is given for outstanding and fundamental contributions to advancing social understanding of trauma. The 2014 recipient is Bruce Shapiro.

Mr. Shapiro is a distinguished reporter, editor, educator and advocate for victims of violence. For more than a decade Mr. Shapiro has inspired journalists who report on trauma and individuals who are victims of trauma around the world. He has influenced critical public opinion on best practices for reporting on traumatic stress, including how to report on cruelty, conflict, victim suffering and evidence-based treatments for trauma. Mr. Shapiro has made fundamental contributions to understanding trauma through his unwavering commitment to the intersection of journalism and trauma.

The Chaim and Bela Danieli Young Professional Award recognizes excellence in traumatic stress service or research by an individual who has completed his or her training within the last five years. The 2014 recipient is Erika Wolf, PhD.

Dr. Wolf graduated with honors in psychology from Harvard and completed her PhD at Boston University. She is currently an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine, and a staff psychologist at the National Center for PTSD, Behavioral Sciences Division. Dr. Wolf’s research has had a significant impact on such areas as the latent structure of PTSD and dissociation, the association of psychopathology with specific genetic markers, and stress-hormone-linked genes and dissociation. Dr. Wolf has articles in 42 publications, 16 of these as first author. Her work was utilized by the DSM-5 workgroup in its decision to include a dissociation subtype.

The Sarah Haley Memorial Award for Clinical Excellence is given to a clinician or group of clinicians in direct service to traumatized individuals. This written and/or verbal communication to the field must exemplify the work of Sarah Haley. The 2014 recipient is Mary Beth Williams, PhD, LCSW, CTS.

Dr. Williams’ early work focused on child safety school interventions and most recently worked with veterans. During her career she has consistently worked “in the trenches” seeing significant numbers of trauma survivors week after week. Her most recent work has been U.S. Vet Source, a non-profit 23 acre facility for veterans to heal.

The Frank W. Putnam Trauma Research Scholar Award is presented to Student Members who submit proposals judged to have the greatest potential to contribute to the field of traumatic stress. The 2014 recipients are:

Charlotte Heleniak (left), University of Washington. Proposal: Violence Exposure, Social Cognition, and Aggression

Diana Bennett (right), University of Utah. Proposal: Psychophysiological Correlates of Trauma-Related Acquired Callousness

The ISTSS Student Poster Award is presented annually in recognition of excellent work in a poster submission to the ISTSS Annual Meeting. The 2014 recipients are:

First Place: BreAnne Danzi, University of Miami, for the poster: DSM-IV, DSM-5, and ICD-11: How Well Do Diagnostic Criteria for PTSD Fit Children After Disasters?

Honorable Mention: Nicola Bernard, Michigan State University, for the poster: Intimate Partner Violence and Mother-Infant Physiological Attunement

Honorable Mention: Jennifer Khoury, Ryerson University, for the poster: Maternal History of Different Forms of Maltreatment Predict Various Aspects of Parenting Behavior