Announcing the Awardees for the Inaugural Journal of Traumatic Stress ‎Editorial Fellowship for Underrepresented Scholars

Patricia K. Kerig, Editor in Chief, Journal of Traumatic Stress

January 28, 2021

In the span of my adult life, the current zeitgeist feels like a brave new world in respect to the far-ranging, harmonized, inspired and inspirational chorus of voices speaking out at all levels of society about systemic racism, disparities and the underrepresentation of minoritized individuals in positions of leadership, including in the sciences. To date, the responses I have mostly seen from academic institutions, organizations and scientific societies have been statements of support which, while valuable and well-meaning, are limited in the impacts they can achieve. To reach the goals of achieving real and lasting change that will effectively redress institutional racism and its adverse effects on science and practice calls for more than issuing statements of support; it calls for action. To this end, this year I initiated the Journal of Traumatic Stress Editorial Fellowship for Underrepresented Scholars to pave a pathway toward leadership positions in scholarly publishing for diverse emerging scholars in the field of traumatic stress studies.  
It is my hope that this fellowship will serve to redress disparities that compromise not only the representativeness of our field, but also its capacity for the highest level of excellence. Across academia generally, as well as in the field of traumatic stress studies specifically, scholars from historically marginalized groups are vastly disproportionately underrepresented on editorial boards and in editorial leadership, positions that play a pivotal role in the shaping both the present and the future of our field.  Moreover, the voices of emerging scholars are rarely heard in the “situation rooms” in which scholarly publishing decisions are made.  These disparities have been particularly concerning to me given that, as an international journal, JTS strives for diverse representation on our editorial team and in the content we publish. Our orientation is toward the future rather than the status quo, let alone the past, so the contributions and perspectives of the upcoming generation of scholars are essential to our mission. Consequently, in order to foster greater representation across both diversity and stage of career, I developed this JTS Editorial Fellowship for Underrepresented Scholars to provide the opportunity for underrepresented early-career traumatic stress scholars to gain the mentorship, experience and professional skills that will support their full, effective participation in the editorial process. It is notable that the tasks involved in journal editing—including screening submissions for quality and appropriateness, identifying and soliciting the best-fitting reviewers, evaluating and integrating reviewer comments, and communicating even negative decisions to authors respectfully and collegially—are essential professional skills that are not incorporated into the typical graduate education. This fellowship is designed to help to address that gap by providing mentored experiences in all aspects of the scholarly publication process that will equip fellows to become highly skilled reviewers, future associate editors and—if my fondest wish comes true—journal editors in their own right some fine day. In the more immediate future, by enhancing fellows’ reviewing skills and understanding of journal editorship, this initiative also has the potential to help underrepresented scholars produce manuscripts on their own work that will be successful in navigating the journal review process.  To accomplish these goals, the 2020-2021 fellows will spend one year working closely with the JTS editor in chief, who will provide mentorship and design experiences to give fellows mastery over each stage of the peer review process including screening submissions, identifying reviewers, making and communicating editorial decisions, and editing manuscripts to export for publication.  Upon successful completion of the year-long fellowship, fellows will be invited to become members of the JTS Editorial Advisory Board and, if an associate editor position becomes available in future, may become candidates for consideration to take on an associate editor role with the journal.

With that preamble, it is my pleasure to introduce the Awardees for the 2020-2021 Journal of Traumatic Stress Editorial Fellowship for Underrepresented Scholars:

Maria-Galano.pngMaria M. Galano, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Broadly, her research investigates the effects of exposure to violence on adjustment throughout the life course, with a focus on delineating pathways to risk versus resilience. She specializes in understanding how family processes and social experiences (e.g., racism, poverty, etc.) produce disparities in these pathways, especially with respect to PTSD. The ultimate goal of her research is to enhance the effectiveness of community-based programs designed to ameliorate the negative effects of early-life violence in ethno-racially diverse populations.
Maria states: “In creating this fellowship, JTS has made a clear commitment to improving diversity within the field of traumatic stress. I am honored to have been selected for this program, and look forward to learning more about the editorial process from leading experts in the field. My hope is to use the training and mentorship provided by this fellowship to help foreground scholarship that sits at the intersections of diversity science and traumatic stress studies.”

Johnrev-Guilaran.pngJohnrev Guilaran, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Division of Social Sciences at the University of the Philippines Visayas, Iloilo, Philippines. His research focuses on the role of social support in assisting individuals to recover in the aftermath of disasters and other emergencies. He also is a member of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) Task Force on Terrorism and Peacebuilding, which aims to utilize psychological research to solve the problems of terrorism. In addition, as a practitioner, he provides psychosocial support services to disaster responders and humanitarian workers in emergencies as well as to Filipinos affected by the current global pandemic.
John states: “I am privileged to be given this opportunity to learn more about the various editorial processes from some of the world’s best in traumatic stress studies. With this fellowship, I aspire to be a better scientist and editor. Eventually, I hope to usher more underrepresented voices into mainstream scientific outlets. Representation matters, and this is what this pioneering

Anushka-Patel.jpgAnushka Patel, PhD, is a postdoctoral clinical psychology fellow at the University of California San Francisco Trauma Recovery Center and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Her research focuses on the effects of gender-based violence among Indian women from slums, including studies of culturally relevant posttraumatic stress reactions and adaptive regulation. Anushka is passionate about global mental health and studies cross-cultural similarities and differences in depression, anxiety and PTSD with ethnic/racial minorities. She has abiding interests in developing and evaluating culturally adapted evidence-based treatments for individuals exposed to trauma and violence from low-income communities locally and globally. 
Anushka states: “I am honored and delighted to learn, ‘behind-the-scenes,’ at this premier journal! I am equally excited for the strong and supportive mentorship during this process. I hope to leverage this fellowship’s training to improve diversity of thought and research in traumatic stress studies.”