2016 EC Slate

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Diane Castillo

Diane CastilloI am honored to be nominated for president of Division 56, Trauma Psychology. I am committed to continuing the strong leadership tradition psychologists have made in the field of trauma and would appreciate your support. I have dedicated my career to the field of trauma for 28 years as a clinician, researcher, educator, leader, and administrator.  I was the Division 56 Diversity Member at Large Chair for 4 years and Co-Chair in 2015, as well as served on the Board of Directors for ISTSS, which has given me experience in governance. My clinical, research, and administration experience has been in the VA, where I developed programming for the treatment of PTSD in male and female Veterans using Evidence-Based Psychotherapies (EBPs) and as one of 18 national trainers for Prolonged Exposure therapy through the National Center for PTSD. My PTSD research includes the clinical application of EBPs as PI on randomized controlled trials and Site Investigator in national PTSD studies. I am an Associate Editor for Psychological Trauma and served as Guest Editor on a special PTSD issue in the journal Behavioral Sciences. I have provided PTSD trainings locally and nationally and have presented professionally at APA, ISTSS, and IVAT. I have supervised trainees at all levels and assisted in the development of national training videos on the treatment of PTSD in special populations/issues (Hispanic, women, PE). I believe I have the governance experience and trauma background to continue the advancements as president of Division 56. Thank you for your consideration.P

Sylvia Marotta-Walters

Sylvia Marotta-WaltersAs a charter member of the Division, I am honored to be considered for president of the division. The division has accomplished so much in a short period of time. I’ve had the privilege of serving in various roles over the years, including chairing a task force on interpersonal violence, serving as liaison to the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence, as program co-chair and chair for two years, on the practice committee, and currently as associate editor of our Psychological Trauma journal. My focus, should I be fortunate enough to be elected president, would be to work so that a trauma-informed lens would shape the work of all health care providers, and for professional psychologists, I would build on the excellent work of the initial group that developed the trauma competencies and made the division strong. The world we are living in continues to produce experiences of extreme stress for the public, and I believe that practitioners need to be trained and educated in these competencies so that they can provide the best interventions possible for an increasingly stressed and vulnerable population. Now that the competencies have been accepted by APA at the initial level, the division needs to determine whether a proficiency, or a sub-specialization, is the next step. Whatever the path the division decides to take, I would build on the excellent work that each president has contributed to the field of trauma and to those who suffer from it.

George Rhoades

Geore RhoadesI would be honored to serve as President-elect of Division 56. A Founding Member of the Division 56 Executive Board and having Native American and African American heritage it was an honor to serve as Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee. As past Chair Education and Training Committee and Chair Continuing Education Committee, we started the successful webinar series and obtained CE accreditation for the Division. I am also on the Editorial Board of Psychological Trauma, our Division Journal.

A practicing Clinical Psychologist since 1984 and Founder and Director of Ola Hou Clinic in Hawaii, providing supervision for Graduate Students at the Masters and Doctorate Levels. An international trauma speaker and author, conducting trauma trainings/Consultations/Counseling for professionals and community leaders in over 28 countries, recently focusing on Syrian Refugees internationally. Executive Director of “Roads to Hope” and Director of Clinical Training for “Global Aid Network-Canada,” both humanitarian missions to help remove the barriers of trauma.

I am a Fellow with International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and served on their Executive Council. International Expert on Sexual Trafficking and Clinical Director for Ho’olanapua, residential program for teenage girls rescued from sexual trafficking. Past Director of an JCAHO Inpatient Program for children, adolescents and adults at Kahi Mohala Psychiatric Hospital. Past Professor of Psychology and Chair, Psychology and Counseling Program at International College and Graduate School.

I would be honored to help Division 56 to continue the standards of excellence in academic, clinical and international work in trauma psychology.


Melanie Hetzel-Riggin

Melanie Hetzel-RigginI am honored to be nominated for Trauma Psychology Division’s Treasurer position. I am an Associate Professor of Psychology at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. I graduated with my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northern Illinois University and trained as part of the Center for Family Violence and Sexual Assault. My research and clinical work has focused primarily on risk and resiliency factors associated with interpersonal violence (including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, child abuse, and peer mistreatment). I also will be serving as the Program Coordinator in my college’s new Master’s program in clinical psychology with a focus on trauma-informed treatment. In addition to teaching, academic publishing, serving as a manuscript reviewer for numerous clinical and trauma-related journals, and grant writing, I have worked closely with local victim services and law enforcement to improve responses to survivors of interpersonal violence.

I believe it is my responsibility to give back to the Division that I consider my professional home. I am particularly passionate about two issues: prevention and training. If elected, I would help the Division seek out ways to disseminate our work to groups and agencies to improve the prevention of traumatic stress. I would also like to see the Division work towards developing best practices for training therapists in trauma-informed care, as well as increase ties with related professions who work closely with trauma. If elected, I promise to fulfill my responsibilities with passion and devote myself to furthering the mission of the Division.

Lisa Rocchio

Lisa RocchioI am honored to run for a second term as Treasurer of Division 56, where I am a founding member and liaison to APA’s Committee on Women and Psychology. In my role as your Treasurer, I bring my expertise as a clinical and forensic psychologist who specializes in the areas of interpersonal violence, traumatic stress and ethics.  In addition, I am highly experienced with organizational financial management. Specifically, I am the founder and Director of Lisa M. Rocchio, Ph.D. & Associates, Inc., an inter-professional practice providing services to adults, adolescents, children, and families. As a business owner, I supervise clinical and administrative staff, create and manage financial, business, and clinical policies and procedures, and collaborate with other professionals, hospitals and agencies throughout the state. In addition, I am the current APA Council representative and former president of the Rhode Island Psychological Association and have served as Chair of the APA Committee for State Leaders.  In my various positions, I have consistently proven myself to be a fiscally responsible and dynamic leader.  I am active within local, national and international Trauma Psychology organizations, was selected to participate in the APA Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology, and am an executive member of the Board of Trustees of an independent Quaker school.

I am strongly committed to the field of Trauma Psychology, and have published, presented, and taught on topics related to trauma, ethics, forensic psychology, and professional practice.  I welcome the opportunity to continue my service to Division 56.

Council Representative

Lore Dickey

Lore DickeyIt is an honor for me to be considered to serve DIV 56 as a Council Representative. I am a new member of Trauma Psychology. I am also an Early Career Professional. However, I am not new to APA governance. I have served the profession on the APAGS Committee and have served in leadership roles for DIV 44 (Society for Psychological Study of LGBT Issues) and DIV 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology).

My clinical and research work is focused on understanding the lives of transgender people. I recently finished serving as a co-chair of the APA Task Force that wrote the Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People. In my work with transgender people I often see the many ways that simply living as an out trans* person often subjects a person to trauma. I hope to further my work in understanding the trauma experiences faced by the trans* community.

When I was asked to serve as a Council Rep for DIV 56 I did so with the hope that I could bring a fresh perspective to APA Governance. Although I have never served on Council, I believe I have the analytical skills and devotion to the profession to serve DIV 56. I believe, as many of you do, that it is time for a shift in the ways that APA makes policy decisions. I would like to be part of that reform process. Thank you for considering my candidacy for Council Rep.

Steve Gold

Steve Gold - 2I am honored to be currently serving Division 56 on the APA Council of Representatives (COR) and to have been nominated to continue in this capacity. My support of Division 56 dates back to the first meeting of APA members interested in forming a trauma psychology division. I served as the Division’s APA Convention Program Chair, as Division 56 president, and from 2008 through 2014 as the first editor of the Division’s journal, Psychological Trauma. It has been tremendously exciting to see the Division grow into a vibrant and highly respected home for professionals interested in trauma.

Serving on COR has taught me a great deal about APA system-wide and about Division 56’s potential role in the larger organization. It takes time to become familiarized with the workings of COR. My current term has taught me a great deal in this regard.

This is a pivotal time for APA. While the organization is strong in many ways, its reputation has been marred by the circumstances surrounding the Hoffman report. In addition, APA membership has been steadily shrinking; APA is not adequately attracting the full range of diversity represented by psychologists. I see these trends as being related to a drift by APA away from a sufficiently strong emphasis on core values such as ethics, human rights and social justice. If re-elected I promise to continue to be a strong voice on COR for support of these values and of the interests of Division 56.


Divya Kannan

Divya KannanI received my doctorate in clinical psychology in 2012 from the University of Memphis and completed my pre and post-doctoral training at Vanderbilt University. As Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, my interest in working with trauma survivors, being involved in trauma-focused research and writing, and assuming leadership positions in this area has inspired much of my work as a psychologist. I enjoy my role as leader of the trauma team at the Vanderbilt Psychological & Counseling Center and have worked on our team’s development and implementation of an evidence-based, trauma-focused program of care and meeting the acute needs of students after trauma exposure. Additionally, I am glad to have the opportunity to be a member of the editorial team for the developmental traumatology column for the ISTSS Stress Points newsletter, an experience that has been fulfilling as I share my thoughts and interact with professionals within this community.

My interest in the Member-At-Large position would help me continue to grow professionally and to contribute to the aims of the Division 56 executive committee. One specific way I would like to contribute, is a project idea that I am excited about, which is to examine existing treatment models of trauma-informed care within universities across the nation. Through qualitative methods of inquiry, this research can produce important guidelines around the barriers and facilitative agents to psychological care for students impacted by sexual assault, particularly in the context of the current campus climate.

Nnamdi Pole

Pole ImageAs a founding member of Division 56, I was appointed to Chair a Task Force Examining the Traumatogenic Aspects of the Bush Administration’s Enhanced Interrogation Program. We worked for more than a year to produce a 2008 report that showed that “enhanced” interrogation can lead to lasting harm tantamount to torture. I am proud of the fact that Division 56 was way ahead of the Hoffman Report in raising concerns about enhanced interrogation. I have also served as guest co-editor of a special issue of the division’s journal, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Our issue highlighted many ways that race and ethnicity complicates our understanding of traumatic stress. It also set a tone for what has been an ongoing commitment of the journal to maintain a multicultural perspective. Last year, I served as Chair of the Convention Program Committee. In that capacity, I worked closely with President Beth Rom-Rymer to develop programming around the theme of trauma and social justice. Our program had many highlights including an examination of transgenerational trauma in several ethnic groups, a discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement, and a fantastic keynote address by Bryan Stevenson. I am currently Co-Chair of the Awards Committee with Bita Ghafoori. As member-at-large, I hope to continue to represent my “professional home” in Division 56 with honor and distinction. I am tremendously proud of all of the ways that our Division has set and exceeded standards within APA. I would endeavor to maintain and enhance our reputation.

Professional Affiliate

Christopher Anderson

Christopher AndersonAs are more than half of people in the United States, I am a survivor of trauma and abuse. From the age of 5 I began what has become a lifelong partnership as a survivor with mental health professionals. Some of the clinicians I met did not understand trauma. These interactions often left me feeling more confused and hurting.  These negative experiences were little more than a set of bad memories until I attended my first MaleSurvivor Weekend of Recovery. There I met and worked with clinicians who “got” trauma for one of the first times in my life. The lessons they shared with me changed the direction of my life.

Ever since that weekend, I have been passionate about connecting survivors and professionals to build stronger partnerships. In 2007 Dr. Steven Gold attended my first presentation on this topic, “Ten Things Therapists Should Know About Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse,” and his support empowered me to keep at it. Since that time I have trained thousands of clinicians, social workers, law enforcement, and other professionals to help them better understand trauma from the survivor’s perspective.

In 2012, I was named the first Executive Director of MaleSurvivor, and have worked hard to continue building bridges between survivors and the professional community. It would be an honor to continue this work by being officially accepted as a partner of this division.