APA 2018 Travel Awardees

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APA 2018 Travel Awardees

Christine Valdez, Ph.D.

Division 56 is in its second year supporting two scholarships (1 student member and 1 ECP member) of $500 each to assist with travel expenses associated with attending the annual APA Convention. These scholarships are intended to increase Division 56 student and ECP member participation at the APA Convention. We had a number of outstanding applicants. This year’s student and ECP award recipients were Sharon Lee and Dr. Wyatt Evans, respectively.

Sharon Lee is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in clinical psychology at the University of Connecticut where she works under the advisement of Dr. Crystal Park.  Her clinical and research interests focus on the impact of trauma and stress on physical health, with an emphasis on cardiovascular behavioral medicine.

“I am incredibly grateful to Division 56 for their generous Student Travel Award, which supported my attendance at the 2018 APA Convention.  At Convention, I presented a talk titled “Impact of Psychological Trauma on Appraisals of Current Stressors and Cardiovascular Health” as part of a Division 56-sponsored symposium about the potential mechanisms linking trauma and biopsychosocial well-being.  Keeping in line with my interest in trauma, stress and health, I also presented a poster on the relationships between discrimination, health behaviors, and physical health symptoms in a longitudinal sample of undergraduates. In addition to engaging in dialogue with others about my research and develop my scientific communication skills, Convention allowed me to expand my breadth of knowledge about trauma and health through exposure to other researchers’ work.  From talks and poster sessions, I conversed with presenters about their work related to the interplay of trauma, culture and identity, and its effects on health.  Finally, the 2018 Convention was particularly significant for me this year because I was able to attend several talks and events related to clinical internship, which I will be applying for this fall.  Overall, I had an amazing time at the 2018 APA Convention thanks to the support of Division 56!”

Wyatt Evans, PhD is a clinical psychologist and trauma psychology fellow in the Department of Psychiatry atthe University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. He currently serves as a research therapist for the STRONG STAR Consortium and Consortium to Alleviate PTSD and a research associate with the National Center for PTSD. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University in 2017, completing clinical training at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and his pre-doctoral internship at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston before accepting his current position at Fort Hood, TX. Dr. Evans specializes in combat and operational stress injuries in active duty service members and veterans. Among other leadership positions, he currently serves as the Associate Editor of Division 56’s Trauma Psychology News.

I am extremely grateful to Division 56 and the Travel Award Committee for selecting me as this year’s ECP travel award recipient! Attending Convention this year was incredibly valuable to me for several reasons. First, Division 56’s Trauma Psychology News recently underwent a change in the editorial staff and I moved from Editorial Assistant to Associate Editor. Attending Convention allowed the Editor-in-Chief and I to discuss the future of the publication and to solicit contributions from some amazing researchers, clinicians, and students who presented in San Francisco. Stay tuned for some exciting things to come!

Additionally, this was my first APA Convention since 2013, when I attended during my first year of graduate school. It was wonderful to expand my professional network as a new ECP in the field of trauma psychology and to (re)connect with colleagues and collaborators, especially those in Division 56. I look forward to next year’s convention, to hopefully presenting some exciting new research findings, and to continuing to connect and collaborate with current and prospective Division 56 members!”