International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Student Section


Make ISTSS Your Professional Home


Welcome to the ISTSS Student Section. Did you know student members receive unique benefits and opportunities to enhance their knowledge of research and training in trauma?


Student Membership Has its Benefits!

  • Save more than $100 on your annual membership fee
  • Save more than $100 on the Annual Meeting registration fee
  • Take advantage of discount rates for ISTSS Online Education Program (webinars, expert trainings and Advanced Training Certificate Program)
  • Enjoy discounts on selected publications from Taylor and Francis, a leading source of trauma journals and texts
  • Receive the Journal of Traumatic Stress and Traumatic StressPoints eNewsletter
  • Access the student listserv - post questions, receive student and trainee related announcements (e.g., postdoctoral fellow positions), provide information and communicate with peers who share similar interests
  • Access to the Members-only section of the website, featuring diagnostic scales and a searchable membership directory of members
  • Access to Members Only online resources - including adult and child assessment instruments, treatment manuals and other validated tools to assist the busy clinician and researcher
  • Eligibility for the Frank W. Putnam Trauma Research Scholars Award ($1,000), Student Travel Fund for the Annual Meeting and Student Poster Awards
  • Ability to join a Special Interest Group (SIG)
  • Opportunity to serve in leadership role for Student Section or the Annual Meeting Organizational Committee
  • Volunteer and engage with leaders in the field of traumatic stress across all committees and Special Interest Groups


Student Section Leadership

Student Section Chair, 2015-2017 

Sacha McBain, MS is a fourth-year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University under the direct supervision of Josef I. Ruzek, PhD and Matthew Cordova, PhD. During her graduate training, Sacha has had the opportunity to make contributions to the field of traumatic stress through her research examining the barriers to accessing military sexual trauma-related care in affiliation with VA Palo Alto Healthcare System and her clinical work with traumatized transitional age youth, veterans, and recently traumatized individuals as a part of the Early Intervention Clinic of Palo Alto University. Sacha is passionate about advocating for trauma-informed psychological and medical care and hopes to increase awareness of the physical and psychological impacts of traumatic experiences in order to reduce stigma and increase access to quality care. Her interests include the intersection of trauma and health, the impact of social support on trauma recovery, and early intervention/prevention of PTSD.  

Student Section Vice Chairs, 2015-2017
Jon Magnus Haga, MD, medical doctor and 2nd year PhD student at Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS). Academic interests include international health, violence and terrorism. He currently works under the supervision of Dr. Grete Dyb and Dr. Siri Thoresen on a research project assessing healthcare needs in response to the Ut√łya terror in Norway.

Dr. Haga has previous international medical experience from research, clinical rotations, volunteering in a number of countries, the International Federation of Medical Student’s Associations (IFMSA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). He has recent clinical experience from work in Afghanistan, Syria and the current humanitarian crisis of migrants in the Mediterranean.

Stephanie Wells, BA, is a third-year doctoral student in the Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at San Diego State University/University of California San Diego under the direct supervision of Drs. Ariel Lang and Leslie Morland.  Prior to beginning graduate school, she had the opportunity to work for three years at the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD. Her primary research area is treatment outcome research. She is interested in identifying mechanisms and predictors of treatment response and determining factors that may predict treatment non-response and dropout. She is also interested in how to better implement evidence-based PTSD treatments and increase access to care for individuals with PTSD. She has been the recipient of academic awards, honors and VA Achievement Awards.  Outside of her academics and research, Stephanie has been involved with non-profits that serve underprivileged populations.

Leadership for the student section includes a Chair and Vice Chair, who oversee the section, plan student-focused activities and events for the annual conference (including luncheons, internship and postdoc networking fairs, panels, presentations, and other social events) and manage the student awards.  These individuals are elected into these positions by the student membership and serve two-year terms.