International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

STUDENT SECTION

Posted 1 October 1999 in StressPoints by Joseph M. Rudolph, MA., Contributing Editor, Student Section

It is a real privilege for me to assume the role as the student representative of ISTSS. I have been interested in the growth and development of the student committee since I became involved with ISTSS about five years ago.

I am currently a second-year doctoral student in the psychology, human resource development program, which focuses on community psychology and social policy, at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. My professional interests are in secondary traumatic stress, ethics and practice, social policy and community development.

I think that both ISTSS and the field of trauma as a whole offer students great opportunities for professional development. The size of ISTSS and the interdisciplinary nature of trauma research and practice lend themselves to remarkable networking and educational opportunities. Trauma work also provides avenues for research and treatment with broad individual, interpersonal and social implications. In addition, the nature of trauma work also presents a unique set of personal and professional challenges to both new and highly experienced professionals. These opportunities and challenges directly shape the training and professional development needs of student members.

With a growing student membership, the society has reached a critical point in the development of the student section. The board of directors and members of ISTSS have done an outstanding job supporting the training and development of its student members and it is incredibly important to continue this support. ISTSS can provide exciting opportunities for students.

Under the leadership of Karestan Koenan the student section worked to establish a Student Poster Award. Rachel Yehuda, PhD, currently is working to secure funding to support the student section, and Danny Kaloupek, PhD, is developing more student research awards. Additionally, we are working with Elana Newman, PhD, to enlist student authors to write article for Traumatic StressPoints, and to develop a session at the ISTSS Annual Meeting Nov. 14-17 in Miami, where students can meet with representatives from training programs, internships, post-docs and professional jobs.

In addition to these ongoing initiatives I would like to propose three goals for the next year. First, I want to formalize the role and selection procedures for the student section representative. This would clearly define the responsibilities of the position and develop procedures for selecting the student representative. Second, I would like to continue identifying and developing opportunities for students to be involved with ISTSS. With so many talented, motivated students in the field, it is important to create a welcoming process for students who join the organization. In formalizing this process, the society will help the students feel more connected to the other members and provide them an additional avenue of professional support. The third goal would be enhancing the capacity for the student members to communicate between conferences. These communication channels will broaden the students' ability to forge new relationships according to their needs.

Again, I appreciate the opportunity to serve as the student section representative and welcome comments and suggestions. If you are interested in any of the opportunities mentioned or have additional ideas please contact me by e-mail at:
jmrudolp@unity.ncsu.edu.