International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Student Section

Posted 1 January 2000 in StressPoints by Joseph M. Rudolph, M.A., North Carolina State University

I would like to start by thanking everyone that attended the student events at this year's ISTSS conference, especially Alexander McFarlane and John Fairbank. This is an exciting time to be involved with ISTSS and especially the student section.

Previously, I outlined three goals for the coming year. First, to enhance the student members' communication between conferences; second, to increase students' involvement in ISTSS; and third, to formalize the role and selection procedure of the student section chair.

First, ISTSS had developed a Web-based student bulletin board (BBS). The Student BBS is accessible from the ISTSS Web site at http://www.istss.org. This will greatly enhance the students' ability to communicate between meetings and generates an archive of the activities.

Second, I have begun drafting the roles and responsibilities of the student representative. I have some pragmatic administrative ideas for the position; however, it is important that the position reflect the students' needs and interests. Anyone interested in assisting me with this process, please contact me at joe_rudolph@ncsu.edu. I plan to post a draft on the student BBS for feedback by Feb. 1.

Third, I want to highlight some opportunities currently available to students. I have tried to identify experiences that we need to make recent graduates marketable as new professionals. The board of directors agreed to fund two $1,000 research awards. Danny Kaloupek, Alethea Smith and I put this proposal forth, designed to support graduate student research in trauma, including theses and dissertations. The board unanimously accepted the motion. I applaud the board's commitment to student development. The first awards will be available in November. The application procedures will be printed in the next issue of Traumatic StressPoints.

The editors of the Journal of Traumatic Stress and StressPoints have also approached me with positions. Dean Kilpatrick (JTS) has agreed to develop a student editor position. Elana Newman (StressPoints) is looking for students to serve as column editors and to submit brief articles. She will accept original articles and has a list of ideas for anyone interested in writing. These are great opportunities to develop professional writing skills. I am currently working with both editors to develop guidelines for the positions.

I would also like to identify three projects in development. First, we are working on guidelines and procedures to collect data from ISTSS members. Second, many of students have struggled to find graduate programs, post-docs, and jobs that are "trauma-friendly." I would like to see the student committee develop a list of training programs, jobs and grants. Third, as an international organization I would like to see us develop an international student council. This would provide a mechanism to develop partnerships with people in other countries and expand the number of research and training opportunities.

ISTSS thrives on ingenuity and initiative. While this is a small sample of opportunities, I am sure that we can generate more. But I need to hear your ideas. I look forward to hearing from anyone interested in the opportunities listed above and from those with additional ideas.