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News and Events

For recent news and updates relevant to traumatic stress, please visit StressPoints, the online eNewsletter of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Please see below for the TaSSC news and updates.

October 2017

  • Congratulations to Faith Nomamiukor for receiving the UH Undergraduate Research Travel Fellowship for her upcoming travel to the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies annual convention! Faith will be presenting or co-presenting three posters:
    • Nomamiukor, F. O., Bartlett, B. A., Smith, L. J., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2017, November). Associations between sleep disturbance and distress tolerance in trauma-exposed psychiatric inpatients. Poster session accepted for presentation at the 33rd annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Chicago, IL.
    • Bartlett, B. A., Jardin, C., Nomamiukor, F., Martin, C., Tran, J. K., Buser, S., Anestis, M. D., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2017, November). PTSD symptomatology and suicidality among firefighters: The moderating role of distress tolerance. Poster session accepted for presentation at the 33rd annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Chicago, IL.
    • Smith, L. J., Bartlett, B. A., Nomamiukor, F., Tran, J. K., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2017, November). Distress tolerance and sleep disturbance in firefighters: Associations with symptoms of posttraumatic stress and depression. Poster session accepted for presentation at the 33rd annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Chicago, IL.

September 2017

August 2017

  • Congratulations to Lia Smith for being elected Clinical Student Representative for the 2017-2018 year!
  • Congratulations to Faith Nomamiukor for successfully submitting her Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship final project! Faith’s project focused upon examining the content of trauma and drug script cues and evaluating associations of content (e.g., emotion words, drug words) with PTSD and substance use severity among inner-city adults with PTSD and substance use disorders. Excellent work!
  • Dr. Vujanovic was interviewed by WalletHub for an article entitled “2017’s Most & Least Stressed Cities in America

July 2017

  • Congratulations to Lia Smith for successfully proposing her M.A. thesis, entitled “Posttraumatic Stress, Alcohol Use, and Alcohol Use Motives in Firefighters: The Role of Sleep Disturbance”!

June 2017

  • Congratulations to Brooke Bartlett for successfully proposing her M.A. thesis, entitled “Military Veteran Status and PTSD Symptom Severity in Firefighters: The Moderating Role of Emotion Regulation Difficulties”!
  • Congratulations to Kevin Banks for accepting a full-time research assistant position at MD Anderson Cancer Center!
  • Congratulations to Faith Nomamiukor for accepting the position of Program Manager at the TaSSC!

May 2017

  • Excellent work Kevin Banks and Shannon Cheng for presenting our work at the Association for Psychological Science annual conference in Boston!
    • Banks, K. J., Smith, L., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2017, May). Posttraumatic stress symptoms and alcohol use among college students: The role of mindfulness. Poster session presented at the 29th annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Boston, MA.
    • Cheng, S., Banks, K. J., San Miguel, G., Bartlett, B. A., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2017, May). Main and interactive effects of PTSD symptom severity and mindfulness facets in relation to suicidality among acute care psychiatric inpatients. Poster session presented at the 29th annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Boston, MA.
  • Congratulations to Lia Smith for receiving the Cullen Fellowship Travel Grant Award from the University of Houston for her presentation at the Anxiety and Depression Association of American conference!
  • Congratulations and Happy Graduation to Gabe San Miguel!

April 2017

  • Congratulations to Lia Smith for receiving the Graduate Research Award from the UH clinical psychology program for outstanding contributions to clinical science during the first year of graduate studies!
  • Congratulations to Faith Nomamiukor for receiving the UH Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and the UH Department of Psychology - Callicutt Scholarship for “diligence in scholarship and superlative performance as a student”!
  • Thank you to Lia Smith and Daniel Paulus for leading a Stress Management Workshop to parents and staff at the University of Houston Children’s Learning Centers on April 12th, 2017. View Photo Gallery
  • Excellent job Lia for presenting our work at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America conference in San Francisco!
    • Smith, L. J., Bartlett, B., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2017, April). Sleep disturbance and emotion dysregulation: Associations with PTSD symptoms in inner-city adults with posttraumatic stress and substance dependence. Poster presented at the 37th annual conference of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, San Francisco, CA.
    • D’Souza, J., Wardle, M. C., Smith, L. J., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2017, April). Correlates between resting heart rate variability and symptom severity in a comorbid posttraumatic stress and substance use disorder population. Poster presented at the 37th annual conference of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, San Francisco, CA.
  • Congratulations to Lizbeth Cantu for accepting a position in the counseling psychology doctoral program at Southern Illinois University!

March 2017

  • We are excited to welcome Tannah Chase as Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Clinical Director of the Trauma and Anxiety Center of Houston. Tannah will be working with Drs. Vujanovic and Gallagher during the 2017-2018 academic year!
  • Congratulations to Bailee Schuhmann for accepting a position in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Nova Southeastern University in Florida!
  • Congratulations to Raquel Lara for accepting a position in the marriage and family therapy M.A. program at the University of Houston – Clear Lake!
  • Congratulations to Shannon Cheng for receiving the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and accepting a position in the industrial/organizational psychology doctoral program at Rice University!

February 2017

  • GO TaSSC FORCE! The TaSSC participated in the annual 5K Race Against Violence – and raised $1,035 (!!) -- to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault and to support the Houston Area Women's Center (HAWC). The HAWC serves over 17,000 women in the greater Houston area per year and provides 24-hour hotlines, individual and group counseling, legal consultation services, and safe housing.
    View Photo Gallery
  • Congratulations to Gabe San Miguel for accepting a full-time research assistant position at the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addiction at the UT Health Science Center at Houston!
  • Congratulations to Eric Esqueda for accepting a full-time research assistant position at the UT Harris County Psychiatric Center!

January 2017

  • The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies - Trauma and Substance Use Disorders Special Interest Group issued our first newsletter. Download.

December 2016

  • Congratulations to Faith Nomamiukor for receiving the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship for the spring 2017 semester! Faith will be working on the Emotion Regulation and Health Behaviors among Urban Firefighters study.
  • Congratulations to Jocelyn Abrams for defending her dissertation, “Depressive Symptoms and Distress Tolerance: Associations with Risky Sexual Behaviors”!
  • A new book, co-edited by Dr. Vujanovic and Dr. Sudie Back, Posttraumatic Stress and Substance Use Disorders: A Comprehensive Clinical Handbook (Routledge), is officially underway. Stay tuned for more information!
  • The upcoming “Traumatic Stress” issue in Current Opinion in Psychology, co-edited by Dr. Vujanovic and Dr. Paula Schnurr, is wrapping up. Articles can be accessed here: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/current-opinion-in-psychology/recent-articles

November 2016

  • The annual Trauma and Substance Use Disorders Special Interest Group meeting was held on Thursday, November 10th, 2016. Drs. Carolyn Sartor and Kimberly Werner were our Invited Speakers this year.
  • The “Posttraumatic Stress and Substance Use” special issue, co-edited by Dr. Vujanovic and colleagues, was published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. The issue can be accessed here: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/special/5523007.aspx
  • Excellent job to all TaSSC members who presented our work at ABCT and ISTSS this year!
    • Smith, L., Vujanovic, A. A., & Bakhshaie, J. (2016, October). Distress tolerance as predictor of posttraumatic stress and substance use treatment outcomes in inner-city adults.  In A. Asnaani (Chair), Under the influence: The co-occurrence of substance use disorders with PTSD and potential mechanisms maintaining their comorbidity. Symposium presented at the 50th annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies convention, New York, NY.
    • Schuhmann, B. B., Paulus, D., Banks, K., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2016, November). Childhood trauma severity and impulsivity in acute-care psychiatric inpatients: The mediating role of anger. Poster presented at the 32nd annual convention of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Dallas, TX. View Photo
    • Amador, C., Paulus, D., Schuhmann, B. B., Smith, L., Bartlett, B., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2016, November). Childhood trauma severity and alcohol use in acute-care psychiatric inpatients: The mediating role of emotion regulation difficulties. Poster presented at the 32nd annual convention of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Dallas, TX. View Photo

October 2016

  • Congratulations to Brooke Bartlett for receiving the Cullen Fellowship Travel Grant Award from the University of Houston for her upcoming presentation at ISTSS!
  • Congratulations to Bailee Schuhmann for receiving the first annual TaSSC Innovations Award for excellence and creativity in research management! Thank you, Bailee, for all that you do for us!
  • The TaSSC, in collaboration with the newly developed Trauma and Anxiety Center of Houston and with funding support from the Simmons Foundation, is excited to announce an open position for a post-doctoral fellow.

September 2016

  • Congratulations to Brooke Bartlett and Lia Smith for receiving Travel Awards from the University of Houston Department of Psychology for their upcoming presentations at ISTSS and ABCT, respectively!
  • In collaboration with Dr. Joy Schmitz and colleagues at UTHealth, Dr. Vujanovic will be working on a new NIDA-funded clinical trial (as Co-I): “Developing Adaptive Interventions for Cocaine Cessation and Relapse Prevention.”

August 2016

  • Welcome Brooke and Lia! The TaSSC is excited to have you on board as first-year doctoral students!
  • Dr. Vujanovic was interviewed by the Houston Chronicle regarding PTSD among firefighters.
  • Bailee Schuhmann presented our collaborative work with the Houston Fire Department (HFD) at the 124th annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA)! Bailee presented the following talk at a HFD symposium at APA: “Examining Main and Interactive Effects of Depression and Posttraumatic Stress in Relation to Alcohol Dependence among Urban Male Firefighters.”  View Photo

July 2016

  • Congratulations to Shannon Cheng for accepting the position of Program Co-Manager at the TaSSC!
  • The renovation of the new TaSSC space is complete!

June 2016

  • Farewell to Jocelyn Abrams! Best wishes for a fantastic internship year at the Yale School of Medicine!
  • Farewell to Colleen Martin! Best wishes for a fantastic internship year at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center!
  • Farewell to Christy Amador! Good luck in your new position as Research Associate in the Anxiety and Health Behaviors Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin!

May 2016

  • Welcome to our new research assistants, Faith Nomamiukor, Laura Reed, and Gabe San Miguel! We are excited to have you on the TaSSC team!
  • Congratulations to Colleen Martin for successfully defending her dissertation, “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Severity and Emotion Regulation in Acute-Care Psychiatric Inpatients: Associations with Suicidality”!
  • Congratulations and Happy Graduation to Kevin Banks and Raquel Lara!

April 2016

  • Shannon Cheng will be joining the TaSSC as a Research Assistant, following her graduation from Rice University next month. Welcome Shannon!
  • Bailee Schuhmann presented her recent work at the first annual University of Houston Department of Psychology Research Day. Thank you for representing the TaSSC!
    • Schuhmann, B. B., Paulus, D., Banks, K., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2016, April). Childhood trauma severity and impulsivity in acute-care psychiatric inpatients: The mediating role of anger. Poster session presented at the 1st annual University of Houston Department of Psychology Research Day, Houston, TX. View Photo

March 2016

  • The TaSSC is excited to welcome two new first-year clinical psychology doctoral students! Lia Smith and Brooke Bartlett will join us in Fall 2016.
    Currently, Lia is a Research Assistant in the Clinical Addictions Research Laboratory at the University of Chicago, and Brooke is a Psychology Research Technician at the National Center for PTSD - Women's Health Sciences Division, VA Boston Healthcare System.

February 2016

  • Congratulations to Jocelyn Abrams and Colleen Martin for matching with their first-choice internship sites, Yale School of Medicine and Michael E. DeBakey VAMC (Houston), respectively!
  • On Feburary 6, 2016, Dr. Vujanovic presented  “PTSD and Substance Use Disorders: A Clinical Overview” at the Seventh Annual UTHealth Psychiatry Update, entitled “Innovations in Trauma Research and Practice: Exploring PTSD and Related Outcomes Across the Lifespan.”

January 2016

  • The TaSSC officially opened its doors!

November 2015

  • The 31st annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies was held on November 5th-7th, 2015, in New Orleans.
    View Photo Gallery
    • The TaSSC attended and presented recent work:
      • Abrams, J., Martin, C., Amador, C., Wardle, M. C., Reddy, M. K., & Vujanovic, A. A.(2015, November). Distress tolerance in trauma-exposed, acute-care psychiatric inpatients: Associations with substance use. Poster session presented at the 31st annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, New Orleans, LA.
      • Amador, C., Abrams, J., Martin, C., Reddy, M. K., Wardle, M. C., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2015, November). Multi-method study of distress tolerance and posttraumatic stress in acute-care psychiatric inpatients.  Poster session presented at the 31st annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, New Orleans, LA. 
      • Martin, C., Abrams, J., Amador, C., Wardle, M. C., Reddy, M. K., & Vujanovic, A. A. (2015, November). Associations between posttraumatic stress and mindfulness facets in acute-care psychiatric inpatients. Poster session presented at the 31st annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, New Orleans, LA. 
      • Vujanovic, A. A., Reddy, M. K., & Wardle, M. C. (2015, November). Posttraumatic stress and suicidal behavior in acute-care psychiatric inpatients: The role of distress tolerance. In A. A. Vujanovic & M. K. Reddy (Chairs), Posttraumatic stress and suicidal behavior: Clinical research advances and future directions. Symposium accepted for presentation at the 31st annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, New Orleans, LA.
  • The annual Trauma and Substance Use Disorders Special Interest Group meeting was held on Thursday, November 5th, 11:30 am – 12:45 pm. Dr. Debra Kaysen was our Invited Speaker this year.

September 2015

  • The TaSSC welcomes Bailee Schuhmann as our new Program Manager! Bailee will formally join the team in January 2016.

August 2015

  • The TaSSC is actively recruiting for a part- or full-time Program Manager.
  • The TaSSC welcomes graduate and undergraduate student applicants! Please see here for more information.