Erika Felix of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School was recently appointed to the Diversity Committee of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies was founded in 1985 for professionals to share information about the effects of trauma. ISTSS is dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge about policy, program and service initiatives that seek to reduce traumatic stressors and their immediate and long-term consequences.
The Diversity Committee focuses on and addresses both content and process issues in diversity and trauma. It does so in order to, first, enable ISTSS as a whole to become more representative of, and more welcoming to the many groups and communities that make contributions to the field of traumatic stress studies and allied fields. This aspect of the Diversity Committee’s purpose is consistent with Strategic Goal #1, to “provide a unique forum for respectful exchange among a diverse membership,” in order to, “create the perception and reality of the ‘right professional home.’” The Diversity Committee’s second purpose is to provide leadership to the field by disseminating scientific information regarding the overlap between the fields of diversity studies and traumatic stress studies. This purpose overlaps several of ISTSS’s strategic goals, most directly, Strategic Goal #1, by fostering further exchange within a membership who are themselves diverse and/or who are interested in diversity, and Strategic Goal #4, by, “[engaging ISTSS] members in advancing traumatic stress science and [using] research to improve prevention, and clinical care, promote resilience, and inform public education and public policy.” In addressing diversity both on an organizational level and within the realm of scientific endeavor, the committee recognizes the importance of such historically and currently relevant group- and community-level factors as race, ethnicity, tribal/cultural group, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status and nationality, among others.
Erika Felix is an Associate Researcher in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. Her research interests include school bullying and peer victimization, disaster mental health, and school-based prevention and intervention services for youth. Dr. Felix received her Ph.D. in clinical-community psychology from DePaul University. Dr. Felix has co-authored several scholarly publications and presentations in the areas of peer victimization, disaster mental health, preventive interventions for youth, and program evaluation. Dr. Felix has lectured locally and internationally on trauma and mental health services for youth. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.