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Interdisciplinary research institute works on various projects

The University of Tulsa Institute of Trauma, Adversity and Injustice is an interdisciplinary research institute that brings together scholars, scientists, professionals and students in community-engaged research, education and service initiatives. Most of our efforts focus on three areas: intervention and dissemination of best practices, collective trauma and occupational health. Through the interdisciplinary network of faculty, students and community partners, participants gain a unique perspective of numerous individual and social issues facing local and global communities.

Approximately 20 graduate students currently work on various projects, and several are funded through external grants and gifts from the TU Department of Athletics, the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Students are active participants in cutting-edge research, from development to execution to dissemination. The institute currently has a dozen active studies. Professors Lisa Cromer and Joanne Davis are conducting a clinical trial evaluating a treatment for children with trauma-related nightmares and sleep problems. Graduate students serve as project manager, assessor and therapists.

Elana Newman, TU’s McFarlin Professor of Psychology, supervises a project evaluating a prison diversion program for substance-abusing women. “Women in Recovery” is the first of its kind in Oklahoma. Students assisted in the development of the assessment battery and conduct assessments of the participants prior to the treatment, at several points during treatment, and after they graduate. This interdisciplinary collaboration involves criminological, psychological, legislative, educational, sociological and economic approaches both in the program and the evaluation.

The institute also collaborates with numerous departments across the university as part of the Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Committee, whose mission is to raise awareness and reduce the incidence of interpersonal violence on campus. Graduate students serve on the committee and develop, administer and evaluate violence prevention programs