The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) has awarded Maria Crouch, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, with its 2021 Underrepresented Scholars Membership Award.
The award is intended to provide an avenue for membership and organizational involvement for talented scholars from around the world who identify as Black and/or Indigenous professionals.
Five awardees receive one full year of ISTSS membership, which includes access to publications, online tools, networking and professional recognition, and opportunities to volunteer in committees and special interest groups, as well as conference attendance.
Crouch is a member of the Deg Hit’an (Athabascan) tribe and her family is from the Native village of Anvik. Her uncle, Robert Rude, negotiated treaties with the United States government in the 1960s and 1970s, as part of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, to procure sustainable resources for health care, education, housing, and cultural advancement. Crouch said she has been identified by her elders to continue Rude’s work.
“The ISTSS Underrepresented Scholars Membership Award is a distinct honor to be selected and acknowledged by this field of science,” Crouch said. “ISTSS provides a direct link to renowned researchers and cutting edge trauma research and dialogues that can, will, and are directly impacting Indigenous communities across the world.
“This is evidenced by their organized efforts to amplify Indigenous voices and issues and their recent keynote address on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). As an Alaska Native person, being represented in spaces and places of influence is integral to furthering Indigenous research and lived realities. I am grateful to have the opportunity. I am also incredibly thankful to Dr. Joan Cook for her service and engagement with ISTSS and for her mentorship and encouragement for me and this award.”
Crouch is currently working on her newly funded F32 projects to examine the extent to which trauma, smoking, and culture impacts drinking and quality of life outcomes for Alaska Native peoples; to be collaborating with two Alaska Native regions; and to have preliminary tribal approvals. In addition, she is working with Krysten Bold, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, on a recently funded Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) project, “Examining the Impact of Tobacco Policy Changes in American Indian/Alaska Native Populations.”